Ask the Experts: What Key Things Do You Need in Place Before Launching a Lead Qualification Team?

In this first post of a four-part series, four industry experts share best practices for launching and managing a lead qualification team.

This week, in conjunction with a workshop OpenView is hosting on lead qualification management, we’ve gathered a panel of industry experts whose insight will help you tackle the biggest challenges lead qual managers face in building stronger pipelines and creating greater brand awareness for their companies.

In this four-part series we will provide you with their best practices, keys, and secrets to lead qualification success, from what it takes to get a team launched to the best ways to keep each member primed and motivated. The first question we asked them:

What are the key things you need to have in place before launching a lead qualification team?

Aaron Ross, creator of salesforce.com’s outbound prospecting team and co-author of Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com

Here’s a recipe for failure: Go hire some kids out of college and have them make 50-100 calls a day.

Here’s a recipe for success:

  • Executive Commitment that this is important to the company and we’ll make it work, regardless of the ups-and-downs of figuring it out. 
  • Adaptive Founders: A smart, first entrepreneurial rep or two who can experiment to figure out what prospecting techniques will work for your company.
  • A Starting List: A first prospects list or budget to build one.
  • Patience: Starting a lead qual team is easy, developing it into a team of experts who consistently generate high-quality results takes time.

And along the way other things are needed, like a clear Ideal Outbound Customer Profile, Salesforce.com or another CRM system, and perhaps something for email marketing, proven email templates, etc. But by getting entrepreneurial team founders they will figure it out along the way.

Mike Volpe, CMO Inbound Marketing at HubSpot

You need to have the right systems in place to track all of the marketing and sales data. Without data you cannot tune and improve the lead qualification process. You need a closed loop system between sales and marketing to make sure you can measure which marketing leads are working their way further into the sales process. This system needs to track all the activities of a lead qualification team, as well as all the data from marketing on the source and activity of the leads. With all the data in one place, it’s much more easily for you to understand what is happening with the qualification process and how it ties into the rest of your sales and marketing system.

John Barrows, Co-owner and Managing Partner of Kensei Partners

  • A clear understanding of your target market and the characteristics of great, average, and poor clients.
  • An understanding of the activity and stages what you will measure and track along with a baseline conversion ratio between each stage that you will measure them against.
  • A clear understanding of how far the lead gen team will take the lead before handing it off to the field, and the definition of what a “qualified lead” is.
  • Messaging and talking points.

Matt Bertuzzi, B2B Marketing Consultant at The Bridge Group

Big question. Let me share just one: Knowing your type of sale. SiriusDecisions talks about established market vs. new paradigm vs. new concept. Your type of sale guides your approach.

Everything flows from that – your goals (fully qualified opps or at-bats for Sales), your strategy (we are going to displace X, we’ll get them spending money on Y or we’ll show them how badly they need us), and your tactics (we’ll spend our energies here and not there).

If you start with tactics, or, worse yet, metrics that don’t match your type of sale, you are setting the team up to fail.

Check back in next Wednesday, when the roundtable reconvenes to take on the biggest challenges involved with managing a lead qualification team.

Share Your Thoughts

  • http://twitter.com/Wes_Schifone Wes Schifone

    This is great stuff, although I’m not with an OpenView portfolio company (although we are across the street basically), I was wondering if there will be any additional outputs from this event? i.e. meetings notes, best practice whitepaper? Great panel and I’d love some insight from these folks…