Question: Does your Sales Organisation formally maintain and update a list of qualified leads assigned to each sales executive, and are the leads that are fed to your sales team pre-vetted and of high quality?
According to our research at ThinkSales Global, only 41.9% of Sales Organisations formally maintain and update a list of qualified leads assigned to each sales executive.
In addition, 28.5% of companies rate their confidence as Outstanding that leads fed to their sales team are pre-vetted and of a high quality.
The ‘high-priority focus’ problem
Each sales executive on your team’s time is a premium. Lost hours that could have been devoted to revenue-generating activities, such as cold calling, prospecting, face-to-face selling and nurturing prospects is lost top-line revenue.
Wherever possible, Sales Organisations must eliminate time-sapping activities and assist sales executives to focus on high-priority activities. Pre-vetting is one example of a critical activity that can lead directly to increased revenues, but that often falls by the wayside in favour of ‘busy work’.
If you want to help your sales team succeed, you need the right support functions in place to help them focus where it counts, both at a leadership level within your organisation, and through your sales managers.
Allocate leads your sales team can close
Pre-vetting and allocating ‘hot’ leads is all about starting with the end in mind.
Often, one of the key reasons why sales teams fail to meet targets starts at the prospecting phase, simply because of a failure to identify the right opportunities to pursue. If your sales executives are pursuing low probability deals from the start, not only are they at a disadvantage, but they’re most likely wasting a lot of time on prospects that will never become buyers.
Here’s how to overcome this common challenge:
- Develop a perfect prospect profile
All prospects are not created equal. In every market, there’s a segment that is more likely to buy. Within that segment are further subsets too. You need to be able to determine who those segments and subsets are.
- Ascribe attributes to your perfect prospect profile
By analysing past wins, losses, and no decisions, specific attributes will begin to surface.
Look for the similarities across these three categories. A pattern will begin to emerge, and you’ll see which market segments your organisation is more successful at selling into.
Based on this, you’re now able to point your sales teams in the right direction from the very start of the sales process.
- Be strict about deal qualification
While this could initially impact the size of your pipeline, it will enable your team to focus their time and attention on high probability deals.
In CSO Insights’ 2015 Sales Management Optimization Study, one organisation required each sales executive to build a business case for what they were going to do with each prospect account, the stakeholders they were going to engage, the ROI for the prospect to do business with them, why they were better than competitive alternatives, and more.
Initially, this led to a 35% decrease in the size of the pipeline.
Naturally, any organisation that suddenly experiences this type of dip would be worried. But then something interesting happened – as the sales force became more effective at channelling their time into high-probability accounts, annual revenue from deals closed increased by 47%.
As a sales leader, it’s up to you to instil a strong lead-vetting culture in your Sales Organisation and to hold your sales managers and sales teams accountable for the process.
Step 1: Review Your Total Available Market
Total Available Market (TAM) refers to the total possible customer base for your product or service across all segments, all possible substitutes or alternatives and via all potential channels.
In short, it’s the total list of customers available to you if you are the only provider of a product or service and no alternatives were available.
Step 2: Eliminate companies that are not ideal
While most businesses understand their TAM, far fewer are brutal about who is an ideal customer – and who isn’t. The reality is that not all companies in your Total Available Market fit the type of customer you want to work with.
Help your sales executives by eliminating unsuitable prospects for them.
Step 3: Issue each sales executive with their own Lead List
Now allocate each sales executive a pre-selected portion of the Total Available Market to begin their research with.
This list should be aligned with their territory; product range or focus area.
Assess the health of your sales organisation
Maintaining and updating a list of qualified leads assigned to each sales executive, and pre-vetting leads to ensure the sales team receive high-quality leads are two of 322 measures of a world-class Sales Organisation.
ThinkSales Global is a specialist revenue engineering consultancy.
We assist our clients to deliver market-defying results through strategic and tactical intentions within a Sales Organisation Maturity Model that addresses the five key pillars of high-performing Sales Organsations, namely:
- Competitive Strategy
- Customer Engagement
- Sales Talent
- Sales Management
- Sales Enablement
How does your Sales Organisation stack up? Find out by taking the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.
This first-of-its-kind 360-degree gap analysis report enables your Sales Leadership team to assess its strengths and detect weaknesses and impediments to revenue growth across the five pillars.
Click here for more information on the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.