Salespeople are not often called “lead generation” by companies. Instead, they use terms such as prospecting, pipeline development, or social selling.
Despite the rise in content marketing and inbound, salespeople still need help prospecting for leads. They waste their time trying to get in touch with people who are interested.
Why cold calling, cold emailing, and prospecting are all ways salespeople can make cold calls.
Why do cold-calling, cold emailing, and prospecting make salespeople so successful? They have no other choice.
Marketing needs to generate more qualified leads. Marketing can’t and won’t generate enough qualified leads. Marketing rarely gets the funds it needs. Salespeople must pick up the pieces.
Most sales teams have one mandate: Make more calls and send more emails. Modernization is underway in B2B marketing to better align with people’s buying habits. It’s now time to move on to sales.
Jill Rowley says, “…we are long overdue to transform, a modernization in the way we sell …”. Read my interview with Jill Rowley, Chief Advocate and Startup Advisor on better Social Selling.
My experience with high-performing salespeople is that they spend only a little time prospecting. They build relationships. They receive referrals. They also leverage their social networks via LinkedIn and Twitter and monitor news feeds regarding critical accounts. They do social selling. These activities can be done in a very efficient manner and take up only a little of your time of sale. Their pipeline will be made up of sales-ready leads that they have received from marketing.
Marketing is essential for the journey.
Sales can’t be the source of a well-planned, researched, and intentional lead-generation strategy. Why? Because they are focused on immediate and short-term revenue and quotas. Marketing can be the best source of leads, but lead generation is only possible with a continuous commitment.
Marketing is about creating leads that meet the buyer and seller’s expectations. You’ll end up with a severe disconnect. This is why account-based marketing has been so popular.
There are better tactics than cold-call prospecting for salespeople. They should do what they are best at selling to qualified prospects ready to sell. Inside sales and sales development representatives fill this gap.
Marketing has taken over a large portion of the lead generation in tech companies. This generates qualified marketing leads routed into inside sales reps (SDRs) for qualification and nurturing. This allows sales to concentrate on building relationships and closing new deals. Salespeople still do most of the lead generation outside of high-tech.