No matter where you live, you’ve most likely been impacted or know of someone impacted by the recent storms. Here in Northern California, we are experiencing areas of severe flooding, that will likely continue until spring.  While following the impact closely on the daily news, I’m also preoccupied with flood prevention at work. Specifically, lead management and aligning lead flow to sales capacity. Though not nearly as damaging as flash floods, the impact of lead volume exceeding sales capacity is a very real concern.  

Many factors, both internal and external, are contributing to rising lead volume.

  • Recent consolidation in the data space has companies reevaluating their data strategy.
  • The rising popularity of Account Based Marketing has companies placing more emphasis on high-quality data.
  • Increased content marketing and investments in other marketing channels are driving a lift in inbound leads.
  • New product offerings and partnerships are boosting the top of funnel demand.

If your company is experiencing similar conditions, consider it a good problem.  The solution simply requires a renewed focus on sales capacity planning. Just like water resource management, lead management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum utilization of resources.  A holistic and well-defined approach must be thought through just as carefully as California’s water management system which impacts not just flood control, but also land use improvement, electrical energy generation, transportation, drinking water and food production benefits etc.

When it comes to companies, the benefits of efficient lead management are also far-reaching, specifically:

  • Better use of valuable sales time.
  • Improved top of funnel metrics leading to opportunities.
  • A more predictable funnel and more accurate financial forecasts.
  • Optimized marketing spend based on lead conversion metrics.
  • Increased quota attainment, retention, and sales recruiting.

With so many compelling benefits stemming from optimal lead management, it’s surprising how many firms simply say “we need more leads” without a careful examination of lead quality, process, and reporting.  In fact, it’s a surefire way to generate a flood of leads resulting in missed opportunities.

So how exactly do you align lead flow to sales capacity?

It starts with understanding what your revenue goals are and the resources you have to reach those goals.

Work backward from your revenue target, understanding what your Average Sales Price (ASP) is, average sales cycle and lead-to-closed-won rate.   Establish well-defined stages in your sales cycle from inquiry to MQL, SAL, SQL, and various opportunity stages. Then define the conversion rates from one stage to the next to implement a more predictable funnel.  These metrics will help you hone in the appropriate number of MQLs you need to deliver and the subsequent targets that must be attained.

The next step is aligning marketing and outbound sales resources.  Some marketing efforts like events inherently result in a batch of leads that need to be followed up on – often times reluctantly in light of poor quality.  But not all event sourced leads are equal. Lead scoring and nurturing the lower scoring leads can help mitigate flash flooding the sale team. Conversely, you may face a situation where new reps are being onboarded and there are not enough leads to get them ramped up.  In this case, consider working with a flexible vendor capable of augmenting your current efforts with a source of high-quality leads tailored to your exacting standards.

Prevent flash flooding with a controlled flow of high-quality leads.

List purchases and subscriptions to bulk data providers are other common sources of flash flooding.  In both cases, sales is asked to follow up with cold records that either have no intent to purchase or miss the criteria of your ideal customer profile (ICP).  Don’t settle for list sources missing key data that defines your ICP. Instead partner with a consultative provider that works closely with you to align high quality leads to your sales team’s capacity.  One that has the flexible resources needed to throttle lead flows as you see fit. Want to learn more about how LeadGenius can help you engineer your pipeline to hit your goals? Get in touch with us here.