You’ve been there. You’ve seen the look on your sales person’s face when they come back from meetings with unqualified prospects. They leave excited to have booked a sales meeting or call with what they think will be a great lead. Yet they come back disenchanted, frustrated and disappointed. You’ve heard things like, “they’re a good prospect, but they’re just not ready to buy right now,” or “It really wasn’t a good lead- they don’t have the budget for what we do,” or even “they’re happy with their current service provider.” No matter who is to blame for unqualified leads, alignment of sales and marketing cannot happen without first understanding who your ideal client is. If your marketing team doesn’t have a clear picture of who your company is looking to close, they can’t deliver the appropriate message. So lets look at a few warning signs that you’re dealing with unqualified prospects.
“They’re just not ready to buy.”
In the perfect world your sales team would only be working with warm, bottom of the funnel prospects that are ready to make a decision on your offerings. Before they’re ready to pull the trigger, there isn’t much that can be done in the way of forcing a deal to close. Be sure that your marketing team is providing information, emails and articles for prospects at every level of the funnel so that they can determine buyer readiness based on content consumption and qualify the prospect before they’re delivered to the sales team. Many organizations operate under the belief that educating a prospect is purely the job of the sales rep, but if some of the education is done by your marketing team it will not only pre-qualify your prospects, but shorten the sales cycle, resulting in much less frustration for your team and a lower cost per lead.
“They chose another firm because they had a lower proposal.”
Many debate putting pricing on their website. Some argue that it scares away good prospects while others say that it weeds out those who cannot afford your services. When it comes to the budget excuse, its more often than not an issue of failure to educate. When a marketing team communicates the value and why behind what you do, what makes you special and what the implication is of choosing your product or services over others, the factor of price automatically becomes less important. By educating your audience, you arm them with information that helps them better understand the why behind your offerings and they will pay a premium for your solution. Education is the key to mastering the price equation.
“They’re happy with their current provider.”
Wait, what? Are you using outbound tactics? Let me remind you: unless you are psychic, you or your marketing team are wasting time on outbound efforts. Lets take a second to consider this: you have a list of people that you’re giving your marketing team to call. Completely cold. They get stopped by gatekeepers, they beg and promise their way into scheduling your team a meeting – and then you go in and guess what? They’re happy with their current provider. Surprised? At this point you’ve wasted hours calling people who have no desire for your services and wasted your salespersons time in attending a meeting with a prospect who wants nothing to do with them… You, my friend, are contributing to the spam in the world. AND driving up your cost per lead. What you have to understand is that if you’re not focusing your efforts on inbound marketing, which allows those searching for your offerings to find you when they are ready to change their provider, you’re wasting your time. Period.
Too forward? I’ve been told I come across that way sometimes. But here’s the thing: the only way we will revolutionize your sales and marketing process is to radically change the way you’re doing things now. It takes effort, it takes commitment, and it takes a dedication to that change. You cannot expect to continue doing the same things you’ve been doing and to see something change. You must change it. These sales excuses shouldn’t exist.
Join us in this crazy world of inbound for marketing that’s focused less on quantity and more on quality. I promise it won’t hurt a bit.