Eleven hours a week. That's about a day and a half. Every week. A day and a half that sales reps are out scouring the internet trying to determine who to call and to generate the information they need to interact with leads.
That's what Tim Young tells us Outsell's latest research reports. He also makes a hugely valid point when he asks if that's the best use of your sales rep's time. But, his final assertion of the blog post is, perhaps, his finest: "It's the nurturing process people." Bravo.
The critical point here is to decide the most valuable use of your sales rep's time.
Is it research or closing sales?
Will your sales process be impacted in a positive way by providing the ability for sales reps to have visibility into a marketing process that nurtures leads and tracks valuable interactions? Especially if those interactions reflect an engaging customer experience and highlight triggering events that set up your sales reps to take the relationship through to close. Or is it better to use salespeople to do administrative research and qualifying?
A lead nurturing system is imperative in complex sales where the knowledge transfer is intensive and the sales cycle is long. Building relationships is the only way to get in the door with these type of leads. Using sales reps to cold call prospects is not going to have them making their numbers or your company meeting strategic objectives.
Let's face it, sales people are concerned with their numbers. They are motivated to make them and will do whatever it takes to get those results. Many companies are transitioning from a component sale to a solution sale. How they set their sales reps up to succeed is dependent upon the processes they put in place to support lead nurturing.
At this stage in the digital marketplace, companies that haven't empowered their marketing departments to run campaigns that engage and nurture means their sales reps are going to spend way too much time trying to generate demand from leads not ready to buy.
How much time do your sales reps spend actually selling?