Generating sales leads is part and parcel of a sales representative's core responsibilities, but what happens if your sales team is not generating enough leads? Even if all leads are followed up on and a high percentage of those leads are closed, eventually a lack of sales leads will restrict the sales funnel and result in fewer sales at the close of the sales pipeline. If your sales team is not generating enough sales leads, look to the following common causes to find a solution.
A Greater Variety of Lead Channels Supports More Sales Leads
Sales reps often like to use what is comfortable, but that may mean that sales leads are restricted by a limited number of lead channels if sales reps have not become comfortable navigating between a variety of source channels. In an interconnected world using integrated lead sources across different platforms is crucial to finding qualified leads. Help your sales reps find more leads by encouraging them to move towards a multi-channel model of lead generation that uses complimentary technology. Give consideration to direct mail, trade shows, email marketing, telemarketing blogs, social media, paid search, traditional advertising, specific Web site searches, Industry directories, targeted rental lists, and reviewing the news.
Inbound Lead Generation Should Be Center Stage
Various studies have shown that inbound leads are more cost effective and better qualified to buy than most outbound leads, but many sales reps are still relying on outbound methods of lead generation. If your sales reps are expected to generate sales leads, they should also be expected to use the right tools. This is particularly true when considering social media, which is helping the best sales reps generate more inbound leads than ever before. Help your sales reps adopt and generate more leads using technology by:
- Training and coaching on the use of appropriate social media channels like LinkedIn for generating inbound leads.
- Encouraging your sales reps to expand their professional networks and ask questions about where lead generation marketing can best be utilized.
- Ensuring that your sales reps understand how important it is to have inbound leads engaged in the education process when entering the sales cycle.
Sales Reps Need to Engage with Generated Leads Effectively
If a sales rep is not engaged in the lead generation process and does not share his or her full attention with a lead when contact is made, many of the leads that the sales rep works will not move down the sales pipeline. The sales rep may then adopt a mindset that these leads are not qualified or worthwhile, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. To make the most out of leads sales reps need to be "always on," from the beginning to the end of the sales cycle. Help your sales reps engage with the lead generation process by:
- Training your sales reps to do preliminary research on all leads so that they are prepared to interact and convert leads to prospects.
- Assisting your sales reps with time management practices so that when a well qualified or hot lead is uncovered, they can be ready to act.
- Demonstrating to your sales reps how fulfilling the responsibility of lead generation supports overall sales success.
Better Source Qualification Practices Could Result In More Sales Leads
If sales reps are finding that few leads from a given source are qualified enough to move to the next stage, you might think that the sales rep would look to other sources. What often happens is the sales rep continues using the same source, focusing greater energies on the leads that do come through as qualified. This approach reduces the number of sales leads that can be worked even if the right percentages of the leads are ultimately converted. If you help your sales reps balance the conversion rate with the number of leads from each source you will help increase their overall results.