Give Me Real Leads


One of the questions most sales representatives ask during a hiring interview is “Do you provide me with leads or is this a cold calling sales job?”  Since cold calling is a relic of the past except for selling to very small family owned businesses where it is possible to just walk in and make a “pitch” to the owner, most companies budget extensively to generate inquiries for their sales people to contact.

In working with many sales organizations throughout the country, I have observed a great discrepancy between what most salespeople consider to be a valid inquiry because of completely bogus reasons like:

 I contacted this lead two years ago and they were not interested. 

This company is not really the kind of company to which we sell.

I met their sales manager at a trade show last year and he was a real dunce

They don’t use our product.

And this list goes on.  What most sales people really want is for customers to call them so they don’t have to hunt for them.  They want orders.

Now here is the really strange part.  Most sales managers never review the leads they give their sales people with them or hold them accountable for contacting the inquiries.

Ask most sales managers how many leads they generated at the last trade show they attended and they will pull out a drawer full of them that haven’t even been contacted.

Marketing and senior management are told that the trade show was a huge success because they met so many cool people who they will be following up with.  Strangely, they don’t ask how many were received, how many were contacted, how many appointments have been scheduled with them, and most importantly, where they are in the pipeline.

The truth is that leads generated at trade shows are not even tracked to determine if they were good leads or not.

What is the answer to this common sales problem?   The answer is that 80% of the sales people are going to lose their jobs within the next five years.  The only salespeople of any value will be extremely talented top producing sales people who go after new business with an attitude that leads are a valuable way to begin a relationship with a company.

Top Producers know that leads are gold and have to be mined.  So, they dig in and refine the opportunity.

The Future of Sales is already enabling savvy marketers to develop leads that have been ‘vetted’ and determined to be valuable.  Inbound lead generation is providing inquiries from buyers who want to know more about the company and its products and services.  Those leads are funneled by computerized algorithms to the best qualified representative to handle that lead.  Those same systems will follow-up with the representative to determine action taken and reports will be given to marketing and sales management that indicate how well the leads are being handled by the representative.  Top sales representatives will embrace this because it will free them from time consuming data entry tasks so they can focus more on relationships.

Mediocre representatives will either be forced out or put into other more specialized areas that do not require talented sales people such  customer service representatives, account management,  data entry, appointment setters, and sales administration.

The Future of Sales will be bright Future for Talented Sales People.

© 2016 | Harrison R. Greene | All Rights Reserved

Harrison R. Greene helps sales organizations and their representatives prepare for the Future of Sales. 508-400-6193 |

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Have Sales People Been Branded?

The reputation of sales people is not the most comforting reason to choose a career in sales.  Who would want others to think that they are…

Dishonest, Manipulative, Truth-Stretchers, Nosey,

Arrogant, Lousy Listeners, Egotistical, Liars,

Always Trying to Close

Yet, these terms are often used to described to describe sales people.  This has been true since the first peddlers brought goods to rural families in the early 1800’s.

Yes, sales people have been branded.  And a brand is hard to escape especially when many sales people continue to exhibit these traits.

Sales people who do not escape this brand will not be successful in The Future of Sales.  It is becoming easier for buyers to just do without a sales person.  Buyers will simply know the truth because transparency on the Internet is becoming more and more ubiquitous.  Buyers will buy when they are ready to buy.

Professional representatives who provide goods and services to others will be thought of as ‘buyer-agents’, or valued consultants to buyers. These buyers will view these consultants as trusted advisors.  They know that the consultant will provide valuable services that will help them find the best solution for their needs, even if the solution is to purchase from a competitor of the consultant.

Buyers will increasingly rely on the role of the trusted advisor to guide them.  In fact, these valued consultants will inevitably charge a separate consulting fee and buyers will be happy to pay it.

Sound far-fetched?  Read what is already happening throughout Europe in From Selling to Co-Creating by Regis Lemmens, Bill Donaldson, and Javier Marcos.

Keep referring to this web-site for more information about The Future of Sales.

Harrison Greene is the owner of Unique Selling Systems and specializes in helping companies prepare for The Future of Sales.

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