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.