Hitting your sales lead target is no mean feat. Only 17% of companies globally will meet their sales lead targets in 2017, even though nearly 80% have engaged in multi-channel lead generation campaigns. Lead generation is the biggest marketing challenge facing organizations of all sizes.
Sales quotas are on the rise. In fact, they’re up 33% over the last four years, while the number of sales representatives who have missed their quotas is up 25%. That means that only half of all sales representatives are making their quotas. When that many sales reps are missing their quotas, it’s clear that individual performance isn’t the problem. Something’s wrong in the system and it’s up to CEOs and managers to find a way to get back on track to meet sales targets.
The sales funnel is the first place to look when sales are broken. Do sales reps have a steady stream of leads to close deals? Are they expected to both generate leads and close them? What channels are your marketers using to find to find new leads?
Insufficient budget was tapped as the biggest challenge to meeting sales lead targets in a report conducted by 360 Leads. Their Black Report is an extensive study of B2B companies and their lead generation efforts. What it found was that across companies, sales teams weren’t getting the support they needed.
But the problems uncovered in 360 Leads’ Black Report went well beyond budget. It found that data quality issues and lead generation channel decisions were also hindering growth. Sales teams need support from a B2B agency to keep their pipeline full and fix data quality issues. B2B agencies use multi-channel lead generation and help design creative campaigns that make the most of telemarketing, direct mail, and digital lead generation. They use creative ways to find new customers and free up your sales team’s resources to convert those leads.
Sales representatives need better tools to start meeting sales quotas. Better data and more leads are part of it, but they also need better training. B2B companies need to stop training sellers on product and start training them to become business consultants. They need to appeal to key decision makers and present a strong business case for the product, not seem like they’re selling.
Finally, on the HubSpot blog John Holland recommends rethinking sales progress. Sales targets have become unreachable because companies just keep adding to YTD expectations. Holland says it’s time to stop “looking in the rear-view mirror” and start rethinking how quotas are calculated. Out-of-reach expectations lead sales reps to turn off. They look like they’re active but they aren’t converting. Instead, quotas should be calculated based on your current pipeline and your historical close rates. That gives you a better picture of what you can reasonably expect to sell. It all comes down to keeping your pipeline full and training sales reps to appeal to decision makers. Expectations should be aligned with the pipeline you have right now. A B2B agency can deliver the pipeline a company needs to grow revenues and find new customers.