Why the focus on the top of the funnel and lead development? A recent Sirius Decisions report showed that 80% of leads labeled “unqualified” by sales end up making a purchasing decision within (24) months of expressing initial interest. That’s 8 out of 10 leads leaking out of the sales funnel – lost revenue. Lead generation tackles this problem head on. With a lead management process, a company can nurture leads through their buying journey and be top of mind when the lead enters an active buying cycle.
Building a best in class Lead Management program includes…
- A process that is mapped to early stages of the buyer’s journey. Like a world class sales process, the lead management process has district stages, strategic activities, job aids and defined stage exit criteria. Leads progress through the process as they move from interest to intent.
- A team of Lead Development Reps who are responsible for nurturing leads through the early buying process and qualifying them as truly sales ready. Nurturing and selling are very different, but equally important. You want you sales reps focused on selling and your lead development reps focused on nurturing and qualifying.
So how do you know how many Lead Development Reps (LDRs) you need? Recall that Sales Force Sizing focuses on determining the optimal amount of sales capacity needed to properly service the market place. Therefore, when building your LDR team, it’s critical to match capacity with market opportunity.
A tool we often use in our client work is the Lead Generation Calculator. Based on revenue goals and average deal size, the tool calculates the number of leads required at each stage of the lead management process using B2B stage conversion averages. Knowing the number of leads needed to drive the revenue goal, the calculator determines LDR capacity and headcount.
Get the tool here: Lead_Gen_Calculator
Call to Action: Most sales reps complain they don’t have enough leads to hit quota. The data paints a different picture. There are enough leads, but you have to invest in nurturing them until they are ready to buy. If you’re a sales leader, take a good hard look at investing in a world class lead management process and lead development team. It’s a small investment when compared to the revenue potential.