Turning a new lead qualification team into a well-oiled machine takes time, but focusing on these key elements will ensure it’s time well-spent and that a stronger, more productive sales pipeline is the result.
If you’ve made the proper preparations your lead qualification team should have everything in place it needs to succeed. But no matter how good the game plan, you still have to ensure they execute, and it’s all but guaranteed things aren’t going to run 100% smoothly right out of the gate.
In the four videos below, OpenView’s Director of Sales and Marketing Support Devon McDonald walks you through the keys to reducing ramp up time and getting the most out of your team. From making the time for regular retrospectives and call shadowing to knowing how to recognize and discourage problems like cherry-picking and other short-cuts before they persist.
8 Keys to Managing Your Lead Qualification Team Successfully
Launching a lead qualification team is obviously only half the battle. Effectively managing and motivating your new team requires an ongoing effort, but as McDonald explains in this video, it’s the following eight key elements that require the most focus from sales managers, especially in the beginning.
- Meetings: Scheduling weekly group retrospectives as well as weekly 1-on-1′s with reps is key to developing a constant understanding of what’s going well, what’s not, and what improvements can be made.
- Verticals: Managers need to understand and select the best buyer personas their reps should be selling to.
- Asset Creation: The manager needs to work with the marketing team to develop conversation guides, email templates, lists of objections and rebuttals — everything the sales team needs to be successful when speaking with any particular buyer persona.
- Call Shadowing: Managers should take time to be on the floor to listen to what the team is saying on calls.
- Inter-team Communication: Are appointments lead qualifiers hand off to sales reps being followed up on? The connection between the two teams needs to be fluid.
- Reporting: Managers will be required to report accurate progress and results to executives.
- Analysis and CRM Compliance: Managers need to look at conversions and make sure that all leads are going from point A to point B.
- Motivation: Sales reps need to be hungry in order to get the job done.
Ditch the Scripts and Give Your Reps a Conversation Guide
Your lead qualification reps will never sound natural reading word-for-word from a script that someone else wrote for them. How can you avoid robotic sales calls? Provide salespeople with a conversation guide that helps them engage prospects in organic conversations. I
n this video, McDonald explains that a conversation guide is a one-page document that outlines the flow of sales call and provides several key items the rep should either say or ask on a call, which include:
- A basic introduction
- Your crystal-clear value proposition
- Pains typically experienced by people in the prospect’s role at their type of organization
- Qualifying questions
- Suggestions and a transition to the next step: an appointment, call, or demo with your rep
“Again, it’s one page, not word-for-word,” McDonald says. “An outline of what you want your lead qualifier to achieve when he or she has a live conversation with a prospect.”
It’s always going to exist, McDonald admits, but it’s the sales manager’s responsibility to keep cherry-picking at a minimum. He or she should make sure that salespeople aren’t giving up on prospects too early.
If they initially catch a prospect at a difficult time, they should be following up and reengaging them when it’s more opportune to do so. And they shouldn’t be settling on contacting just one prospect on a sales list — it may be useful to speak with other decision-makers at an organization, as well.
“It’s your job as a manager to really examine your CRM to make sure that leads aren’t slipping through the cracks,” says McDonald.
Make Sure Your Leads Are Really Being Exhausted
How can you tell if your sales leads are really being exhausted? By meaningfully investigating their status, says McDonald in this video.
- Has a follow-up been scheduled? If not, these leads may slip through cracks.
- Qualified leads should be your highest priority. They’re interested, but not quite ready for the next step. It is absolutely crucial that follow-up tasks and touch points be scheduled in order to assure these aren’t left to go cold.
For more detailed advice on how to determine whether your sales leads are being exhausted, watch the short video.