When I was on my conference road trip this spring, I heard publicly, from speakers and audience alike the same comment, "Leads Suck". I was suprised that I heard such a jarring statement at multiple venues, but I did. Is it a common trend across the b2b industry?
What if you could get your sales team to NEVER say "Leads Suck"? I've asked our clients, I've asked my colleagues, and I've come to some conclusions. If marketers give sales people what they want, they will never have a reason to complain (ok, I kind of know that's a lie, but follow me here).
There are lots of terms describing leads. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), Sales Accepted Lead (?), BANT. Acronyms or not, my opinion is that when sales gets a lead or an appointment, it better meet three criteria:
- It better be a company the rep wants to penetrate
- It better be a person that has the role and responsibility to contribute to a decision
- It better be someone that has an interest in what sales is about to talk to them about
This doesn't mean there is Budget, or Timing, or any of those fancy demand gen terms. This doesn't mean their lead score has to be through the roof. These are all good things, and frankly we practice them all at Green Leads and I recommend you do too. But let's get old school. Give me the right person at the right place at the right time and I'm happy. Frankly, if it's the right situation, a good sales person can create a project even if the prospect didn't know he wanted it. The selling begins when the buyer and the seller get face to face. A good sales person can take that combination and convert a good percentage of the leads into deals.
Just don't dilute their attention with quantities of leads that don't meet the above criteria. Don't dilute their attention with leads that only meet one or two of the criteria. Get them all three. If marketing makes this our ultimate goal, then sales will be too busy selling to ever think leads suck.