TALKING SALES 188: “Marketing Issue 2: Sales lead follow up”

Sales Lead 03 - superman with text 700x440

“50% of all marketing leads are never followed up by the sales“ – A ‘Talking Sales’ discussion with John Bedwany and John Smibert

 

Does your sales organisation follow up on the majority of leads generated by marketing?  I bet you they don’t.

And if you’re not what damage is this doing to your brand. What is it doing to the likelihood of developing a trusted relationship with the prospective clients who registered interest?

John BedwanyIn this discussion with John Bedwany he told me 50% of marketing generated leads are not followed up – what a disastrous statistic (even if the quality of lead is not good). John emphasised that “we have a social responsibility, and we have an economic responsibility, to make sure that if any customer or prospect asks us to walk into their office, whether it’s a qualified lead or not, somebody has to follow up”.

“A lot of the sellers will not take an appointment if there’s no opportunity, yet this is one of the most powerful things to do”. We have lost the opportunity to start the process of building a relationship.

“We need to make sure that these sellers understand the power of getting in earlier of the sales cycle, and if there’s no opportunity, then pass it back to the marketing organisation and they’ll continue to nurture it

Watch this short 4 min video – or read the transcript – to understand why John believes it is essential that every lead, no matter the quality, must be actioned. And he talks about what we need to put in place to ensure this happens..

The sales productivity strategies discussed here should be of value to CEO’s COO’s, CSO’s and sales leaders.

************

John Bedwany is the CEO of The Database Dept.  He is a thought leader and a disruptive thinker who helps his clients achieve extraordinary productivity in sales and marketing.

Interview

John S: Hello, I’ve got John Bedwany with me again – welcome back again, John!

John B: Hi, John!

John S: Hey John, marketing challenge number two in a B2B environment that you put on the table is the issue of sales leads not being followed up.

John B: Correct.

John S: That’s a big issue, isn’t it? I’ve seen lots of organisations where marketing… It’s the biggest issue between marketing and sales. “Hey, we’ve done all this work on generating leads, and you guys aren’t following them up!”

John B: Correct. Let’s just look at the damage that causes. The problem we’ve got in the industry is, whether we like it or not, a lot of the marketing leads are not of the highest quality, and yet a lot of them are of the highest quality. As soon as you run a campaign where a customer says, “Yes, come in and see me!” and the salesman does not come and see them, what does that mean? What does that do to the relationship?

John S: If it happened to me, I got interested in something and nobody talks to me…

John B: It burns the brand, right?

Sales Lead 05 - brand damageJohn S: Absolutely! Why would I talk to the organisation again?

John B: Correct. A couple of key things here. What we’ve found is, shockingly, 50% of all leads that are generated by marketing are never followed up by the sales organisation or the channel organisation.

John S: And I’ll reaffirm that, I’ve seen numbers like that in a lot of organisations.

John B: Correct. Let me give you an analogy. You have a barbecue; you prepare your home, you go to an expense of getting your food and your drinks, everybody’s ready… no one shows up. How would you feel?

John S: If they were friends on some level, the friendship would be lost, wouldn’t it?

John B: Correct, and yet we’re doing this. What is that doing to your brand? We have a social responsibility and we have an economic responsibility to make sure that if any customer or prospect asks us to walk into their office, whether it’s a qualified lead or not, somebody has to follow up. So we need to make sure we have a closed-loop lead management process between sales and marketing. We are one organisation, we need to make sure that when we’re planning this campaign that the organisations and the contacts that we’re going to cover has a catcher, a sales catcher, a presales catcher, so that they are aware, so when the opportunity comes they can take the opportunity and they can actually follow it up, and then from then it’s up to whether it’s qualified or not.

John S: And based on the earlier discussions we’ve had, it’s not a one-off campaign anyway where you hit 1,000 people, it’s part of a strategic process, and you’re building relationship through that process. Only when you get a relationship to the right level do you pass it on to the salesperson, and therefore it is, in the old terms, qualified, it is in a form that the salesperson can do something with it.

Sales Lead 07 - pass the batonJohn B: And you’re on a very good point, multi-touch; multi-touch marketing, multi-touch selling. A lot of the sellers will not take an appointment if there’s no opportunity, yet this is one of the most powerful things to do. Before the customer wants to buy something, there’s a face-to-face engagement; they get to see who you are, they get to see your eyes, they get to touch your soul. So we need to make sure that these sellers understand the power of getting in earlier of the sales cycle, and if there’s no opportunity, then pass it back to the marketing organisation and they’ll continue to nurture it, so that when there is opportunity, they go, “ Jack or Jackie, welcome back! Now I’m ready to buy from you.”

John S: And you just said, “Continue to nurture it.” What you’re really saying there is don’t have the one-off campaign, they didn’t respond, let’s forget about them, and one day in the future we’ll call them up with another one-off campaign. It’s build the relationship.

John B: Build the relationship, strategic sales and marketing coverage based on how the customer wants to be integrated with.

John S: Okay, and the net result from what you’re saying is you’re no longer going to have 50% of people not being followed up by the sales guy, and all this lead generation that marketing people have put in won’t be wasted and you’ll get a much better return on investment.

John B: I think it’s a fireable offence, if an organisation asked you to come into their office and no one shows up.

John S: It’s a criminal offence, isn’t it?

John B: Absolutely.

John S: If you’re not following up with a customer… Yes, it is a fireable offence.

John B: It has to stop.

John S: But the organisation has to put the strategy and mechanisms in place to make it happen and to encourage people to do it, otherwise it’s no longer a firable offence, it’s the organisation’s fault.

John B: Exactly, and I go back to closed-loop lead management process.

John S: John, thank you very much – we’ll move on next time to marketing challenge number three.

John B: Thank you, John!

****************

More discussions with John Bedwany:

****************

john5-250x250-green-haloYour Invitation: I invite you to join the Strategic Selling group on LinkedIn where you can experience informative discussions with your peers and sales thought leaders on subjects like the one we have discussed here.

Please Share: If you valued this article, please  share via your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook social media platforms. I encourage you to join the conversation or ask questions. So feel free to add a comment on this post – I promise to respond. Please follow my LinkedIn post page and follow me here on the Strategic Selling Group. I also recommend you follow my associates in the SMA Sales Masterminds.

Your invitation to subscribe to this blog:  Please feel free to SUBSCRIBE HERE

John works with companies who are striving to grow high margin revenue by retaining customers, creating value for customers and strategically acquiring new customers. He loves successful and happy sales teams who are driving positive change for their customers. He coaches sales professionals who are keen to enhance their career. He helps them develop their skills and capabilities and enhance & leverage their personal brand.

Your Turn To Talk