Sales Management Pain Point #6

The LeadLead Lead refers to a prospect or potential customer (who can be an individual or organization) that exhibits interest in your service or product; or any additional information about such entity. Machine

Going back 10 years, leads were a considerably different game. You obtained leads for people that might be interested in your productProduct Product refers to anything (an idea, item, service, process or information) that meets a need or a desire and is offered to a market, usually but not always at a price. or service and followed them up. Usually, your prospects knew relatively little about your products and relied on you to provide them the information. Similarly, they also relied on your competitors.

This pattern stretched back over hundreds, even thousands of years. Salespeople went out, found buyers, approached them and sold their wares. This is even how Marco Polo operated in ancient times.

But today it has radically changed, due to the proliferation of the Internet. Because information on your product or service is now so freely available—along with that of your competitors—it is very easy for potential buyers to compare products. 60 to 70 percent of the decision making in B2BB2B B2B is an acronym for Business-to-Business, a model for selling, relationship-building, or engagement. sales is made before the decision makerDecision Maker Decision Maker in the context of sales, is a person who possesses the required expertise and authority in making purchase decisions. approaches the supplier. This has a profound impact on the lead machine. This doesn’t mean that all of the old ways for obtaining leads and selling are obsolete—many certainly still work. They just need to be adjusted to take the new buyerBuyer A buyer is an individual or organizational entity that purchases a product or subscribes to a service. role into accountAccount Account refers to a record of primary and background information about an individual or corporate customer, including contact data, preferred services, and transactions with your company..

New Industry

In InboundInbound Inbound refers to interest (could be sales or marketing driven) that comes in – e.g. cold emails to you, submitted forms on your website, press inquiries, etc. MarketingMarketing Marketing is the field, set of actions, or practice of making a product or service desirable to a target consumer segment, with the ultimate aim of effecting a purchase., the prospects are qualifying you first, instead of the other way around.

This radical change has given life to marketing automation companies such as HubSpot and Marketo—and has helped create an entirely new industry: Inbound marketing. Along with Inbound marketing came a whole new universe, that of social media. In Inbound Marketing, the prospects are qualifying you first, instead of the other way around.

Lead Machines Different For Everyone

When we talk about a lead machine, we have to take into account that lead generationLead Generation Lead Generation is a set of activities aimed at generating interest around a product or service through methods such as 1. content marketing (blogging, podcasts, free downloads); 2. advertising (PPC, banner ads, Yellow Pages, sponsoring an event); 3. referrals (recommendations from existing customers and other people); 4. outbound marketing (cold email, cold calling), and 5. partnerships (joint ventures, affiliate marketing). is very different for everyone. Taking an example that is radically different from my own industry, I have a favorite restaurant in Venice, California called Gjelina. While it is not expensive, it is extremely cool and is always booked. I once spoke with the manager there, and he told me that the restaurant has never engaged in marketing. Unlike many of the rest of us, they have no need for leads whatsoever. So needless to say, the lead machine can be quite different for everyone.

Sticking to SaaSSaaS SaaS is an acronym for Software as a Service. (Software as a Service)

Since my company is in the SaaS business, as are many of our prospects and clients, we’ll stick to SaaS and how a successful lead machine operates in that industry.

In SaaS, the website is central to everything. Much like the sun is central to the solar system, everything (like the solar system’s planets) revolves around that website and feeds into it. All of the “orbiting” elements, such as Google AdWords, banner ads, articles, blogs, press releases, product reviews, white papers, and many more, feed leads back to the web site. All of these elements must convince seekers of your type of solutionSolution Solution is a combination of ideas, strategies, processes, technologies and services that effectively helps an organization achieve its goals or hurdle its challenges. that yours is at least one they should check out.

Systems of these orbiting satellites can become quite complex. For example, if you click “share”  on a press release, you’ll usually be presented with over 100 social media channels. That’s like a whole separate planetary system within the others, still subordinate to, and feeding leads to, the sun (web site).

What is the main element required to build up all of these orbiting satellites? That would be contentContent Content refers to a material or document released in various forms (such as text, image, audio, and video) and created to inform, engage or influence specific audiences.. And today the content industry is booming.

Taking care of all of these inbound channels, providing them content and making sure they are current and performing, is considerable work, and is never-ending.


When talking about a #lead machine, be sure to understand that #leadgeneration is very different for everyone. #leadgen

In Inbound marketing, qualifying leads is a healthy part of the job. As we covered earlier, your prospects are qualifying you before they show up at your virtual door. At the same time, though, you must qualify them to ensure that they are a proper custom fit for your company. You have to do this with every lead that comes in.

This is considerably different that outbound lead generation. With outbound, you have a great deal more control over who you are targeting. With inbound, you have no chance to exactly target the people you are looking for, and as prospects come to you, you are qualifying them.

The New Sales Model

One leading sales company demonstrates how inbound marketing works organizationally:

  • Marketing executes campaigns, which bring in marketing-qualified leads
  • Sales Development Reps further qualify the leads for sales, and set up meetings for account executives
  • Account Executives close orders
  • The Customer SuccessCustomer Success Customer Success is a proactive mindset, function, department or strategy commonly adopted by B2B companies to optimize business with customers, reduce churn rate, drive profits and increase the predictability of recurring revenue. Manager handles customers after they have purchased, makes sure they’re happy and interested in buying more of your product line

Different People for Different Functions

It was Scottish economist Adam Smith that, all the way back in 1776, observed that division of labor would increase productivity. This observation still holds true today, as we see that it takes completely different people with different skillsets to perform inbound and outbound lead generation.

And just generally within sales, we can see how true this is: There are field sales, inside sales, enterpriseEnterprise Enterprise (in the context of sales) is a relatively large organization typically composed of multiple levels, locations, and departments which need multi-layer software systems that support collaboration across a large corporate environment. sales, SDRs, and many more—and the people in each of these positions are quite different and have different skillsets.

Technology for Lead Management

The CRM solution you choose must be more than adequate to the job of lead management. Leads must rapidly be entered into CRM. Once they have, qualifying must happen as quickly as possible, and the lead must then be moved into the next pipelinePipeline Sales pipelineis a visual representation of the stage prospects are in the sales process. stage or sent back to Marketing. Pipeliner CRM makes management of leads—as well as the management of opportunities that leads turn into—totally and visually easy and flexible.

Why So Important?

The CRM solution you choose must be more than adequate to the job of lead management.

So why is a lead machine so important? I strongly believe if you have a predictable lead generation machine, and enough leads, you can practically screw up everything else, and you will still do well. You will never run out of business. If you want to triple sales, the most important part is a strong lead machine.

Taking another analogy, you can have the best-built rocket in the world. But without the right rocket fuel, it will never leave the ground, let alone connect with a space station. Just look at your sales force as the rocket; you can have the best sales team in the world. Leads are their rocket fuel, and without them, they will get nowhere.

So make sure you’ve got your lead machine in working order. Because unlike other factors—yes, folks, this is rocket science!

Pipeliner CRM makes lead management a total snap.

Pain points of sales management
Pain points of sales management
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