Leads are the Raw Materials of Selling – Manage Them!

There is a quote in business that has been attributed to many people over the years…“Nothing happens until someone sells something” But from a sales perspective, the reality is..

“Nothing happens until you generate a lead!”

And this is just the start of the sales process and in turn, lead management process. Leads are the essence to generating revenue in business and for as long as I, and many older than me can recall, the responsibility for lead generation has always been clouded. Marketing is traditionally seen as ‘selling to the masses’ and therefore bringing opportunities to the door. Sales is seen as ‘selling to individuals’ (persons or businesses) but still with a need to generate opportunities through various means such as traditional cold calling and these days through social engagement. Regardless of where this responsibility lies (and there is a valid argument that the most successful businesses have strong collaboration between sales and marketing), the fact remains that at some point early in the sales process, a lead must be generated. However, generating leads is only the first step – to have any value to the business the leads must be appropriate and they must be managed. Leads need to be contacted, qualified and depending on the result of the qualification they then need to be removed or put into your sales process to convert them into customers. Further, once converted they need to be managed to ensure opportunities for further engagement are maximised. So, while it can be said that ‘nothing happens until you have a lead’, any lead is only of value if qualified and managed into and through your sales process. Throughout my career, as a salesman, a sales manager and consultant on sales development, this is where I see most businesses getting the sales process wrong. All too often businesses look to generate as many leads as possible and then waste time on those that are unlikely to deliver a positive return on further investment. Read more