Your Marketing Team Isn't As Good As They Think - Just Ask Sales

Posted by James Obermayer on Nov 6, 2014 10:00:00 AM

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“If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to start thinking we're not as good as we think we are.” —Casey Stengel*

Qualified_Leads.245Yes, it was one of Casey Stengel’s best thoughts. How often do we think we are good enough, or better than our competitors, and yet our market share isn’t growing, or the competitors are gaining on us? We blame the products, the salespeople, and then we blame the salespeople again. But what if the salespeople are right—they don’t get enough qualified leads? Maybe Marketing has succumbed to thinking that quantity is better than quality.

If there’s one thing you can do something about, it’s the quality of sales leads. A quality lead is arguably defined by the person’s need (do they need this level of product?); desire (usually translated as preference—this is the product they desire more than others); authority (can the person who inquires make the buying decision?); and lastly, time frame to buy (how soon?). You can argue all you want about these basic qualifications, or even the infamous BANT, but if the person inquiring has need, desire authority, and a time frame, any sales representative will be grateful.

Plus, with lead quality, the closing ratio will increase, the time frame for closure will be better than with non-qualified leads, and there will be less price pressure because there is a desire for the product, usually above others. The cost per qualified lead will go up, but the overall budget will be less.

Why_its_important.Your_Marketing_Team_4It seems as if this is an old argument, but it’s a new issue with every generation of new marketers cutting their teeth on lead generation. The smart ones figure out they can generate a large number of inquiries both easily and cheaply. The smarter ones figure out they can generate better quality leads, mostly for the same dollars, but at a smaller number.

A good place to start learning about this subject is the Sales Lead Management Association and PointClear’s white paper: Why Your Sales Force Needs Fewer Sales Leads. PointClear’s Dan McDade doesn’t know I am recommending this paper, but it is a great argument for quality and lays out the premise that fewer is better and cheaper, and increases sales.

As George Elliott said (but no one can be sure where he said it), “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” You can start tomorrow to create quality over quantity, and maybe people will never accuse you of not being as good as you think you are.

Jim ObermayerThis blog was submitted by James Obermayer, Executive Director and CEO of the Sales Lead Management Association and President of Sales Leakage Consulting. James is a regular guest blogger with ViewPoint.

*Ira Berkow and Jim Kaplan. The Gospel According to Casey. New York; St. Martin's Press, 1992, p.120. In the spring of 1953, after the Yankees had won four straight World Series victories, he made the following observation, which could just as easily have been made by The Professor's prize pupil, Yogi Berra (who would also become famous with many laughably quotable statements): "If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to start thinking we're not as smart as we think we are."[9]

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Topics: Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy, Lead Qualification

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