A sales lead is a sales lead is a sales lead, right? I think not. I’ve gotten lots of leads from marketing groups that were so bad that they weren’t even worth looking at. To compound the insult, my blockhead sales manager would insist that I follow up on all of these duds. He didn’t last very long because his sales reps were not productive enough.
What was wrong with those leads? To begin with, these leads were not qualified. They had a low probability of closing at the outset. They might have been good for marketing to start a campaign with but certainly, they were not sales-ready. Many didn’t even have a need for my product because they had signed up for something like a free shirt at a trade show.
So a good sales lead tool would qualify leads for me and the rest of the sales reps.
In Web 0.0, readers of print ads could fill out “Reader Service” cards that we called bingo cards. What was laughable was that the bingo cards would arrive on my desk several months after the print ad was published. So even if the sales lead was qualified, it had gone stale. And you wonder why sales doesn’t align with marketing…
So a good sales lead tool should deliver the lead in a timely fashion.
Now we have defined two characteristics of good sales leads – timeliness and quality. By extension, a good sales lead tool would deliver at the precise moment the lead needs attention from the sales rep that is assigned.
Within the definition of qualified leads, there will still be a variation in priority. For example, leads that close in 90+ days will have a lesser priority than those that close in 30 days. A good sales lead tool will nurture those longer-term leads and re-grade them higher when they show pre-defined behaviors. A great tactical tool feature is one that alerted the sales rep after the prospect clicked through on a one-to-one email from the sales rep.
In Web 2.0, website visitors fill out ‘Contact Us’ forms. What is powerful about this is that unlike the bingo cards, they arrive immediately, and if the website is properly equipped, they also arrive with intel like how they found your page, what their search term was, how many times they’ve been to your website, what they did when they visited your website, what their company does, where it is located, and how big it is. Now we have the core of an Ideal Sales Lead Tool. They exist today. To not use one is at your own peril in the Web 2.0 world.
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About Fred Yee
Fred Yee is the founder and CEO of ActiveConversion, a company that makes online marketing work for industrial companies. Fred was voted as one of the 40 Most Inspiring Leaders in Sales Lead Management in 2017, and his work with ActiveConversion has helped hundreds of businesses succeed online. ActiveConversion is Fred’s third successful company, and he continues to explore the possibilities of technology in industrial sales and marketing.