For the companies that master it, successful lead qualification can result in healthier sales pipelines and greater brand awareness. Building a high performing lead qual team poses its challenges, however, and once up and running, the work of a sales manager doesn’t stop there. He or she has to find ways to keep each member energized and engaged, primed for short term and long term goals, as well.
Luckily, when OpenView hosted a workshop on lead qualification management, we took the opportunity to ask a panel of industry experts to shed light on these challenges, and this resulting roundtable series provides you with their best practices and secrets to lead qualification success. In previous posts we discussed the key things managers need to have in place in order to successfully launch a lead qualification team and the biggest challenge of managing a lead qualification team. This week’s question:
What are the best ways to keep lead qualifiers focused and motivated?
Mike Volpe, CMO Inbound Marketing at HubSpot
Use metrics and reporting, and make those numbers public. The idea is to use the fact that everyone will see the report to create the right social pressure to do the activities they need to do to stay on track. The team managers also need to be high energy, and become coaches that the qualifiers see as helping them grow and earn more money. You put the system in place, build trust in the qualifiers that the system works, and then make it easy for them to perform within the system.
John Barrows, Co-owner and Managing Partner of Kensei Partners
Have each of the qualifiers try different approaches and track them to see which ones work best. That way not only should they stay interested by switching things up, they’re also constantly refining and improving their efforts. You can also encourage them to take ownership in the program by assigning educational or development tasks for them to research and present to the team. Managers need to be consistently and actively coaching their teams, taking a “lead by example” approach. In order to stir up healthy competition they should also consider introducing contests and gamification approaches, as well.
Trish Bertuzzi, President and Chief Strategist at The Bridge Group
Let’s roll focus and motivation together. It is hard to stay focused on a long term goal. For example it is much easier to stay on a diet if you have to lose 10 lbs rather than 50, right? You can see the endgame in front of you and are less prone to fall off the wagon and lose focus and motivation.
So, using that theory, develop short term goals that are easy to achieve. You will always have the long term goals (quota, number of appointments, etc.), but intersperse them with activity goals that even the B and C players have a shot at attaining. And, most importantly, celebrate the wins! Achieving a goal is not that much fun if no one notices and you don’t get recognized.
Finally, if you, as the leader, aren’t energized and excited, how do you expect your team to feel? The best motivator in the world is for you to get on the phone and show them that you know how to do their job and that you’re good at it. Leadership by example motivates!
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
Focus on quality over quantity (fewer, better leads). A rep often gets better results and feels better by living up to high quality standards rather than being pressured to throw over lots of “stuff”. For example, it’s better to generate 10 Sales Qualified Leads than 20 Marketing Qualified Leads per month.
Coach them; don’t micro-manage them. Stop thinking or saying “make more calls,” and instead sit down and go through exactly what is getting in the way of a qualifier’s success. Find out what’s important to your rep at work and in life, and help them get it — even if you don’t think it’s relevant to the job. The more you work for them, the more they’ll work for you.
Develop them. Help the team grow and learn every week, and make sure each member has a career path. Take the time to teach them or expose them to things outside of sales, as well.
Check back in next Wednesday, when we’ll conclude the roundtable with a list of required reading for lead qualification success.
Photo by: David Fulmer