Why Sales Lead Generation Has Such a Bad Name!

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Aug 24, 2009 3:01:00 PM

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Bad Sales Qualified Leads Give Lead Generation Companies Poor Reputations

Market coverage and sales lead generation are basic business processes that are broken in most companies. A significant reason why sales forces don't meet quota has to do with the fact that the word "lead" is so misunderstood. Most lead generation companies find other words or phrases to replace it. Sales leads, qualified sales opportunity, sales-ready opportunity, marketing qualified opportunity, suspect, prospect, opportunity, pipeline and hundreds of other words or phrases are used to replace the word "lead" because leads are so misunderstood and have such a bad name.

Leads are the life blood of any organization; and the lack of clarity about what a lead is, how it should be generated, by whom and how it should be worked and tracked is what causes most companies to suffer set-backs or failure. Too, the process of defining, generating, working and tracking leads is a lot more complex than most people think because there are a lot of moving parts and there are a lot interactions between people that are missed and/or misunderstood.

But, don't take my word for it. Read the following tips about the lead problem:

Brian Carroll is a prolific and talented writer—I really enjoy reading his stuff:

"Under increased pressure to help drive revenue in this challenging market, many of us are tempted to throw as many leads as we can to our sales team.

We can tell ourselves that more leads are better because it lowers the cost-per-lead and gives the sales team more activity. But don't be one of those lulled by this false sense of security. If you really want to make a difference in your company's sales, dig deeper. Focus on metrics that go beyond cost-per-lead, and more importantly, focus on quality first then quantity."

On Lead generation: Insist on lead quality over quantity

The following blog (posted by the Sales Lead Management Association) got immediate attention, and an impressive number of responses—and no wonder! I have not read much by Jim LaBelle to date, but he has my attention now and should have yours:

"It is shocking that from 1979 to 2009 several figures remain constants in business annals...

  • More than 50% of qualified leads are never worked by sales
  • Less than 50% of a sales persons time is spent selling
  • 80% of trade show leads are never followed up"

Don't Blame the Economy: Don't Be A Victim!

Aberdeen has an impressive library of articles on the subject; and this article really hits home about the money most sales lead management companies are leaving on the table (published in DemandGen Report):

"Lead Lifecycle Management is about binding together marketing, sales and service to maximize the number of sales-ready opportunities, whether these come from newly acquired leads or existing customers. If only 16% of sales-ready opportunities close in the average organization, there are still incredible opportunities for performance improvements in all organizations."

New Aberdeen Report Spotlights Revenue Impact of Lead Lifecycle Management

Here is a summary of how PointClear views best-in-class vs. standard lead generation:

Best-of-class prospect development focuses on qualified revenue opportunities: Standard lead generation focuses on quantity rather than quality:
Fills your forecast with qualified prospects Floods your pipeline with so-called leads
Delivers fewer, yet more qualified leads that improve results Claims inflated lead rates without regard for quality
Gives you sales-ready prospects in seamless transition Clutters calendars with unqualified meetings
Segments, mines databases for maximum effectiveness Uses standard lists, and hopes for different results
Offers program ROI—averaging 10x investment Offers programs that incent volume, not quality
Measures value by revenue generated Measures value by cost-per-lead

Visit www.pointclear.com/developing-prospects/ for more information.


By Dan McDade

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Topics: Lead Generation

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