These days, “lead” is a muddy word that can mean almost anything or invoke all sorts of emotions. Leads can be good, leads can be bad. Leads can be cultivated, developed, or handed directly to you. Sometimes they are based on inside tips or first-hand information, like a lead story a reporter is chasing. While other times they might be a half-baked product of a colleague’s daydream (brainstorming, right?).
In my advertising career, a lead could be as simple as a billboard that sparked an idea. At their worst, leads were dead-ends that took a long time to go nowhere.
But, at their best, a lead — regardless of its backstory — is an opportunity.
Opportunity, it’s still why we as salespeople wake up every morning to go fight for the products and services we believe in. But as you know, those opportunities don’t always get handed to you with their name and email available, and if they do we probably don’t want to go into the bounce rate.
What does it take to get a lead?
Sales leaders today have to jump through many hoops brought to you by marketing automation systems, email look-up finder tools, and third-party subscriptions galore, all before the first cold call or email even happens.
Think about this: Is using an email lookup tool really that different than thumbing through the Yellow Pages?
Sales leaders are longing to spend their time where their company needs them most, but too often it’s spent navigating the sales obstacle course.
Sales Obstacle Course
What is the sales obstacle course? Trust me, you know it all too well. It’s embedded in the salesperson’s DNA.
Here is an eye-opening visual into the hurdles the sales leader has to overcome just to get to the actionable opportunity.
Too often, sales leaders spend more hours than they realize navigating all these obstacles just to get in the prospect’s voicemail or inbox. Let the rinse and repeat cycle begin while we forget about all the wasted time spent on redundant prospecting tasks that went nowhere. And let’s not forget how this piecemealed sales stack is draining the marketing budget.
What’s worse is that this sales obstacle course produces results. It actually works. So at the end of your long process all you remember is the win, not all of the time you spent on dead ends that went nowhere. Instead, consider thinking about the type of opportunities you really want and need. Is there a way to receive these regularly? How can you start at the result and work backward to regularly produce a steady flow of incoming actionable opportunities?
Sales leaders, you have a funnel to fill and your time is valuable. Prospecting should not be your badge of honor. Closing should be. And you’re the best at it!
The time is now to defeat the sales obstacle course by implementing an all-in-one seamless solution for your sales team. It can mean the difference between spending endless, grueling hours prospecting or focusing that time on what really matters: closing!
As the sales world becomes more complex, AI is being adopted as a trusted source to streamline the process. Sales leaders, make sure you are looking at the broader picture and avoid setting up more hurdles in your sales obstacle course to ensure your team is sailing towards success!
Nick Smith is the President, CEO and Founder of Saile Inc., the maker of patent- pending Sailebots. Today, he invites you to embark on the journey that is sales prospecting and learn how it’s being reimagined. Nick is a speaker at the upcoming virtual Sales 3.0 Conference on October 6-7, 2021.