Much like water, your leads have to be in a constant state of change for them to really be called qualified. Just because you’ve managed to, for example, set an appointment or generate a substantial amount of interest from prospects doesn’t mean a sale is 100% guaranteed.
Because really, what would there be left for a sales rep to do? Oftentimes the reason why they don’t always get along is that they believe they can get by without the other.
You might say that they’ll eventually change their mind should you ever test that proposition. After all, they’re only really as good as their half of the B2B sales process. So in order for them to really stick together, your leads need to become a challenge that neither of them can take on their own.
Ever seen pictures of cavemen hunting woolly mammoths? It’s the same concept. Your leads, in reality, require a mammoth-sized process of constant qualification all the way until the sale is made… and then some! (The cavemen have had to carve the beasts after killing them after all.)
The best though is that you may not have to try too hard making sure your leads are the challenge you need to keep marketing and sales together.
- Even large brands are under pressure from change – Just this week, McDonald’s just announced the retirement of CEO Don Thompson. But guess what? Other companies have CEOs stepping down everywhere. It’s part of business reality but why are salespeople still shocked at how their previous contact suddenly left their position? Hence, the need constantly keep in touch before and after a sale. There’s no telling who’s going to resign next or even who’s going up to take their place!
- Company policies can change – No, this doesn’t mean your company policies (though they might just play a role as well). Other companies have large and small policies that monitor communication with other organizations (including yours). For example, when it used to be all right to call, you now have to send an email for setting appointments with a manager. These changes can be unannounced (especially when you’re not even their customer).
- Flight plans can change – Pardon the question but what if your prospect failed to catch the flight that was supposed to take them to the appointment you’ve arranged? If your answer is along the lines of switching to a web conference, you’ve really missed the point. Your prospect’s own individual plans can change. It’s not good to get a little too paranoid about tiny details but a good follow-up could be the difference between a missed appointment and easy rescheduling.
Well, there’s your mammoth. Remember, it’s better to qualify your leads instead of just taking them for granted. Doing otherwise puts you at risk of knocking your business out of the loop.