More Leads ≠ Better Sales: Why Lead Quality Matters More Than Lead Quantity
Ah, a full pipeline. Feels good right?
Seeing a bunch of leads in your CRM lets a sales leader know the deals are on their way. The more leads the better, because more leads mean more sales…right?
Not so fast.
A sales pipeline’s health is not measured just by the quantity of its leads. Lead quality matters much more to your bottom line.
Think about it. What good are leads that just hang around in your pipeline without ever moving? All they do is gum up the works, skew your data, mess up your forecasting, and cause frustrating and uncomfortable conversations with the AEs who swear those leads are going somewhere when all their doing is taking up valuable resources.
We get it. It’s tempting to say yes to every lead that comes your way. After all, you’re trying to grow sales! How can you do that if you turn willing customers away?
But the hard truth is this: not all leads are created equal.
Not everyone is going to buy what you’re selling. Maybe instinctually you understand that, but it’s still everso tempting to just qualify every lead that enters your CRM and start selling to them.
While you may think this is a harmless experiment, a sort of Hail Mary pass that might just work, the reality is that selling to buyers who don’t fit your ideal customer profile (ICP) wastes time, energy, and resources.
Consider why you have an ICP in the first place. ICPs allow you to get strategic with your selling. A clearly defined ICP is essential to develop scalable, repeatable process that yield the highest return for your sales efforts. ICPs take away the need to reinvent the wheel for each new lead you start selling to. With an ICP, you can develop talk tracks and playbooks that you can reuse and adapt again and again.
Best of all, having an ICP allows you identify the most valuable kinds of leads, the leads that close fastest and yield the biggest deal sizes. Those are the kinds of leads you should be spending your resources on. Not nowhere leads that aren’t going to bring in revenue.
So while it’s difficult learning to turn leads away, in the long run it’s actually more beneficial to your organization. Not only will it keep your data clear and your mind at ease, it will also allow you to focus on the leads in your pipeline that will deliver the most value. And delivering that value is what sales is all about.
With Q1 on the way, building a solid pipeline for next year should definitely be one of your top priorities. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that means filling your pipeline with more leads. Instead, invest some time in defining your ICP and building a pipeline with leads that match the criteria of what you know makes a good buyer. Look at their roles, their company sizes, their industry. Look at whatever markers matter to your bottom line and the likelihood of closing. That’s what will allow you to really scale your sales efforts and grow revenue in 2019 and beyond.
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Posted on December 5, 2018