Actually, Will Rogers said, "Nothing will spoil a big man’s life like too much truth." Big or small, man or woman, the truth can cause all kinds of issues, especially when it comes to sales lead management. When the truth about sales lead management policies and procedures are revealed for most companies, it is painful.
"Just because sales lead management is common sense doesn’t mean it’s common practice."
James Obermayer, author of "Managing Sales Leads"
To be fair, it’s only right to say that many people don’t know what the truth is when we speak of sales lead management. I don’t think there is such a thing as too much truth in sales lead management, so I guess it’s time we talked about it.
I believe there are 14 truths in B2B sales lead management (no doubt more, but I stopped at 14, you can add some):
- Prospects lie. Do not assume they are telling you the truth about anything but “I have issued a Purchase Order in your name.” Only then, with these words, can you believe that what they are saying.
- There is a difference between an inquiry and a lead. Leads are qualified inquiries. I don't care if Sales Force calls all prospects leads. They are wrong.
- 45% of all inquiries turn into a sale for someone within one year. This is known as the Rule of 45 from the book “Managing Sales Leads.”
- The time-frame for conversion may be shorter or longer than a year, but the conversion rate stays constant.
- Companies that follow-up 100% of their sales leads sell more than those who don’t.
- Companies that prove the ROI, or lack of it, for its sales inquiries will spend money on promotions that work and let their competitors spend money on everything else.
- A marketing manager who cannot prove the ROI for the lead generating dollars they spend are threatened with extinction. See item #13.
- Marketing management says it isn’t their job to report on the sales lead dispositions. They’re wrong. When they say this it is a cop-out and an excuse.
- Having a CRM system and/or a Marketing Automation system is no guarantee that a company is managing its sales leads. People manage leads with the tools given to them, software and AI are tools.
- A marketing automation system with follow-up and content delivery can increase sales from inquiries between 300-400%. Ok, maybe now that Marketing Automation is more common, it is only a 200% increase.
- Any follow-up by sales and marketing people increases the sales results. The greater the follow-up, the greater the sales return.
- The vast majority of all inquiries are never followed-up by a salesperson.
- Sales managers who won’t hold their salespeople 100% accountable for the sales inquiries and leads given to them will join the marketing managers on the threatened species list. See item #7.
- Inside salespeople have a higher sales lead follow-up rate than “outside” salespeople. This occurs mainly because of programs such as VanillaSoft which is a sales engagement program. It forces engagement.
These are the truths as I see ‘em. People have said to me that these are just plain common sense I guess they’re right.
It’s said the truth will set you free; in this case it may prompt you to write a sales lead management procedure document to match the sales procedures policy. document.
P.S. Whilst we're on the subject of truth, get a copy of Dan McDade's book, "The Truth About Leads" Published by Onsei and available from Amazon.