You can have an incredibly productive and successful outbound prospecting lead qualification team — but at the end of the day, if your sales reps are not held accountable for the qualified leads given to them then you might as well not have a lead qual team, at all.
Sounds harsh, right?
Well, it is. And you know what else is harsh? The reality that you just hired a team of callers that cost you north of six figures in year one to launch, and you didn’t break even with closed deals generated from their efforts. Now, that’s harsh!
So what do you do to make sure that your sales reps are held accountable for the appointments set up for them?
Here are my top 12 suggestions for keeping accountability strong:
- Build out your CRM with the appropriate fields, statuses, reports, and dashboards to reflect the hand off processes and conversions of leads to opportunities, etc.
- Train your sales reps in addition to your lead qual team on the hand off processes and what is expected of every role/how to use the CRM properly to reflect the output — have the process THOROUGHLY defined and documented.
- Design an SLA process that dictates that when the lead qualifier schedules an appointment between the lead and the rep and creates the email/outlook introduction, the rep will respond to the email and accept the calendar invite within X hours.
- Make sure that the lead qualifier knows EXACTLY what information about the lead (contact info/needs/pains/current solution, specific request for demo, etc.) to share with the sales rep and that it is logged appropriately into the CRM and calendar invite for preparation purposes.
- Management should be enforcing that all Outlook Calendars are completely up to date each week so that the appointments that are set by the lead qual team with hot leads are not in conflict with phantom calendar events. If preparation time is required to set up a demo, etc. make sure that is reflected in the calendar, as well.
- Your organization’s head of sales should be meeting on weekly basis with the outside reps to review the pipeline, including leads passed along by the lead qualifiers, and where they currently stand/what is the next step (NOT just the forecasted opportunities!).
- Enforce that EVERY single lead passed along should have a future follow up task logged/scheduled for either the rep or the lead qualifier.
- Have a defined process for the rejection of “qualified” leads passed along to the sales reps — how does the rep pass the lead back to the lead qualifier for him/her to manage if it has not met the qualification standards or if the rep can not get in touch with the individual(s)?
- Try as best as possible to set up your sales reps and lead qualifiers on a 1:1 ratio so that they can maintain regular contact each week to reflect on the leads passed over, next steps, areas for improvement, etc.
- Encourage your sales reps and lead qualifiers have regular strategy calls to break into the top accounts; this will build sense of teamwork and accountability.
- If you discover that many appointments/hot leads are falling through the cracks, penalize your reps for those appointments/opportunities created by the lead qualifiers that have been neglected.
- Send out a weekly update report to the entire sales organization and senior managers in the organization each week reflecting the conversion rates, appointments that went off that week, appointments that fell through that week, missing data, successes, etc.