Wouldn’t it be nice if you were fed a continuous diet of qualified leads? How much more productive you could be if all you had to do was close deals all day. Imagine the volume! Imagine the bonus! Imagine is right.In spite of promises that you will receive “the Glengarry leads” - those types of leads are much more mythical than fact.
I worked with a client that was in a growth spurt, and they were hiring lots of people in a short time. One of the things that attracted a lot of people was the promise of hot leads - marketing qualified leads, digital leads, and Sales Development Rep (SDR) generated leads. As a field salesperson, your time prospecting and making cold calls would be minimal because your dance card would be so full with leads generated for you by someone else.
Guess what happened?
More salespeople were hired than marketing could generate leads for.
More salespeople were hired who were to share the leads generated by the new SDR team.
New salespeople taking longer than was intended to generate their first, second, third and fourth deals. Why? They were waiting for someone else to make their life easier.
Yes. There were a few new salespeople who came with a deal in their pocket and had a quick win. But the ones who really succeeded are the ones who stuck to blocking and tackling. The ones who knew that while it is great to get your share of leads from marketing and from SDRs, you should be treating those as gravy. You’ve got to plant your own seeds if you expect to harvest.
We all know that activities generate sales. Make cold calls. Knock on doors. Do your networking. Build your pipeline.
We helped our client quickly update their sales enablement and training program to focus on starting with activities to build a pipeline. Weekly objectives were set, which should lead to key results. We focused on building skills for building rapport with prospects, having good conversations, and doing discovery. Good conversations led to demos, which led to proposals, which led to closed sales. Then after six weeks, the sales director and new salesperson reviewed their results and productivity and adjusted the number of activities (mostly up).
Guess what happened?
Slow and steady won the race. And the sales team was able to respond more effectively to the marketing and SDR generated leads. Sales went up. We got results.