If you are a sales person in an organization, and you have an inbound marketing program in place, do you know how to influence the leads that will ultimately end up in your sales funnel?
Well, let’s pretend you work in a perfect world where: A) Your marketing department is actively participating in an inbound lead generation program (not enough companies currently are!), and you have a great working relationship with them (not enough reps do!), B) you have an excellent tele-sales team that does initial follow-up on leads generated by marketing and knows how to qualify an inbound lead generated by marketing, C) tele-sales knows how to effectively record the necessary notes in the CRM so the sales team can understand how to effectively take over the conversation with the prospect in order to move them through the funnel, and, finally, D) sales has the support of the executive team in making sure this process is fluid.
Unfortunately, in the real world, there is a polarity between marketing and the outside sales team. In the above scenario, you have 3 engines: Marketing, tele-sales as a qualification function, and outside sales. In order to help the process, outside sales could help the process by helping to monitor some key KPIs in the process.
1) Reach Rate: How many meaningful conversations do the tele-sales team have with a prospect from a lead passed off from marketing? They should garner at least one piece of meaningful information to qualify as a positive interaction. Sales can help to define what “meaningful information” is. Look, data suggests that 50% of leads from an inbound marketing effort are not ready to buy and need to be nurtured. It is suggested that tele-sales should have at least a 15% success rate for this KPI.
2) Pass Rate: This is the % of leads that have been qualified by tele-sales in order for outside sales to actually follow up with a prospect to conduct a more in-depth discovery call. It is essential for outside sales to work with tele-sales to refine the information collected by tele-sales and define what leads are sales ready. This KPI goal should be in the 10% area.
3) Sales Pipeline Rate: This is the % of leads that actually show up on the sales team forecast. If your internal process allows the tele-sales to have access to the sales reps calendars, sales responsibility is to have an updated calendar in order to minimize any reschedules with the prospect. When a lead comes all the way through the pipeline and is a Sales Accepted Lead, my goodness, sales better be ready to proactively pursue. This KPI goal should be 80%.
So let’s do some quick math. For every 100 leads, eventually, 10 will be passed onto sales where 8 will end up on the sales forecast. We have not discussed another key KPI, Close Ratio (this is a whole different blog!), but in a well oiled inbound marketing system, any sales representative would love to have these type of leads end up in their lap. They are so much more qualified that traditional outbound marketing qualified leads.
So the ultimate advice to the sales team? Engage with marketing in how they are gaining leads at the top of the funnel, coach the tele-sales team on qualification, and enjoy the quality leads that come your way….and you will ultimately be less stressed reaching your quota!