What’s the bigger challenge for B2B sales teams? Finding and creating leads or closing them?
We asked that question on our LinkedIn group, Sales Readiness, and started a pretty spirited debate between members. Probably the most thoughtful reply was this one from Sandy Horner, “If a lead is not closed, there is no sale. Therefore closing is critical. However I believe that a properly qualified lead that is well managed will close naturally, without the need for engaging in clever ‘closing techniques.'”
Consider your own sales organization. Which is more important to you, generating leads above your sales funnel or getting better at closing deals already in your pipeline? While the easy answer is to say both, force yourself to really think through the equation.
Here’s one approach to determining the answer: change your win rate. Take it from 30% to 50% (or 15% to 25%) or whatever is a meaningful jump. Without getting better at any other stage of your sales pipeline – and keeping the number of incoming new opportunities steady – will you make your sales target this year? That’s one way to start looking at things. Just realize if changing your win rate gets you to your goal in this calculation, you will actually have to change your real win rate!
Of course the opposite side of this calculation is to increase the number qualified leads entering your funnel. Keeping everything else the same, double or triple the new leads you receive and see what happens to your revenue goal.
Here’s a template to help you run these scenarios.
Most companies find that increasing leads is a much more sure thing way to get to their target. Get better at both lead generation and closing and you’re on your way to Best In Class results!
Try our Do I Have Enough Leads Calculator to help you work through this challenge. It lets you adjust many variables at once, or just one at a time. It’s a revealing process and will help you focus your efforts to where the impact will be greatest.