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Disciplined Lead Qualification improves sales performance

Recent studies show that sales people want selling time more than sales leads.  Best practice driven companies are recognizing that it is futile to continue to pass marketing driven inquiries directly to sales before they are rigorously qualified as “sales ready.” 

Last week, I visited with a CEO who was really upset with his marketing team because he felt they were generating a lot of “junk leads.”  He said, “I don’t think my sales people will invest any more time calling marketing generated leads until I pay them to do so.”  That may sound extreme but numerous studies have shown that 70 – 80% of leads are never contacted by a sales person. 

We must realize that the extreme time pressure salespeople face—especially those with a complex sale—requires them to ignore what is not immediately relevant and highly likely to produce revenue. Why? They are not paid to do anything else. And that makes quality more important than quantity to them.

Today’s article, in MarketingSherpa, is on point because it argues that marketing must drive the entire lead qualification process.  In addition, they found that phone calls aka telemarketing is the single best way to qualify leads and provide some great tips on how to do it right.  How to Qualify Sales Leads for IT Products & Services via Telemarketing

Related post: How to ensure every single lead is followed up on

My company has tried and tested a number of different lead qualification and scoring approaches for our clients.  We have found that using the phone – aka teleprospecting – is the single best way to qualify leads as part of a overall lead management process.  No other tactic is as accurate when it comes to collecting the qualitative information salespeople require to justify pursuing a prospective lead. The phone is timely, interactive, and personal—the perfect combination of assets for building a relationship.

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