One metric that you should be paying attention to is your CPL (or Cost Per Lead). They do NOT come cheap, and they certainly don’t come EASY.
It takes some genuine sweat equity to get to a point where a real sales qualified lead has an actual meeting with a member of your sales team on his calendar.
But do you know what is actually happening with those leads? Likely, you are getting binary feedback… Do these two outcomes sound familiar?
I closed a deal with my incredible sales skills!
I can not believe that the dreadful marketing team wasted my time with that lead!
(Enter Willy Loman)
Well, you are not alone. Most sales organizations provide the same binary feedback. And here you are considering your Cost Per Lead.
And you may ask yourself, “How come every lead is a bad lead?”
And you may ask yourself, “Are there no happy mediums?”
And you may ask yourself, “How did I get here?”
Well, I hate to sound like just another Talking Head, but its probably your fault. Yep… it’s you. You aren’t paying enough attention to the Lead Experience (with capital letters).
The Lead Experience
What do we care what the lead experiences? Just give me the name and phone number, right? What about the Golden Rule?
Recently, I experienced some enlightening issues. I’d like to share with you now what some fortune 500 sales reps are doing:
A major CRM company contacted me to show me how their software could be better than the Marketing/CRM suite we currently use and recommend. It was clear, based on the language in the email, that it was an attempt at a “steal”. They had sought us out. We were a target account. Likely, may hours and resources had been put into getting our data.
Here’s the agenda they proposed in the email they sent:
Introduction/Vision for ThinkHandy (that's our agency)
Current Experience with INSERT CURRENT SOFTWARE HERE
Review THEIR SOFTWARE Partner Program
I ignored it. But they did not rest on their laurels. I got two calls in three days. They seemed to be following a playbook. I got voicemails and email followups. As a student of the sales process, I love persistence, as it has been proven that it is one of the most vital attributes of the sales professional.
So I finally answered. 4pm on Thursday? Only fifteen minutes of my time? Fine. I don’t schedule client meetings after four anyway. What’s a few minutes before I get into actual client work before I hear what they have to say. But I would never find out what would be so interesting.
Twenty-two minutes before our scheduled call I get this: "Good Afternoon Chris, Hope this finds you well. I wanted to give you a heads up that this we'll have to push out our call for this afternoon to the 2nd week of July. It's crazy over here as it is our end of month! Hope you understand. Let me know what day works best for you to connect - Best, Willy Loman - Name redacted"
Now I want to mention that the first contact was 6/22/15. The meeting was 6/25/15 (a Thursday).
Here is my interpretation of what happened here. An initiative was started to “poach” partners from another software ecosystem, so my agency was targeted. “Willy" was under a lot of pressure because it was the end of the quarter, so he set as many appointments as he could (partner program or not) Willy met his quota and/or prioritized other companies over mine.
This much was clear to me: My calendar was worth very little to this man, and he had bigger fish to fry, "Hope you understand.”.
Oh, I do. You have told me that you do not care about me. That's the bottom line. Willy,I will not be setting up another appointment with your company, no matter what resources were invested into adding me to your list, because you blew it. Well, more accurately, your management team blew it… for putting you in this position...I mean talking with me was once in a lifetime….