Give reps the right number of inquiries and the company is more profitable, sales turnover drops, reps make quota and marketing spending is predictable; fail at this and the company fails.
Do you give a salesperson five leads* in one month and twenty the next? Inconsistent inquiry flow leads to boom and bust reactions and it is the reason for many swings in revenue and failed pipelines.
If a sales rep gets too few inquiries momentum stagnates. If the next month they get slammed with a larger than normal influx of inquiries, follow-up fails as the representative makes a series of triage decisions based on what is known or not known about a lead and his or her available time.
If your marketing department tosses large numbers of qualified and unqualified leads to the rep, the ones with the least information (less qualification information) will be ignored. Because inquirers are also liars, especially those that may have a need to buy (they only reveal their intent when they get THEIR questions answered), many hot buyers are triaged because the reps have too much to do.
Serious buyers often are ignored because they had the ill fortune to inquire in a month that delivered too many prospects to their sales representative.
As the marketing manager (demand gen manager, marketing operations, etc.), you should answer this question:
“How many leads does each rep need to make his or her quota per product?”
The answer to this question affects sales productivity, sales rep turn-over, revenue, marketing spending, ROI on marketing, and company profitability.
Why it Matters:
"The answer to the question of how many leads a salesperson needs to make quota affects sales productivity, sales rep turn-over, revenue, marketing spending, ROI on marketing, and company profitability."
To determine the number of inquires and eventual leads a rep needs per month depends on averages:
- The average closing time (in months or weeks)
- The average closing percent
- The number of touches it takes to make a sale
- The average touches it takes to close out an average inquirer that does not buy
Do the math. With a little research, you’ll find out that depending on the answers you’ll figure out how many inquires a representative needs to make quota per month per product.
Why it’s Important:
“Inconsistent inquiry flow leads to boom and bust reactions and it is the reason for swings in revenue and failed pipelines.”
Tip #1: Research shows that 45% of all raw inquiries (and a much higher percentage of qualified inquires) will buy someone’s product in one year in B2B.
Tip #2: Give your rep 40 inquiries and there will be 18 buyers in the group buying at a consistent rate over one year. If your market share is 25% in the marketplace and leads (these are now leads) are follow-up 100%, even the so-so reps should have closed 4.5 sales. Great reps will do better. You can discount the closing radio by the drop in follow-up percentage. If the rep only follows up 50%, sales will drop by 50%.
If you have a marketing automation system and or an outbound telemarketing department doing all follow-up, you will win more than those who don’t have either.
Do the math or get out of marketing
*While we use the term inquiries and sales leads interchangeably most marketers consider inquires to be unqualified leads. SalesForce misnamed all inquiries sales leads and the definitions have been confusing ever since.