In last week’s post, “Building a Successful Lead Development Program,” I focused on Part 1, the people making up your team. This week I want to focus on how to manage your group. I’m going to save marketing automation and CRM for a post of its own. Instead, I want to talk about how department management should work with your company’s lead developers to support their success.
First, I want to once again pound into your heads the difference between lead development and lead qualification:
- Lead qualification is the process of taking inbound requests and qualifying them before sending them to sales.
- Lead development is the process of taking leads attained from avenues such as white papers and convincing registrants to hear more from your organization and then qualifying them.
Lead development is a challenge, but one of the most critical functions in the-lead generation supply chain. A lead-development group has unique needs, you as manager must feed them the right food.
Essential Reading: The Funnelholic’s 5 Management Essentials to Lead-Development Success:
1. Pass out “Hang on the Wall Materials”
I can tell a good lead-development process by what the lead-development reps have hanging on their cube walls. When we talk about “hang on the walls” materials, these have to be simple one-page documents. The “product marketing”-created sales training materials should be on the bookshelf. What the team needs from you is simple and easy to understand. Here are some must-haves:
- A call script, which includes an opening two- to three-sentence value proposition
- A qualification script
- Objection handling
- A product grid. Provide one that is simple with a high-level value proposition and the types of buyers interested in these products. But remember this caveat: you really DON’T want the lead-development team getting too far down pitching-product road. You have to train them on how to use this document so they can clinch a meeting. The prospect should know that your company is equipped to help them, but the pitch and scope should land squarely in the hands of your bag-carrying sales rep.
2. Optimize script and objection handling
- Everyone should use the same script and do the same things.
- Optimize the script on the basis of feedback. Discuss the objections the lead-development team is receiving. The objection-handling document should be a living, breathing, evolving document.
- Keep in mind that lead qualification is totally different from lead development, so these meetings should not be combined so the staff isn’t confused.
3. Develop call campaigns
Control the variables. You need to develop lead-development campaigns for your reps: when to call and how many times, when to send an email, and how long a lead should stay open. Here are some important factors to consider when developing your approach:
- The first 24 hours are critical.
- The law of diminishing returns starts after 24 hours. Don’t give up because people are busy and can’t always be reached immediately, but your connection rates are higher earlier in the process.
- Establish an email template for your reps. They shouldn’t waste precious time on email, unless they are personally responding to a contact. Instead, focus on establishing standard emails that look personal and sound personable. Optimize the content in the email and free up the rep’s time for calls.
4. Set simple goals for each interaction
- Initial voice mails and emails should be designed to connect. Reps don’t necessarily have to sell the company. They just need to make a connection on the phone. They simply qualify the contact and sell them on talking to a sales rep.
- As a lead-development rep, they need to remember their job is to sell the meeting, not the company.
5. Live by a unified lead definition
- Make sure your sales team and your lead-development team are on the same page. No arguments. They should agree on definitions and expectations. And I can’t emphasize this enough — keep things simple.
- There has been so much written having the same lead definition, and I could harp on and on about this, but I’m just going to stress its importance. If both sides have don’t have the same lead definition, you’re doomed.
Stay tuned. The next topic is automation. Remove your teeth from your nails …