To Accept or Not to Accept – Lead Acceptance Policies

Challenge: How to ensure leads passed to your sales team are truly qualified.

Lesson: The tighter the lead qualification and acceptance rules, the less leaky your sales funnel.

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Challenge: How to ensure leads passed to your sales team are truly qualified.

“We want the Glengarry leads!” Have you heard your sales team complaining about the quality or quantity of leads? Are the leads you’re delivering turning into actual opportunities in your pipeline? These are common issues and they’re resolved by defining clear expectations and points of handoff.

The solution is relatively simple but requires tight integration between sales and marketing. It starts with a clear definition of a qualified lead. While never truly a science, you can set qualification requirements like buying timeframe, budget allocation, identified pain point, willingness to meet with a sales rep, etc. These need to be clearly communicated to both your lead qualification reps and your sales reps so everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations. Once in place, lead development reps can deliver a qualified lead to a sales rep in the salesforce automation system that’s notifying the sales rep.

The real trick here is to have an enforcement mechanism where the sales rep has a defined time interval to accept or reject the lead. If the time passes, either the reporting or the lead development rep needs to raise focus on this qualified lead that has no sales feedback. If the sales rep rejects the lead, they need to identify which qualified lead criteria were not met. Once accepted, your sales reps must create opportunities in the salesforce automation system. This prevents sales reps from accepting any lead because they will be held accountable for these opportunities in their sales forecast reviews. However, you need your sales operations manager to ensure that all accepted leads are indeed converted into opportunities.

Lesson: The tighter the lead qualification and acceptance rules, the less leaky your sales funnel.

Author: Larry Stein at TechMarketingStrategies

For the last 20 years, I have led demand generation teams supporting high growth technology companies. Now working as an independent consultant, my responsibility is to apply best practices in the creation of these programs. My goal is to enable marketing teams to become self sufficient with a data driven culture of KPI's, test and measurement in service of achieving company revenue targets. My approach is to work with senior management identifying objectives and wildly important goals. With these in mind, we work together to build programs, processes and systems that will reach these goals along with the measurement KPI's to evaluate progress. Along the way we will enable the team to manage and maintain these systems so achieving these goals becomes a natural cadence of the marketing organization.

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