January 18

Caution Sales: Hot Leads may burn you

Lead Generation


My good friend, Jill Konrath, President of Selling to Big Companies and Leapfrog-Strategies Inc., was recently interviewed by Selling Power Magazine on the topic of prospecting (sales person generated leads). 

Jill dispels a sacred cow held by sales (and marketing) which, HOT leads – those leads that say they are immediately ready to buy – are always good things – when in fact they may be your poorest opportunities.  Why? 

Research shows, that top sales performers have the best opportunity screening skills.  They focus their energies where they not only have a good odds to win but more importantly, will become ideal customers – bigger sales, longer-term value and more profitable. 

Poor sales performers, focus on opportunities that have a high likelihood to close but may not necessarily be ideal customer – small sales, short-term value and less profitable. 

What does this mean?  If your lead generation is off target you could do more damage to sales performance than good.  So sales leaders and marketers take this as a cautionary tale – when sales people say I want "HOT Leads", you can help them better target their opportunities by jointly developing an ideal customer profile and universal lead definition before lead generation begins. 

Jill’s article does a great job illustrating the why the fallacy of, "low-hanging fruit," is ruining sales performance. 

Caution: Avoid Low-Hanging Fruit

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. The title of the article seems a bit misleading to me. She isn’t advocating avoiding low-hanging fruit, she’s advocating qualifying them and building relationships with them. Not really as mind-blowing as it seemed. Just prudent advice to not count your hot-lead eggs before they hatch.

  2. Today’s buyer doesn’t percieve value by the same method. Twenty years ago buyers bought based on the beneftis of a product or service. Since today’s pace of change is so fast & furious benefits and features no longer hold the same value in the buyers mindset. He/She is thinking, hum if I wait chances are the product will be even better next year and most likely cost less. Today’s top sales person understands not to product dump. They know how to disarm the buyer and more importantly they know how to sell by “Opportunity Cost” a new inovative means developed by Revourceinc.com founder who concieved the process after consulting with over a thousand businesses. “Opportunity Cost” selling isn’t revolutionary but the results have been. For more information or to read more about the author please view an upcoming editorial in FSB (fortune small business, http://www.fortune.com) or go to http://www.revsourceinc.com revsourceinc.com

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