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The official blog of AG Salesworks, Sales Prospecting Perspectives will give readers an insight to the challenges of managing a targeted outbound Sales Prospecting effort and team.

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How Do You Hold Sales Accountable for Leads Passed?

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Last week I started talking about the common reasons why sales reps don't follow-up on the leads that marketing and inside sales provides.  Today I will look at the importance of soliciting feedback in a structured way and how to hold your sales reps accountable for following up on the leads that you are delivering to them.

*Nobody holds the sales team accountable for providing feedback on the leads they have received*

I joined a book club last year figuring it was just a thinly veiled excuse to get together once a month, drink wine and catch up with my friends.  Sure, we were "assigned" a book to read and I did make every attempt to finish it but time got away from me and I ended up skimming the last half.  When I arrived to the first book club one of the girls pulled out a list of talking points and questions to get our feedback on the novel.  It became apparent to the group that I had not finished reading the book and wasn't able to answer most of the questions.  You can be sure that I read each subsequent book in its entirety after that.  By asking follow-up questions to elicit feedback from all of the members of my book club, the host held us accountable for doing the reading and kept us engaged in the discussion.  The same can be said for holding your sales reps accountable for giving feedback on the sales leads that you are delivering.  If they know that nobody is going to circle back and check up on the leads then they are more apt to brush them off or not be as proactive in their follow-up.

The qualified opportunities that you are delivering may end up falling into a black hole if you don't have a closed-loop process in place to ensure that they are being followed up on.  You could be delivering an optimal amount of sales opportunities and your sales reps might even be pleased with the quality at first glance.  So you might continue along, thinking that your lead generation program is running along smoothly, only to find out at the end of the quarter that the closed business percentage from your campaign is 0%.  Had you been getting real time feedback from your reps you could have made changes as needed and held them accountable to follow-up appropriately.

This challenge prompted my colleagues and I to develop a closed-loop process aimed at soliciting and tracking feedback on the leads that we deliver to our clients.  This is all tracked in our CRM system and can be reported on at any time.  It gives our clients real-time visibility into the quality of our leads and helps them to determine the ROI of the campaign.  It also holds each sales rep accountable for following-up on every lead that they are given.  By tracking which reps give us the highest percentage of feedback, our clients can even determine who to assign and not assign future opportunities to.

Of course everyone needs to be on the same page as to what defines a qualified sales opportunity.  If everyone has a different definition then challenges can arise.  I will talk more about this next week.


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