This article written by Scott Ankley who is the Senior Manager of Partner Development at Velocify, Inc. was originally published on www.velocify.com
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Clark Buckner of Technology Advice as a part of their Expert Interview Podcast Series. Clark asked some great questions about the evolution of sales lead management and what sales leaders need to be thinking about to stay ahead of the curve.
One of the questions Clark asked was what my advice was to sales organizations trying to map out their ideal sales process. I shared with him the top five questions I ask sales leaders to get them thinking about some potential blind spots and opportunities for improvement in their lead management processes.
1. Do you trust your salespeople? At the end of the day if you’re not in the office — do you know what your salespeople are doing? Do you know how many phone calls they’re making? Do you know how long they’re spending on the phone? With sales acceleration tools you can drill into the details and get a real-time snapshot of an individual rep performance. If you don’t have a tool that tracks and creates this real-time reporting based on how one rep is performing versus their peers within certain campaigns / lead types— then that’s a big problem.
2. Do your salespeople give up too early? This goes back to our research that shows that one third of leads are never called more than once. So that means if I call a prospect and hear a voicemail, I’m basically taking a red magic marker and crossing off that lead. Depending on lead type for different industries, businesses can be paying a lot of money on a per-lead basis. Do you really want your sales reps calling your exclusive leads only once?
3. Do your salespeople know when it’s time to move on? There is the law of diminishing returns where at a certain point, you become annoying to your buyer — you want to avoid being that guy who is leaving 10 to 20 voice messages in a month. Our research shows that the optimal number of calls to make before putting a lead into a nurture campaign is six attempts. After the seventh contact attempts it is wise to let an automated email nurturing campaign take over so you can move onto more promising leads.
4. How much time do your salespeople actually spend selling? Even the best sales professional can’t handle 100+ leads that are moving in different stages of the buying time frame. Even if you are able to map your complete sales process, at some point you’re going to need a tool to help prioritize such a growing list of to-do’s. And that’s what we’re trying to promote when using Velocify’s LeadManager: Don’t have your sales rep focus on daily administrative tasks. Have your sales team laser focused on providing prospects with a superior selling experience. By utilizing a tool that makes them more productive with their day, it will ultimately take away the guess work out of what they are doing, so they can focus on closing more deals.
5. Do you need insight on your sales team and your selling process? In order to optimize your sales process it’s important to have visibility into top sales performance indicators. For example, do you know how the leads coming from your marketing automation software are performing? If you know that leads from a certain source are performing poorly despite your team’s best efforts, it may be time to adjust your marketing spend, focusing on lead sources that are producing quality leads. Make sure your sales automation software is providing closed loop reporting, so you can truly understand the quality of your lead sources and the impact of your sales process on performance for ongoing optimization.
To hear my full conversation with Clark download our conversation about lead management and lead generation.
Scott Ankley is the Senior Manager of Partner Development at Velocify Inc., a market-leading provider of cloud-based intelligent sales automation software. Scott is an expert on increasing lead conversion rates through the effective use of marketing and sales automation tools and helps companies across a variety of industries improve their customer acquisition practices.