I agree. Not all sales operations divisions are involved in Lead Generation. But then again, sales operations divisions haven’t been around that long. They have evolved in the last decade. They will continue to evolve. Data is getting bigger and revenue targets tighter. Sales Operations needs to understand lead data at a more granular level. How good is the data at the top of the funnel? How will it affect conversion rates as a lead moves from opportunity to close?
There are 3 key benefits of taking a stake in Lead Generation:
- Forecasts are more accurate: You will plan your resources effectively to make the number.
- Marketing and Sales stop pointing the finger: Everyone is happy when Sales and Marketing are in alignment.
- You avoid the institution of Marketing Operations: This new division is taking resources and influence away from Sales Operations.
If you were recently hired into a Sales Ops role you may ask yourself: What quick wins will ensure my influence in the organization? Sit down with your CEO or VP of Sales. Indicate your strategic vision to transform forecasting. Tell him your goal is to house all revenue-relevant data. Show him your Lead Data Dashboard.
Download the Lead Data Dashboard here to ensure your data is accurate and you make the number
The Dashboard has helped these Sales Operations leaders. It is a springboard for much deeper analysis:
Tony from Multi-Media Inc.
Problem: “Marketing sent us 1,000 leads in January (all numbers rounded). We have an Average Selling Price (ASP) of $50,000. Our Opportunity to Close ratio is historically 30%. We closed 35% last month. This was a big success. Still, we missed our forecast for revenue generated from leads by $500,000. If we kept that up we would be $6M off for the year.”
Root Cause: Lower ASP than forecasted. The leads had been vetted for Budget, Authority, Needs and Timing (BANT). It had been determined they had the budget to move forward. Unfortunately, the budget “gate” was lower than the ASP (it’s only an average after all). Smaller budget leads are often attracted to the big savings your product promises.
Solution: Go beyond BANT. Score leads based on their propensity to buy. Do you offer solutions valued in the lead’s industry? Does region affect their decision? Are they a B2B company or B2C? How many interactions have they had with your organization? Implementing a lead scoring system will help you draw key insights in lead data.
Clare from SaaS & Co.
Problem: “Marketing ran a great campaign. Entitled “Technology for Dummies”, it brought in 25% more leads than last quarter. Sales ran with the leads. They came back mad as hell. They had wasted crucial selling time calling people not in the market. These leads were interested in technology. They considered themselves dummies. But they had no need for Software as a Service. Marketing got a pat on the back. We were left smiling and dialing to make up for lost productivity.”
Root Cause: The leads were not a persona match for our client’s service. The campaign was too general. It was provocative but not targeted. Everyone wanted easy fixes to complex technology issues.
Solution: Avoid the “Cheap Bump”. Leads not in the market for your services are time killers. They are worse than no leads at all. Institute a Lead Quality Score. Using your Salesforce Automation, leads can be matched to personas. Take the leads matched to a persona and divide by the number of total leads generated. Multiply this number by your forecasted revenue.
Ensure Your Influence
You only get one chance to make a first impression. The first month is critical in determining your role in the organization. Few Sales Operations leaders are focusing on Lead Generation. Chances are your predecessor did not. Bringing new insights early indicates you are a transformational leader. Using your expertise to clean all revenue-relevant data will ensure accurate forecasts. Properly aligning resources allows you to make the number. Doing so quickly sets the tone. You will send a message to leadership. They will come to you with questions, not just directives. They will look to you to lead and be willing to follow.