Prospecting should always be a focus for sales. It’s the time consuming effort spent in low productivity prospecting that needs to be re-directed. Sales reps should always remain opportunistic in their prospecting efforts. References should be heavily pursued from trusted and network sources. High value opportunities should be aggressively hunted. What should come to a stop is the time consuming practice of low productivity cold calls.
There is a Better Way.
The best practice is to generate leads through demand generation activities above the funnel. Demand generation activities produce inquiries. The inquiries are then developed into quality leads through the implementation of lead management best practices. Rapport is built with prospects early in the buying process. This rapport translates to advancing the prospect through the buying process and into the hands of a ready sales representative. The net result is that sales rep time spent in cold calling is redirected to highly productive sales activities.
World class sales forces are fed high quality leads
Lead Generation activities are proven to produce quality leads. Sales forces properly supported receive leads that swell their sales funnels. Reps find out quickly that these new leads are radically different than leads from the past. Properly developed quality leads are worthy of time investment.
Benefits to Investing ‘Above the Funnel”
- Increased funnel – It’s common for B2B sales forces investing in Lead Generation to increase the size of opportunities in the funnel by 10%. What would 10% more opportunities translate to for your sales force?
- Shorter, Accelerated Sales Cycles – On average, qualified leads passed to the sales force have significantly shorter sales cycles than the average sales cycle.
- Faster Ramping New Sales Reps – It’s no coincidence that World class firms who invest in demand generation find significantly shorter ramping times than. How do you stack up to world class b2b sales forces shown below?
Redirect Sales efforts to High Productivity Efforts
Invest in lead generation and redirect valuable rep time to productive selling time. Three takeaways for sales leaders:
- Can’t afford to prospect with highly compensated sales personnel
- Can’t afford to wait for new sales reps to ramp over 12+ months
- Can’t afford to lose market share to competitors investing in demand generation
Invest in demand generation and lead management.