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We spend a lot of time thinking about and testing out the best approach for our sales team to work high-quality leads generated by the marketing team. We produce content and marketing offers that draw our prospects in. We trade free advice in exchange for your attention and the right to start a conversation. We push prospects from the marketing queue to the sales queue in the form of an MQL in Salesforce. We then connect with those prospects on the phone and ask for a meeting and for the right to pitch our product.

But there’s a really interesting – and potentially devastating – flaw in this approach: The more buying power a person has, the less likely they seem to submit a form on our website. Admins and individual contributors are at their desk and willing to read a blog like this one. They’ll watch a webinar. They’ll engage in a marketing offer a lot faster than the VP Sales or CEO would. The CXOs and VPs of the world are busy. They’re flying around the office, solving problems, engaging at team meetings and spending a lot less time trading their email address or phone number for the latest eBook on best times to cold call or how to install a Free Sales Funnel from InsightSquared.

Why is this such a problem? Simply put, if we don’t talk to the person with buying power, then we don’t have any selling power! We can’t win deals unless we talk to the actual target. And herein lies the problem: if you don’t build out a system to work the entire account, but rather you just work the leads that form submit, then you’re setting yourself up for a lower success rate and a lot of conversations with “tire kickers.” You simply HAVE TO get the right person on the phone, regardless of who at their company was put into your lead queue.

How do you do that?

1.  Start with your current lead queue

How many leads are you generating per month? Per month per rep? How many of those leads are in your target audience? How many are the right size, in the right industry? Now that you’ve shrunk your lead list down to the high-probability targets, identify how many have the title you’re seeking. If the answer is less than 100%, you’ve got to work the account. Get on LinkedIn, Crunchbase or the lead’s own website. Find your target and dial both. Call the lead and call the right contact. Work from both sides.

2. Think about who else gets involved in your sales process

Does an executive have to sponsor? Do you need a champion? Do you get technical people involved from their side? How many different humans at your customers’ companies stand to benefit from being a customer of yours? Add every single one of those people to your CRM and call them. Get the whole buying team engaged.

3. Use triggers.

We wrote about triggers recently. Be smart and laser-focused in your approach. Find the commonality, find the way in, and get past the first phone call. Provide value from the first point of contact and never lose momentum. Have enough people at your prospect’s company with enough interest in your product or service that if one loses steam, another is right there to pick it up and carry forward.

4. Track your results.

Add these leads to specific campaigns based on why the company MQL’d, what contact role you added, and what trigger you used. Track success rates. Find the fastest and most successful path to deals, and then spend most of your time there. Drop the things that don’t work and do the things that do work.
 
If you can systemize this – from working accounts, finding triggers, adding leads, tracking campaigns and iterating on high success approaches – then you can assure the highest return on your marketing and phone team spend. You’re now looking at increased alignment between sales and marketing an increase in sales for everyone.

 

Joe Caprio
Joe Caprio is the ‎Senior Director, West Coast Sales at InsightSquared.
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Showing 2 comments
  • Danny

    Interesting article. My only concern is that if I circumvent the original contact by connecting with his superior, or perhaps anyone else in the organization, that it could “burn a bridge.”

  • Joe Caprio

    Great point. I think we’ve all gotten our hands slapped from time to time with this. It’s really about doing it the ‘right way’ – provide value, be genuine in your approach, and be as collaborative as you can without limiting your reach within the organization. And if you don’t like it, do what we always do: try both approaches, track results and pick the one that has a higher return!

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