The Front End to a Viable Sales Funnel

planning

The key to a healthy, viable sales funnel begins at Teleprospecting. Determine the number of Marketing Qualified Leads for each Teleprospecting team (I recommend at least 150 leads per person). Then, verify their access to these leads.  Lastly, apply the Teleprospecting Best Practices recommend in my blogs.

Be sure to keep these 6 points in mind, as you establish and expand your teleprospecting team.

  1. The Sales Funnel is King! Instill collaboration between Sales & Marketing to ensure a quality sales funnel. These departments must develop and agree on qualification criteria and other key metrics, to ensure consistent sales funnel growth. Revenue growth will cease without quality Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) and a healthy Sales Funnel.
  1. Hire experienced staff. The Teleprospecting team is most often the first contact a prospect will contact, within a company. Therefore, it is counter-productive to assign entry-level employees to these positions. They lack experience in selling complex solutions and communicating with senior-level executives. With a history of nearly 30 years, experienced professionals are readily available to hire. This is one decision your company will not regret.
  1. Focus Teleprospectors on one Solution. Efficiency begins to decrease as telemarketing teams become responsible to sell & learn multiple products or solutions, especially if they are complex. Focus delivers a quality sales funnel.
  1. Develop and implement Kay Performance Indicators (KPIs), or metrics, to manage a team. Once the KPIs have been established, assign each team to create a plan that outlines a process to reach their goals. This empowers team members to carry out each task and take responsibility to meet their objectives. Managers may work alongside the Teleprospecting teams to ensure the practicality of these plans. These plans also provide a blueprint to manage activities and measure results, for the Manager, as well as the Teleprospector. (See my blog for details here).
  1. Develop a Teleprospecting Playbook. A Teleprospecting Playbook is a set of tools that guide Teleprospectors through the qualification process for Complex Solutions. This playbook must be written and assembled by individuals with sufficient knowledge, such as expert from Product Marketing or Sales.
  1. Build compensation plans that drive desired behavior. A satisfying compensation plan motivates Teleprospectors to excel at their duties. Create compensation plans that focus on the Sales Funnel and generate revenue growth.

These 6 points will allow you to create a strong front-end for your sales funnel. By applying these best practices, your team will produce a healthy, robust sales funnel, providing for an increase in revenue growth.

 

Alicia Assefa has been managing Teleprospecting and Inside Sales teams for the past 15 years. She is the author of the bestselling eBook “Teleprospecting for Executives Who Sell Complex Solutions”, which is available on Amazon here.

Mapping the Teleprospecting Process into your CRM

Mapping the Teleprospecting process into your CRM will help ensure that the process is being used consistently by all parties. You need to build a workflow that manages Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)-to-Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)-to-the Sales Funnel process which can be easily reviewed and approved by the Teleprospecting Manager and managed effectively by the sales team. Additionally, this process ensures that your field or inside sales teams are following up on SQLs in a timely manner. Finally, you want to see which SQLs are approved by sales and then added to the Sales Funnel as well as which SQLs are rejected and sent back to Teleprospecting (for follow-up) or Marketing (nurture).

If a SQL is rejected, you need to know why. Rejected SQLs can provide important information for marketing and Teleprospecting managers. Teleprospectors whose SQLs are frequently rejected might need training. If training doesn’t help, they need to be removed from the position. Another reason SQLs may be rejected from a particular industry segment might be because your messaging is off for that target. Rejected leads provide valuable information about your employees’ abilities, messaging, sales acceptance, and targets. Make sure that you capture the reasons for rejection and use this information to continuously improve the process and skills of your team.

Capture the Right Data

When you have determined your qualification criteria, add these as fields to your CRM. Companies often have their Teleprospectors and sales teams put information in a notes section. Most CRMs have notes fields, which are unstructured text fields where data is entered randomly by reps. Reporting on this data is extremely difficult, which prevents a company’s ability to effectively gather market intelligence to continuously improve their marketing and messaging. The randomness of information creates frustration for sales teams who need to quickly assess if the SQL is viable. When specific qualification criteria are added as distinct fields:

  • Management can run reports. For example, if “Key Initiatives” is a drop down field highlighting initiatives that redirect to your solution, managers can get a sense of real key initiatives of prospects. As these may change over time, you are still able to gain insights from this data.
  • The sales organization can have a template for reviewing all SQLs. Once the sales reps get into the habit of checking the information, they will be able to easily assess the quality of SQLs prior to the first call.
  • Teleprospectors can follow the information given while using their Call Guide. This way, important qualifiers won’t be missed as they speak to prospects.
  • The Teleprospector managers can have the information at their fingertips. They can quickly scrutinize SQLs for their compliance with the qualification criteria. If data is missing, the Teleprospector can go back to collect additional details. These details provide an overview of the SQL/Company landscape and are highly coveted by Sales.

If qualification data is crammed into notes, it will be very difficult for managers to validate and quickly understand the quality of each lead. The SQL process slows down and the sales team becomes frustrated as the sales reps are required to read through clusters of unstructured data. Therefore, add the key qualification criteria into your CRM to make this process more efficient. Your CRM will become an easy to manage prospect map that your sales teams will appreciate.

 

Teleprospecting Best Practices for Complex Solutions

For the most part, my experience has been in the design and implementation of Teleprospecting organizations for companies that sell complex technology solutions. During my years as a consultant and employee, I have developed a set of Best Practices that enable Teleprospecting teams to successfully drive Sales Funnel growth. Essentially, there are 6 Teleprospecting Best Practices that I have found to be the most effective:

  1. Marketing and Sales should be focused on the Sales Funnel. The Sales Funnel is King! Marketing and Sales should both be responsible for building a quality Sales Funnel. These two departments need to work together and agree on the lead qualification criteria and other key metrics that will ensure that a quality Sales Funnel is being built and is consistently growing. Both teams should be responsible for the quality of sales qualified leads (SQLs) since they are the source of a healthy Sales Funnel that produces revenue growth. Therefore, the implementation of a process for tracking the quality of SQLs is a key factor to the growth of the Sales Funnel.
  1. Hire experienced staff. In most cases, the Teleprospecting team is the first contact that prospects will have with your company. It is therefore counter-intuitive to put your most junior people on the front lines. They have neither the experience to navigate the complexities of a complex solution nor the ability to speak with Senior Level Executives. Furthermore, since Teleprospecting has been around for nearly 30 years, “Seniors” are readily available. Hire experienced people and you won’t regret it.
  1. Focus Teleprospectors on one solution. You can’t expect your teams, Juniors or Seniors, to be effective if they have to learn and sell multiple Complex Solutions.  From my experience, Teleprospectors are more successful when they are focused on qualifying for a specific solution. If your company sells multiple solutions, divvy out responsibilities and focus each person on a specific solution. This focus enables team members to become experts at qualifying for the specific solution and will result in better leads for your sales teams.
  1. Develop and implement Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), or metrics, to manage your team. Effective KPIs can include metrics such as:
  • Total Key Conversations with prospects who can move the sales process forward
  • Size of the Teleprospecting Funnel, which should be at least 3X your monthly SQL quota
  • Achievement of the monthly SQL quota

Effective KPIs are the metrics that directly impact your ability to meet your stated objectives. Total daily dials are important because dials lead to conversations. Key Conversations are more important than dials, because they help to generate the Teleprospectors’ Funnel growth. Know your KPIs and weigh them based on priority of importance (Key Conversations are more important than Dials). Once the KPIs are established, have the team build plans, outlining how they will achieve their assigned objectives.

  1. Develop a Teleprospecting Playbook. A Teleprospecting Playbook is a set of tools that Teleprospectors will use to guide them through the complexities of qualifying for prospect need and interest. The playbook should be written and assembled by people with sufficient knowledge, such as experts from Product Marketing, Marketing, and Sales. It will serve as a consistent source for your Teleprospectors to maintain professionalism while also increasing efficiency.
  1. Build compensation plans that drive desired behavior. Good compensation plans motivate Teleprospectors to excel at their jobs. The role of Teleprospecting is to generate leads that build the Sales Funnel. A good plan will compensate Teleprospectors for meeting a pre-established “approved” lead quota, as well as provide compensation for leads that go into the Sales Funnel. While Teleprospectors aren’t responsible for closing deals, they are responsible for generating quality leads that build a Sales Funnel. Deals that close generate revenue and these deals come from quality leads, therefore Teleprospectors should receive some compensation for their leads that close. When Teleprospectors are paid for the process from the beginning (leads) to the end (closed deals), the quality of leads becomes very important and motivates them to consistently generate viable leads.

Companies that have asked me to turn-around their Teleprospecting teams had initially set up Teleprospecting as an after-thought. None of the companies had these Teleprospecting Best Practices in place. Then, in each of the turn-around situations I implemented these best practices and saw not only the Sales Funnel grow dramatically, but also significant revenue increase.

Call Guide Opening – Best Practices

Teleprospectors are the vital link between Marketing and Sales; they are responsible for transforming Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) into Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). Teleprospectors work with your prospects through the qualification process until they are ready to be handed over to your sales team. Therefore, it is important that their engagement methods, messaging, and targeting is spot on. To ensure this, your company’s marketing and sales experts should provide Teleprospectors with sales tools to help them effectively navigate the lead qualification process. One such tool is a call guide or script.

A call guide or script is used to meet the following objectives:

  • Provide a quick introduction of your company to prospect (30-second commercial)
  • Give prospect insights into issues you have solved for your clients (select 1 great client story)
  • Uncover prospect pain/need and additional qualifiers
  • Determine if prospect is ready now or within your company’s established timeframe (typically under 6-months)
  • Generate a first meeting or demo (either on the phone, web or in-person)
  • Generate a Sales Qualified Lead

The script will have an opening statement, as well as the qualification questions that you want answered.  The opening of the call guide is very important.  Literally, in 30-60 seconds, the Teleprospector has to share who they are representing and why they are calling.

Call Guide Opening

The Call Guide Opening has the following basic parts: the 30-second commercial, a customer story, and segue into qualification questions. Here’s an example of each of the sections:

30-second Commercial:  SOMAmetrics is a sales and marketing consulting practice and we help our clients accelerate growth.

Customer Story:  In 2011, we assisted a $50 million dollar Tech company, which had lost half of its revenue and customers. The CEO brought us in to implement our Sales and Marketing Best Practices and as a result, 2012 revenues increased by 57%. The client has been working with us for over 18 months and we expect 2013 revenues to increase by an additional 35-40%.

Segue into Qualifying Questions:  Perhaps your company has similar challenges? Is now a good time to ask you a few brief questions, to get an understanding of how we might work together? (If no, get a date/time).

Create distinct call guides and openings for each of your Targets (CXO, VP/Director, and Manager). The Teleprospector will have fewer than 60-seconds to engage the prospect. Consequently, the messaging needs to be spot on to keep prospects interested and to give your Reps the opportunity to share more information about your product or service.

How the “Care Factor” Impacts Revenue

When I was VP of North America Teleprospecting at a $3B Global IT Solutions company, I managed a team of 40+ Teleprospectors based in the US, EMEA and AsiaPac. Our job was to feed quality Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) to the 1500 person Field Sales team. Our focus was Global2000 companies with budget to purchase solutions in the $250K-$2M range. Typically our calls were with CIO/CTO’s, VP’s of Development/IT, etc. Each Teleprospector was to generate, on average, 8-10 highly qualified SQLs each month. Our annual SQL to sales pipeline quota was $7.5Million per Teleprospector.

After the first few months in this position I noticed a strange cycle that occurred at the end of every month and especially at the end of every quarter. What happened, at these times, was that the SQLs from our department were completely ignored by the Sales team. The worst time was at the end of every quarter, when SQLs would not be called until some 15 days, or longer, after they were passed to sales.

My managers and I started to track this cycle, which we called the “Care Factor”. We dubbed it so, because Field Reps were very interested (cared) in SQLs during the first month of every quarter and they ignored SQLs during the last week of every month. During the last month of the quarter, after the 15th day, the Field wouldn’t touch any new SQL at least for a few days after the quarter ended. This was often as long as 2 full weeks after the SQL was passed. By now, the SQLs were stale. Stale SQLs require requalification.

The Care Factor impacts revenue in several ways:

  • Constant requalification of leads is a waste of limited resources. Most companies, including our, don’t have enough Teleprospecting horse-power to support their sales organization. Rather than going after new prospects, we were regularly required to re-qualify solid SQLS that had already been contacted and previously qualified. Thus preventing a steady stream of new SQLs to Sales.
  • The SQL-to-pipeline quota was impacted and delayed.
  • Field teams delay in follow-up can give prospects the impression that your company is not responsive. Many of our SQLs were with C-Level Executives who took the time to answer the Teleprospectors questions and/or gave us the right person to contact. The delayed response made our company look bad because of the slow follow-up by sales. I have heard, from clients, that many of their deals were lost due to lack of Sales responsiveness.
  • Growth of the Sales Funnel is hampered, as quality SQLs are delayed. In some cases, SQLs won’t make the funnel because of the delay in follow-up. The delayed funnel growth has a direct impact on when deals will close.

We had a SQL follow-up rule in place for the Field. SQLs needed to be contacted within 48 hours. There wasn’t one Regional VP of Sales who cared about this rule at the end of the quarter. Our company, like most, suffered from the ”hockey stick” factor; a few deals close at the beginning of a quarter while most deals are closed at quarters end (spiking up, like a hockey stick). The “hockey stick” factor caused the Field to be super busy with trying to pull in revenue. They had no time to reveiew potential opportunities (SQLs). The combination of these 2 factors “hockey stick” and low interest (Care Factor) create a vicious cycle that impacts pipeline and revenue growth.

I have yet to find a company who has vanquished the “hockey stick” factor. From my perspective this hockey stick sales pattern implies that deep price discounts are being offered at the end of the quarter in order to meet quarterly quotas, which in turn, trains customers to wait until quarter end to buy. Here are a couple of suggestions for managing the”hockey stick” factor:

  • Following up with SQLs, quickly throughout the quarter, helps to build a larger sales pipeline, consistently, throughout the year. When more opportunities are in the sales pipeline, more opportunities are available to be closed, throughout the year, not just at quarter end.
  • Conducting a financial analysis to see whether deals were won or lost, each quarter, by utilizing deep price discounts. If Sales Reps use a strong sales methodology like Power Base Selling or Solution Selling to build need and create pain, they should be able to close deals anytime and without utilizing discounting as a sales method.

My solution to the “Care Factor” problem is this. Each Regional Sales Office should assign one person to review SQLs, as they come in. SQLs should go to the Sales Rep who has the bandwidth to work the deal, at the time the lead is passed over. It is far better for your company to be responsive to the needs of your prospects than to let quality SQLs slip away or to stall, due to lack of timely follow-up. If you must, create a commission sharing model to keep the peace amongst your Field Reps. In the end, your company will build quality sales pipeline and a lot faster. The Teleprospecting resource will be utilized efficiently, as time will be spent garnering new SQLs, vs. re-qualifying old SQLs. The benefit to your company will be a consistent flow of opportunities to your sales pipeline which will mean more revenue, each and every quarter.

Why your Teleprospecting Team is Losing Sales (And how to get them back)

teleprospecting man on team

A Typical Teleprospecting Team

  • You have hired a team of junior folks, whom you have trained.
  • Their base pay is in the $25K-$45K range and your company throws in a few bucks, when a lead is accepted by Field or Inside Sales
  • You have provided the scripts and CRM for the Teleprospectors to use
  • The team has been given additional sales tools, such as objection management documents, which they can use if a conversation goes south
  • They have been assigned daily/weekly/monthly metrics, such as 50-70 dials, per day, 5-10 Key Contacts, per day, etc.

Why Your Teleprospecting Team Isn’t Making the Cut

Your Teleprospecting team is well armed and ready to make calls. The problem is that if and when they get Sr. Executives on the phone, they are not able to translate these calls into viable leads. More times than not, Teleprospectors crumble at the first objection and end their calls. Or they call lower-level titles, in the prospect organization. Non-decision makers tend to be accessible and easy to speak with. However, leads from non-decision makers are not viable and tend to be rejected by Field or Inside Sales.

Companies see Teleprospecting as a junior-level position. I believe that this is the wrong way to think about Teleprospecting. Let’s consider that the Teleprospector is probably the first person from your company that your prospect will engage with. The Teleprospector, therefore, needs to be seasoned and experienced to handle the nuances of a first call. The argument that I have heard, many times, is that Teleprospectors aren’t closing business. They are qualifying prospects for interest. I beg to differ. Every communication with a prospect is an opportunity to close. There are many closes to consider: to close for the next meeting; to close on getting to a viable decision maker; to close for a trial or demo. Companies need to hire people who can close at any stage of the cycle. This is another reason why they should consider hiring seasoned professionals for this role.

Seasoned people have the experience to understand business drivers and what drives the people who make business decisions. Junior level people don’t have the experience or understanding of these concepts. It takes a lot of time, many, many, many phone calls and trial and error to understand these concepts.

Many years ago, I was asked to set up a Teleprospecting Organization for a SaaS company whose product significantly reduced energy spend for the manufacturing and utilities industries. Our prospects were CIO’s at Fortune 500/1000 companies. It was a complex solution with a long sales cycle (9-18 months). I knew that I needed to hire the most skilled people to ensure that we could navigate the issues prospects might throw at us, each day.
The team that we hired received a base salary of $70K with their total compensation reaching $125K, at plan. At first, the CEO was concerned that we were paying this team too much. However, after he saw the results of his pipeline (it was rapidly increasing) he changed his mind.

 

Real Life Example

Below is a real call that one of my Teleprospecting Reps had with the CIO of a Multi-National Food Manufacturer

Dave Teleprospector: Hi Mike, This is Dave, with XYZ Company. Our solution enables companies like yours to reduce energy spend by 50%, year over year. Our clients include _,_ and_. The purpose of my call is to understand your needs and to determine if we might have a solution for your company.

Mike Prospect: Dave I received your company’s email blast and I am not interested.

Dave Teleprospector: Mike, so what you are telling me is that you are not interested in reducing your company’s energy spend? Mike, I recently read an article in XJournal, where the research showed that most CIO’s stay in their positions for under 18 months because CIO’s are perceived as being ineffective. I’ll be happy to send you that article. The reason why I mention the article is because our solution can help you reduce your company’s energy spend by 50% or greater, which could help to make you highly effective.

Mike Prospect: Dave, that is very interesting. Yes, it would help me to find out how we might reduce our energy spend. Currently our energy spend is a significant part of our operating budget.

Dave was able to qualify this account and pass it on as a highly qualified lead for his Sales Rep. This lead went to the sales funnel, after the Field Rep had his first meeting with the prospect.

This Teleprospector was highly qualified to speak to any C-Level Executive because of his Experience

  1. Dave knew that C-Level Execs are easier to reach in the early AM or later PM.

    He managed his weekly schedule so that he would be making his dials to his significant prospects, during these times.

  2. Dave did his research.

    He was constantly sourcing information about the industry, his company’s technology and trends that might of interest to his prospects. He knew that C-Level Exec’s would be interested in information that would be of help to them or their company. He was always learning, in order to be prepared for any call. He could discuss the significant business drivers that would interest his prospects, at any time during his calls.

  3. His conversations were never scripted 

    (He used a guide with key messages and questions) and his messages were targeted to the titles he was planning to call. He had a message for CIO’s, CEO’s, COO’s, each somewhat different, however, each addressed the interests of the specific title he was calling.

  4. Dave would regularly call his assigned Field Reps to ask them about their worst sales calls and best sales calls, each week.

    He would ask them what they could have done or said, differently. He used this information to tailor his messaging and up his game.
    Dave had over 5 years of Sales experience, before I hired him. He was not trained, per se, to do the above. Out of his experience and good instincts, he was able to develop a set of skills that helped him to generate extremely valuable leads for his sales team members.

Example Call between a Junior Teleprospector and a C-Level Executive

Junior Teleprospector: Hi Mike, This is Junior, with XYZ Company. Our solution enables companies like yours to reduce energy spend by 50%, year over year. Our clients include _,_ and_. The purpose of my call is to understand your needs and to determine if we might have a solution for your company.

Mike Prospect: Junior, I received your company’s email blast and I am not interested.

Junior Teleprospector: Mike, can you tell me why you are not interested?

Mike Prospect: I actually am pretty busy right now. Why don’t you send me some literature and if I think there is a need, I will give you a call.

Junior Teleprospector: Mike, sure thing. I’ll send you our brochure and if I don’t hear back from you in say 2-3 months, would it be ok to give you a call to see if your situation has changed.

Mike Prospect: Sure, that will be fine.

The call with the Junior Rep has kept this Fortune 500 Multi-National Food Manufacturing Company from being included in the sales funnel for a while, if not forever. It might take hundreds of calls, like this, before a Junior Teleprospector has enough confidence and experience to effectively manage their prospect conversations.

Although the Junior Rep call is not based on a real call, the gist of it is based on my experience with managing many Junior-Level people, at over 50 companies. A call center Manager can provide some guidance, but they can’t sit in on every call, made by every Rep in their center. And, it is illegal to record calls, in many states, now. So a lot of trial and error goes on, at your company’s expense. The end result is a frustrated sales team, a sales funnel that is full of junk or no sales funnel at all. In short, a lot of frustration and missed opportunities happen when junior level people do prospecting.

How to Make Teleprospecting the Best Part of your Sales Organization

  1. Give the role a different title.

    There is something negative about Titles that start with Tele (Telly). Many of the Sales VP’s that I have worked with said Tele-Marketing or Tele-prospecting in a very disparaging way. Just because the meetings are via the telephone (Telly-Phone) it doesn’t follow that these meetings are not important. Like I said earlier, the first contact with your prospect is often via the phone and could be very important to your company. Change the title to Corporate Sales Rep, New Business Development Rep, Funnel Development Rep, Pipeline Builder or Sr. Hunter, for example. A title, such as these, will immediately elevate the position and credibility of the team member.

  2. Find people who have at least 5+ years of experience selling complex solutions, either over the phone or in the Field.

    The bad news is that many people lost their jobs, during the great recession of 2008-2009. The good news is that these ex-Field/Inside Sales Reps want to get back to work and are happy to do prospecting. I know this because these are the types of people we hire at SOMAmetrics. It is better if your Sr. Hunters have had to carry a quota, in the past. They get the concept of a qualified lead, pipeline and revenue, while a junior person, and might not. During the interview process you can find out if the candidate likes phone work and if he/she has carried a quota. Email me at alicia@somametrics.com, if you’d like to receive my effective and proven Inside Sales/Teleprospecting interview questions.

  3. Pay well

    Highly qualified leads that are with decision makers are priceless. They increase the productivity of your Sales Reps and build pipeline faster and more efficiently than leads from lower level titles. In the long run, if you hire skilled Sr. Hunters, you will increase the quality of your leads and the productivity of your sales team. Every company, I know, wants a productive sales team.

  4. Keep hours flexible.

    While it is important for your Sr. Hunters to meet their metrics, let them work a more flexible schedule. C-Level Execs are available in the early AM or later PM. As long as your Sr. Hunters are meeting their daily/weekly/monthly metrics, they don’t need to start at the same time, each day (7-4 or 8-5, for example). They may want to start as early at 5 AM, one day (especially if they reside in Western States) or come in as late as 10 AM and stay until 7 PM, for example.

In short, treat this position as you treat your Field or Inside Sales Teams; as very important contributing members of the sales team. Hire people with experience and pay well. You will reap the benefit of their experience and ability to uncover real need from real decision makers. Your pipeline will build faster and your close ratios will improve. All good!

I have personally implemented over 50 Inside Sales and Teleprospecting organizations at technology companies. Please email me alicia@somametrics.com, if you want my advice or assistance with your Teleprospecting teams.

CRM: Is Your Lead Qualification Process Mapped?

If you aren’t reviewing your CRM structure at least twice a year, it is likely outdated for your current needs—not to mention future ones.
Almost every one of the 100 plus Software and SaaS companies that we have worked with over the past 20 years had some sort of sales automation tool which they used to manage their sales operation. Most of these companies used their CRM to track sales activities and to manage their sales funnel. Some use their CRM more intensively and at the cutting edge, while many use the CRM out of the box and just scratch the surface of the power of their CRM.
Most CRM’s out of the box are designed to be flexible, powerful and extensible—which means you won’t get much out of them unless you customize them extensively and adapt them to your needs.  One critical omission, we found with many of our clients, is that they hadn’t mapped their lead qualification process into the CRM. Most often, it was because they didn’t have a well-thought-out lead qualification process, to begin with. While other times, if they had a defined lead qualification process, they hadn’t thought to map this process into their CRM.

At a minimum, an effective Lead Qualification Process should include the following:

  • The key questions that are used to qualify prospects
  • The disposition of each lead, as the qualification process progresses
  • The number of times a lead is touched before it is abandoned or sent back to a “nurture” program
  • Next step details that outline what needs to happen to fully qualify the lead to make it “sales” ready
  • A quality control process that enables sales management to review the quality of each lead to ensure that they are quality leads

 

Lead Qualification Process

You’ve done your Four Funnel™ Math and know how many impressions (the number of times you touch your target prospects utilizing a pre-determined marketing-mix, which can include email campaigns, social media programs, webinars, content placement, tradeshows, etc.) you need to generate the right number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) for your Teleprospecting team. Once you know the number of MQL’s required to support your Teleprospecting team, you are ready to create the process that your Teleprospecting team will utilize to generate Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s) that will build the required pipeline to support your revenue objectives.

What Are Qualification Questions?

The lead qualification process starts with the questions that the Teleprospectors will need to ask to uncover need and interest in your solution. The right questions will uncover:

  • Need: Does the prospect have a need for your product or solution?
  • Authority: Is this particular prospect the person who can make a purchase decision?
  • Decision Maker: What is the name and title of the person who can make the purchase decision?
  • Budget: Does this prospect have money to make a purchase or CAN they secure the funds to make a purchase?
  • Timeframe: When is the prospect planning to solve their problem and purchase a solution or product like yours?
  • Decision Process: How will the decision be made? Will there be an evaluation committee or will some other process be used to make a decision?
  • Understanding of Solution: Does the prospect understand the problem/issue your solution or product resolves?
  • Next Step: If the prospect is interested in your solution, what is the next step to move the lead from an MQL to an SQL?

If your Teleprospectors gets the answers to all or the majority of these questions, you have a solid, highly qualified SQL for your Sales Team. If you agree with that statement, the next question is: Wouldn’t it be good to capture this data in a format that will allow you to run reports and track the answers? We believe the answer is “Yes!”

However, most of the clients that we have worked with didn’t capture this information in their CRM. These clients didn’t have fields in the CRM that captured the qualifying questions or the answers. They forced their Teleprospectors to put the answers to these questions in the “Notes” field in their CRM.

Not everyone is good at taking notes. Not all notes are created equally and not all notes fields allow enough characters to adequately capture the information that we listed above. Notes are difficult to read and it is nearly impossible to report on data in the notes field. If you are forcing your Teleprospecting team to put this important information into the notes field you are missing out on gathering extremely valuable intelligence that your prospects are telling you. You are missing important intelligence that could help Marketing build better demand generation programs and to improve marketing strategy or messaging.
It is an execution mistake that will keep your Teleprospectors from generating highly qualified Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s). Our advice is—collect quantifiable data (as captured by checkboxes and dropdowns, for example) when you can and augment with notes fields.
Otherwise, you are likely to be wasting money with a Teleprospecting operation that cannot provide you the actionable intelligence you need to improve sales.

 

About SOMAmetrics

SOMAmetrics enables clients to revitalize their Sales and
Marketing organizations, so that they meet and exceed their revenue objectives
each and every quarter.

Over the past ten years, we have worked on a variety of
Salesforce.com CRM implementation projects including: new implementation;
significant upgrades and optimization projects; data cleansing and migrations;
and integrations with other cloud-based tools.

We have assembled a team of experts ranging from marketing
and sales consultants, to business analysts and programmers to assist with Salesforce.com
or other CRM implementation project.

Contact us today to find out more of how we can help you
meet and exceed your revenue objectives quarter after quarter.

 

Contact SOMAmetrics

Email: reach@SOMAmetrics.com

Phone: 800.352.9694