December 4th, 2010 by Mark Galloway
Leads Need To Be Led
How many times have you heard a sales colleague say they need more leads? It seems like a very familiar mantra, especially in this constrained market. Funny thing about “leads”, they are not always ready to buy when we are ready to sell. Some are not destined to be, others have possibilities, while a few are probably in the “red zone” and are in fact in the mood to buy. But which ones are which?
This is particularly difficult to discern in the complex B2B buying cycle because of the wide range of roles that are involved in the typical purchasing decision. A busy sales professional trying to meet quota for the quarter might not think speaking with a non-executive contact is worthy of their time investment. On the other hand, this mid-level manager might actually be playing a significant role in the buying process with responsibility for researching and evaluating how his/her firm can solve a business problem or improve a languishing process. But, because this “lead” doesn’t have the typical “executive level” title, it is assumed they don’t play a significant role in the buying process and are overlooked.
Think about an alternative scenario for a moment. What if this mid-level manager contact were treated with significance. They were actually asked a lot of thoughtful and insightful questions about their particular scenario. They were treated as though they might be a significant player in their firm’s evolving buying process. What if we not only made several attempts to connect with this mid-level manager, but after we had an initial conversation, we followed up with helpful information that will actually help set us apart from other “vendors” and instead set us up as an “expert” in the mind of this influential contact.
Leads need to be led. Don’t They?