Collaboration between your Lead Qualification team and Sales Reps makes for a great sales environment.
There is a fine line, however, between healthy collaboration, and lead qualifiers becoming the sales team’s personal assistants.
In recent months, I’ve seen a number of sales reps asking more of their lead qualifiers than they should be — the grunt work, if you will. It’s the classic case of old saying — “give them an inch and they take a mile.”
Lets face it, most people view cold calling as an undesirable task. Lead qualifiers are hired to do this task (because they are hungry and aggressive), so it makes sense that this could eventually lead to sales reps thinking that the prospecting newbies can take care of all the other types of undesirable tasks as well, including scheduling, follow ups, salesforce.com maintenance, so on and so forth.
Okay, I get it… at expansion stage businesses, sometimes every one needs to help out here and there BUT…
The more that your lead qualification team is focused on your reps’ dirty work, the less time they will have to actually do what they were brought on board to do — scour the target market to find hot new opportunities to build the sales organization’s pipeline.
So how can this can this issue be prevented or resolved?
1. Make your sales reps aware of the responsibilities and goals of lead qualifiers team.
The best time to do this is when you are onboarding your new team. You want to set the expectations straight right from the start: this is what what the lead qualifiers are responsible for, these are the companies, titles, and regions they are going to be going after, here are the daily/weekly/quarterly goals that we have in place for them, here is how they are expected to structure their day, here is now they are going to be passing opportunities along to you, here’s what they will do in your CRM, here’s what you will need to do in your CRM here is how you are going to be passing opportunities back to them if they are not really opportunities, etc.
Get it all out there.
If your team is already in place, and you haven’t had this conversation — make it part of your next sales meeting. You likely have one every week, right?
2. Your lead qualification team needs a true advocate. This person could be a manager, player coach or team lead.
This individual needs to shield the team from noise and distractions. He/she should be responsible for helping their team stay motivated and focused on the small details, but at the same time the big picture.
He/she needs to step in if boundaries are being crossed (ie requests from the sales reps that are not aligned with goals and responsibilities), and make sure that all opportunities being created are quality and not falling through the cracks.
If you’ve got a lead qualification team or are in the process of building one, you know that it’s a big investment: time, resources, money. To get the most out of your investment and team, make sure that they are actually doing the job that you’ve got on their job description — not the grunt work tasks that your sales reps are trying to pass off to them.