November 17

Getting your sales channel to really follow-up on sales leads

Lead Management

2  comments

B2B marketers know getting field sales people to follow-up on sales leads is tough but getting channel partners (VARs, resellers and distributors) to follow-up and close-the-loop seems down right impossible.

If you’re supporting multiple sales channels with lead generation, you’ll probably like this case study by MarketingSherpa.  It explains how GE Access Distribution got their channel to close the loop on 95% of leads delivered.  The best part was that their solution was not buying CRM software instead, they focused on developing collaboration and teamwork. 

I agree with all of the suggestions in the case study.  Teamwork between the sales and marketing is essential to get the maximum ROI from marketing and lead generation programs.  I paraphrased a few of key points from the case study below:

I’ve talked to a number of companies that are now requiring close-loop-feedback in their contracts with their channel partners.  What gets measured gets done and what gets paid for gets done. 

Do you have any other tips on how to get the channel partners to follow-up on sales leads?  Share your comments. 

MarketingSherpa.com: How GE Access Distribution Got Resellers to Follow-Up With 58% More Leads

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Brian, this is a great article. GE is a terrific case study for two major challenges that face every sales exec:

    1) The quality of ‘leads’ that come from telemarketing programs, PR, in-bound web inquiries are so porous that they are not worth following up on. Less than 1% of leads turn into sales.

    2) High tech channels are, in most cases, fundamentally flawed. The interest of the VAR is to take orders, keep headcount steady, make services revenue and reduce cost of sale. Conversely, the Technology Company wants to capture new markets, acquire new customers and rapidly scale their business.

    Nothing about that scenario points to VARs running with leads that have such a poor close rate.

    Until companies figure out that it’s about quality, not quantity, and shift the qualifying burden away from sales before flipping a lead, we will see more of the same.

  2. Brian,

    I’ve found a very effective alternative or compliment to channel partner lead distribution is a practice called “opportunity or deal registration”. Instead of pushing “leads” to channel partners, you actually have channel reps register specific opportunities with the vendor. The channel rep is motivated to share opportunities because it protects them from price discounting from a competitor plus they get extra margin (usually 8-10% more) which helps them win the business. BlueRoads (wwww.blueroads.com) has a very, very nice solution that simplifies/automates this process. It’s a Salesforce.com bolt-on that I highly recommend.

    All the best,
    Sridhar

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