Getting Your Sales Force to Update the Status of Leads

8. Getting Your Sales Force this is, of course, the holy grail of successful lead management.

Getting Your Sales Force you might not want to hear this, but given a well-thought-out process and basic technology tools for distribution and updates, the single largest lead blocker we see is a lack of real commitment on the part of management to establish and reinforce good habits.

Sales people naturally resist any attempt to formalize a discipline feedback loop, partly for the obvious reasons: It takes too much time, and they don’t want to use the technology or system required. But much of the resistance comes from a sales person’s innate desire to be independent, to follow “their” system and to let their performance speak for itself. This attitude becomes particularly difficult when the sales people showing the most resistance are your top producers.

It’s shortsighted to let this behavior continue.

So? What are the opportunity costs of poor follow-up? What kind of example does it set for others on the team? And what levels of transparency and reliability really exist, especially when the economy turns down and you’re scrambling for every piece of revenue you can get?

A real commitment to a successful lead management program means putting pressure on everyone, including your top producers, to follow the process.

The carrot or the stick?

There is another number of possible ways to ensure imely and successful lead updates, including :

  • Clear communication of the short- and long-term benefits to the sales person
  • Committed management that regularly reinforces good behaviors
  • Regular reviews of relevant reports with each member of
  • Tools that allow for quick and easy status updating
  • Linking estimating and quoting tools to actual lead information
  • Incentive rewards for meeting interim sales goals, including lead updates
  • Tying compensation and expense reimbursements to fully updated lead dat

Read more: New Business Opportunity : Mapping the Sales Cycle