Category: News

Why Most Company’s Sales Teams Fall Short of Expectations

Four astounding stats from MarketingSherpa reveal some epic fails in sales and marketing MarketingSherpa, a company that publishes news, case studies, and best practice data about marketing, overflows with eye-opening stats about marketing and sales follow-up. This includes practices relating to lead processing, which are overlooked procedures too many companies ignore. The results cost dearly in terms of lost sales.

Here are four key areas of failure, according to statistical data from MarketingSherpa:

Failure to Nurture: First, 79 percent of marketing leads will never convert into sales. The common cause for this poor performance is a lack of lead nurturing. “Lead nurturing focuses on listening to prospects and providing the information they need, when they need it,” says Adam Berkson, president of LiveVoice, a boutique phone support service that specializes in lead response service. “Imagine turning that number on its head. With holistic lead nurturing, it is reasonable to convert a majority of your leads – not throw them away.”

Failure to Qualify: Second, 61 percent of B2B marketers send all their leads directly to their sales departments, but only 27 percent of those leads are qualified. “A name is not a lead,” says Megan Wilson, senior VP of client services at TeleServices Direct, a worldwide provider of outsource call center services. “A name is merely a place to start.” To qualify a lead requires confirming its profile meets certain criteria deemed essential to the overall sales goals of the organization. “A lead who wants to buy something you don’t sell should never be qualified, yet too often these types of leads are passed on to sales.”

Failure to Verify: Third, only 56 percent of B2B organizations bother to verify valid business leads before passing them on to their sales team. This means only a slight majority spend any time on verification. Viewed another way, close to half of all leads aren’t verified at all. Verification can occur on many levels, starting with checking for correct contact information. Other critical items include confirming the prospects’ degree and level of purchasing authority, as well as doing a pre-emptive credit check on large ticket items. “It makes no sense to sell to someone who doesn’t have the money or lacks the authorization to sign off on the deal, yet it happens way too often,” adds Berkson.

Failure to Identify a Funnel: Fourth, 68 percent of B2B organizations, over two-thirds of them, have not identified their funnel. A sales funnel is a classic sales construct that looks at the process sales teams guide prospects through to move them to a closed sale. At each step, some leads fall away, which is why it’s critical to know how many leads must enter the funnel to produce the desired number of sales.

“Essential processes to successfully turn marketing leads into closed sales are lead nurturing, lead qualification, lead verification, and identifying a sales funnel,” concludes Berkson. “These are the basics, but statistics show that too many companies fail to meet these baseline requirements.”

Peter DeHaan, PhD, is a freelance writer, call center authority, and publisher of Connections Magazine, which covers the call center industry.