ceo_guide_to_better_leadsMost sales professionals have relied for too long on Marketing to provide leads.  In addition, they complain the leads are unqualified and a waste of time.  The irony is that most sales professionals are not producing their own opportunities.  All you have to do is open CRM and pull up the pipeline dashboard.  Inspect how many opportunities exist in the pipeline.  Sales Managers, there is a way to teach reps to get better leads.


In this post, we will discuss how to develop better quality leads.  Downloading the Opportunity Qualifier Guide, helps build a healthier top of the funnel.  In addition, it helps the team become more efficient with their prospecting time.  First, let us review some watch outs.


Managers allow their reps to spend too much valuable time looking for prospects.  They will use a list or comb the internet with no sense of direction.  This is highly inefficient use of one of the company’s most valuable resources.  Below is the evidence you have this problem.


  1. Pipeline Volume– This reflects revenue in the pipeline.  Depending on the reps closing average, you should have a minimum of 3X quota.
  2. Pipeline Velocity– This speaks to the speed in which opportunities travel from one stage to another.  A clogged pipeline means stalled deals. Stalled deals means the rep does not know how to spot the buyer.
  3. Pipeline Regression– If deals are moving backwards you have a lead qualification problem.  Reps are having a hard time assessing where the deal sits in process.
  4. Pipeline Shape– If your pipeline looks like a wedge vs. a nail you have corrupt data.  This is happening because too many unqualified opportunities are coming into the funnel.  Your pipeline becomes bloated up top.  As the opportunity moves through the funnel, the rep attempts to qualify the deal.  A best practice is to qualify the deal prior to pipeline entry


CSO’s “Sales Force Optimization Study” showed capturing new accounts is a priority for organizations.  To do this effectively you need a game plan to develop better leads.  Below is a 5-step process to get you started.  You can also download the Opportunity Qualifier Guide.



Step 1– The Ideal Prospect- You need a deep level understanding of who is the buyer.  What do they want? How do they make a purchasing decision?  You need to do this by market, account, and down to the buyer level.  This allows for focused prospecting activities.


Step 2– The Ideal Prospect Finder- Marketing should have this information.  At some point, your customers were interviewed.  Through that process, your team should have captured where your buyer consumes content.  Some of the most common places are LinkedIn groups, trade shows, associations, etc.


Step 3– Nurture Ideal Prospects- Not all leads are ready to buy.  You have to know how to move the buyer along their purchasing decision.  Doing this takes skill.  You have to spot the buyer; then start your nurturing campaign from that point.


Step 4– Offer Creation- Your ideal prospects have market problems they are trying to solve.  You have to know those market problems then create an offer that stimulates them.  Creativity is the key here.  Sending the same piece of marketing materials to your buyers is insane.


Step 5– Offer Consumption- The internet and apps are giving buyers access to mass information at any time.  It’s important that you understand how your prospects are accessing and consuming the content.   This will accelerate how you engage with your prospects.


In order for a prospect to agree to meet, you must capture their interest. The best way to do this is to improve targeting efforts. This means careful selection of the right types of companies, decision makers and opportunities.  The Opportunity Qualifier Guide walks you through the entire process.




Andrew Urteaga

Helps motivate clients to design and implement new sales and marketing strategies so that they stay on track to make their number.

Clients describe Andrew as an industry thought leader. He has deep experience as an executive, having served in multiple positions as a sales leader, with a track record of outstanding performance in F500 companies.


Prior to joining SBI, Andrew held the position of VP of Sales at Avis Budget Group where he was responsible for sales and marketing leadership. He also held a variety of positions with Cintas Corporation, a Fortune 500 multi-national company, including key quota carrying positions in the sales force from sales rep through to executive leadership.


Andrew’s work has included everything from lead generation, campaign planning and sales process to designing complete sales management coaching programs and new compensation plans.

Read full bio >