“The leads are weak!”
“The leads are weak?! You’re weak!”
Let’s be honest, when Sales gets leads from Marketing, Sales has an automatic assumption the leads are weak.
When Marketing gives leads to Sales, Marketing has an automatic assumption the leads are hot. Or, continuing with the Glengarry Glen Ross example, “ The Mitch and Murray leads.”.
This is like 9 out of 10 people saying they are an above average driver.
It can’t be possible.
If leads are weak, why is there such a disconnect?
There are many ways to look at this. Essentially, it is Marketing’s role to generate leads, and it is the role of Sales to close leads. Looking at the two roles from this perspective, we can determine how to work together.
Although this is a deep topic, we are going to approach it from the perspective of leads as the common interest. I am not going to talk about how marketing qualifies leads. Or provide an academic description of a lead. We just want to know if the leads are weak.
What I am interested in, is what your Sales Representatives think about the Marketing leads. In essence, this is what leads mean in the world of your Sales Representatives.
How Sales Thinks About Leads
All a Sales Representative wants in a lead is something they can close. This means the buyer has the ability to buy. This also means, if the lead is not a decision maker, or you know for a fact the company does not have the budget, sales is not excited about the lead. It means the leads are weak.
The amount of ink that has been spilled on what is a qualified lead is impressive. We are not here to discuss this. We are here to discuss what your Sales Representative thinks leads are. This provides a better understanding of what you give them.
A lead falls into the following three categories:
- The prospect wants information
- A prospect wants information
- Prospect wants a demonstration
This may seem like a basic list. Remember, sales is not compensated on leads, sales is compensated on closing leads. So, unless there is a high probability of closing a lead, sales will not consider a lead qualified.
What this means is that Marketing needs to take a larger role in moving a lead through the sales funnel. This is easier to do with Digital Marketing and Social Selling tactics.
In detail, here is what the above three types of leads mean to your Sales Representatives.
Prospect Wants Information
Anecdotally, I would say that 80% to 90% of the leads I receive from marketing fall into this category. Examples of these leads are:
- Online sign-up form requesting more information
- Signed up for your online newsletter
- Requested a published “Whitepaper”
- Visited your booth at a Trade Show
- Provided contact information at a sponsored event
These leads are not yet at a point to send to Sales Representatives. They may have said yes to the question “would you like a Sales Representative to stop by?” This does not mean they are ready for a product demonstration.
This is the stage in which marketing should be following up with the prospect to gather more information. Sign them up for the company newsletter. Get the prospect to like the company on Facebook. Confirm whether the prospect has the ability to buy. This is the stage where there is interest in your products.
Keep in mind, a prospect at this stage is nothing more than a cold call attempt by your Sales Representative. And roughly 2% of cold calls become a closed sale.Your Sales Representatives are finding a few of
Your Sales Representatives are finding a few of these every day they are in the field. Thus this is not going to be a priority. The prospects the Sales Representatives have found in the field requesting more information will seem more important.
What this means is that as Marketing is generating leads, there needs to be an understanding that to pass these leads to Sales, the goal should not be contact information. The goal should be a desire for a product demonstration or meeting.
Prospect Wants A Demonstration
This is the type of lead that a Sales Representative likes and can work with. If the prospect is ready for a demonstration, then Sales can work their magic in a sales call. They can begin closing for next steps.
This type of lead is tricky. Although the lead claims they want a demonstration, it does not mean they will answer phone calls. This is where Marketing can provide a value-add for the Sales Representative. The value is scheduling the meeting.
Again, remember that your Sales Representatives are getting these on their own every day. Assistance is what they like. Also, if you are already speaking with the lead, closing for a meeting is the natural progression of the conversation.
Technology is allowing this to be easier and more seamless. By having a shared calendar with Sales Representatives, where they have open blocks, you can easily schedule a meeting with this prospect and a Sales Representative. This is how Sales and Marketing can work together to close more sales.
Prospect Has A Need
This is a dream to both Sales and Marketing departments. This means money in everybody’s pocket. A slam dunk. These don’t come along often, but the more of these that Marketing can find, the more Sales is going to want to work well with Marketing.
This type of lead is not a lead a Sales Representative comes by every day. More often than not, they are the result of effective Marketing.
Companies with a great online presence, great advertising, and a great brand can generate more of these leads.
Leads come in three categories. The categories are: does the prospect want more information, does the prospect want a demonstration, or does the prospect want to buy.
A lead requesting more information is a Marketing lead, and a lead that wants a demonstration is a Sales lead. A lead requesting to buy is everybody’s dream.
Armed with this perspective on how to work with leads in your company, you can better integrate your Sales and Marketing efforts.
Good luck and good selling!