The Leads Are Weak!
One pervasive battle in any company is the ownership of “Leads.” What we mean by this is that there are two camps that are often PRAISED or BLAMED for the quality of the Leads. Depending on the company, Leads might be owned by Marketing and are often measured by “# of MQLs or SQLs Created / Converted.”
If you are in the Sales world you’ve heard or read the quotes from the movie Glengerry Glen Ross:
Sales Rep: “The leads are weak.”
Boss: “The leads are weak?! You’re weak!”
We know the drill. We’ve not only watched this movie – we’ve experienced it in real life.
First, some definitions and brief description of the process:
MQL = Marketing Qualified Lead
A Lead that has gone from being a Suspect (anyone in your Target Market Universe) to a Prospect (a person within your Target Market who has expressed interest and taken an action of some sort i.e. downloaded a whitepaper, filled out a contact me form, etc).
SQL = Sales Qualified Lead
An MQL that has been further qualified via an introductory call of some sort. The Lead is within your Target Market, has Expressed Interest/Taken Action and has been verbally qualified (according to your company’s criteria) via a live conversation.
Once a Lead has become an SQL it then begins its buyer’s journey through your sales funnel and is primarily the responsibility of Sales (not Marketing) to “work the Lead.” Yes, there are instances where Marketing will continue to support Sales efforts to nurture the Lead through the funnel – but this is primarily the job of the sales rep.
Marketing is often compensated through some combination of both “# of MQLs” put into the top of the funnel and “# of SQLs” converted. Ideally, the focus is on “# of SQLs” converted – but here is where some tension is introduced.
How many times have we heard Marketing complain that “they sent over plenty of good leads but the sales people are not doing a good job of qualifying and converting them?”
And how many times have we heard Sales complain that “the leads are weak.” (Sound familiar?)
In light of this tension – we submit to you that both Sales and Marketing are both missing the point in measuring Leads. In other words, you are doing it wrong.
It is obvious that the Top of the Funnel isn’t a good enough measurement as it can be filled with junk and overwhelm the entire sales funnel and the sales reps time.
What Sales Leaders need is quantifiable data that shows the activities that the reps are performing on certain Lead types. If the Sales Leader can quantify that her reps are doing these 5 actions on all Leads from xyz.com website and none of them are converting – then the Sales Leader can justifiably say that “the leads are weak.”
Likewise, if the Marketing Leader can see that the reps are NOT performing the right sales activities on Leads from xyz.com website than he can justifiably say that “the reps are weak.”
But measuring and tracking the details of each activity and cross-referencing (and following!) the Lead through the Sales Funnel is an overwhelming exercise. It can be done manually but your Sales Ops people are not going to be doing anything else and they are gonna hate you.
What is needed is a system that looks at your ENTIRE sales process from Lead to Close. The system needs to track the Cycle Time of each Lead BY LEAD TYPE. It also needs to track the Sales rep activities of each Lead BY LEAD TYPE.
Armed with this data, only then can you truly measure and analyze the quality of Leads, their origins and whether or not your sales team is doing the right job.
So, yes – you can do this manually. And some reporting can yield some of this information but it will usually fall short of tracking the proper sales rep activities. An alternative would be to license a 3rd party business insights tool to mine this data – or give us a call at SalesDirector.ai and we can show you how we track each activity and tie it back to Lead Type and Sales Reps.
You’ll finally learn whether or not your leads are weak or if your sales reps are weak! You can then start talking about how to attract and convert the higher quality leads.