3 REASONS WHY SALES PEOPLE SHOULD NOT PROSPECT
One of the early signs of a growing and maturing company is that they no longer rely on their salespeople to prospect and generate leads. In the early stages of development, a company would require everyone to multitask. Consequently, a salesperson would be forced to play the roles of Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Campaign Manager, and Business Development Specialist, all at the same time. The reason is very simple. If the salesperson would not generate leads, who would? However, as an organization starts to mature, the various Sales and Marketing disciplines should be divided as soon as possible. Not doing so simply makes growth objectives more challenging. We do not need to make life tougher than it already is.
Unfortunately, many companies never managed to leave this stage, and they continue to rely on their salespeople to generate leads. An organization that completely relies on Sales to prospect is putting its growth objectives at risk. Below are three reasons why.
1. Inconsistent Output. The sales team should be focused on closing new business. This is where they are good at. This is the reason why they keep receiving that very much desired rewards you give them for a job well done. This is what they enjoy doing. Consequently, any activity that deviates their attention from this objective becomes a nuisance. It becomes a task that will take the least priority in their “to-do” checklist. A salesperson with deals at the bottom of the funnel will be consumed with doing whatever they need to do to close the business.
This can relate very well into a rise in the performance charts. When the sales team are closing businesses, they’re not prospecting. And when they’re prospecting, they’re not closing any business. Effective lead generation requires consistent and disciplined execution. Most salespeople lack the time and focus required.
2. Difficult to Measure Effectiveness. Measurement is very basic in marketing strategies. We can never know how effective our efforts are, nor can we be able to see the return of our investments unless we measure.
Measurement means isolating, monitoring, and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPI) throughout the stages of the sales pipeline. These stages may include MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead), SQL (Sales Qualified Lead), and opportunity (a deal that can be forecasted). When multiple steps in the sales funnel are managed by one and the same person, lead movement and conversion rates tend to become too difficult to measure. This problem is engaged when salespeople don’t track their activities and results of their calls and messages. If activities are not tracked with religiosity, you run the risk of losing visibility into leads altogether.
3. Expensive. Most organizations have similar problems: expensive lead generation sources. Lead generation tends to become expensive when they are not monitored consistently. If an organization is not measuring their sales team’s lead generation as part of the KPI, then the organization will never have any real idea what their true cost-per-lead is. When salary and overhead costs associated with sales positions are factored into the equation, the lead costs would be significantly higher. If organizations know how much leads are being generated over cost, they would make every effort to minimize the amount of time salespeople spend on lead generation activities.
Salespeople should have a role in building their own sales pipeline. However, relying on them as the primary source of leads can be risky and expensive. To reduce costs brought about by lead generation, Marketing should implement tactics that are doable and measurable.
One way of achieving both is Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is a methodology that captures the attention of prospects using content creation. The content would give the prospects a perspective that your organization is a thought leader, a subject matter expert, and a trusted advisor. This would lead your prospects to self-identify, and eventually, come flocking for your services. This results in having qualified leads that are less expensive than those produced by the traditional outbound leads. As a matter of fact, HubSpot’s research estimates that they cost 61% less.
Have Marketing to prospect, and Sales to close deals. If your organization is growing, dividing the functions of Marketing and of Sales would be very smart, for all the above reasons. There will always be an overlap, but when these two are working closely together on their own tasks.