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You Don’t Need More New Leads

There’s an insatiable thirst in many sales organizations for new leads.  It seems logical…get more leads into the top of the funnel and you’ll get more sales out the other end.  But all too often, this mindset ignores everything that’s happening in the middle of that funnel.  And worse yet, a scramble to increase the quantity of leads often ends up lowering lead quality as well.

Unless your sales funnel is so spot-on that nearly all new leads turn into sales, you’re likely better off finding improvements near the end of your sales funnel…not at the beginning.

Here’s just a few places that are often more fruitful to focus on:

  • Are you losing opportunities at the end of a cycle?Those sales that slip through your fingers in the end zone are painful…and tough to relive.  But imagine if you could get 10% or more of those to convert into sales. If you can find a pattern there and come up with a repeatable solution, it’s time well spent.
  • Are you reaching the right stakeholders and are they really on board?You might be finding the right person to get you in the door, but sometimes those contacts are horrible at steering internal decisions and driving consensus.  Think about what can be done to help those contacts evangelize…or come up with ways to find better internal evangelists.
  • Are you selling against the right competition?It’s one thing to sell against your competitors.  It’s a whole different challenge to sell against a prospect’s tendency to choose to do nothing.  Focusing on selling your solution won’t get them convinced.  Those folks first need to be convinced that they need to change.
  • How well are new leads being qualified?Just because someone downloaded a white paper or attended a webinar doesn’t make them a qualified sales lead.  Unless what you’re selling is cheap and simple, leads likely need to be further educated before they’re ready–and getting them more sales-ready can only help your funnel performance.

Again, these are just a few places to look.  The key is to ensure each step in the process is working as well as it can be–before you simply focus on adding in more new leads.

After all, dumping more leads into an unoptimized funnel likely means they’ll just be burned through faster.  And you’ll wish you had all those leads back once you finally do get things optimized.

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