Are you at quota? If so, great, let’s get past it. No, not at quota? Ok, don’t panic. We’ve got 7 steps you can follow that will build your own pipeline to ensure you get to quota this quarter and beyond.
As a salesperson you aren’t only at the mercy of your own cold calling and whatever Marketing and Teleprospecting are sending your way. It’s a free country remember, you can control your own destiny to a degree. Run your own campaigns to ensure you not only meet quota, but overachieve against it.
Sales reps that take some degree of ownership for their own pipeline invariably outperform those that don’t. Here’s a quick guideline to run an immediate campaign of your own to set the table for an epic Q2.
How to Run A Lead Gen Campaign On Your Own:
Who’s Your Ideal Profile?
Yes, I know Marketing has done this exercise before. They probably did a bang up job with it too, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it a step further. Marketing’s ideal buyer is high level. It’s a persona, not a person. You, as a sales executive, can use your historical successes and failures to put a real face and a name on your own ideal customer. Look at your own wins and losses and determine the following.
a. Best type of company to close (industry, revenue, employee size)
b. Best title within that company to target (who signed your last contract with a similar company)?
c. Most common pain points experience by this person within this type of company.
Source a Target List of the Top 250:
Go to an outside resource like Data.com or NetProspex or if you have an internal inside sales list development team, use them to get the best 250 companies that match the profile above. After establishing those 250 have them pull at least 3 contacts within each that match or contain words within your ideal profile. 750 Contacts and 250 companies.
Craft Your Outbound Messaging
Do some hard work and come up with a sales friendly voicemail and email messages (short concise and no bull) that you would be comfortable delivering to any of the prospects on your target list. Keep it simple, aggressive, and polite. Build a live intro, a voicemail script, and an intro voicemail. You’ll need each in our execution phase.
Run An Email Marketing Campaign
We are only talking about 750 contacts here. Figure out a way to get your intro email out to all 750 at once to kick off your attack. Ideally, Marketing will help you with this. Have them load your list and intro message into their system and schedule a Tuesday morning delivery (best time to send).
Execute a Telequalification Campaign Into Your List
If you have a Telequalification representative assigned to you then you’ll want to have involved them from step one. If you don’t have someone to make these early dials for you, complain and get one. Make sure you explain in detail to your rep why you’ve selected these companies and contacts and update them on what messages have been sent to them already. Be sure to explain to them the goal of their own activity. Their focus should be on three things
- Find out what’s wrong within the target company today.
- How much that pain is costing them?
- How serious they are about spending appropriate funds soon to fix it?
In other words, you aren’t looking to bring donuts to their office and shake hands. You want fully qualified opportunities that can impact quota this year not next.
Close the Loop
Track your success with your reps. For every ten fully qualified leads your telequalification team passes over the course of this campaign, how many hit your forecast? Share this information back to them in real time and during monthly business reviews. The idea here is that you set a new normal for your marketing team. Your proven and impressive results from this campaign can be your case for having them do it for you next time.
Closing the loop is huge, but you’ve also got to track additional hard metrics for this effort to get Marketing to do it for you in the future. Look at these 3 KPI’s and ask Marketing to compare them to the success rates of the things they are doing.
- Connect Rate: % of all the outbound activities that result in a meaningful correspondence with a decision maker. Should be 15%.
- Lead Rate: % of all the meaningful conversations that turn into fully qualified leads that you follow up on. Should be 6%
- Conversion Rate: The % of the fully qualified leads that end up at the early stage of your sales forecast. 80% of leads passed should convert.
It sounds easy because it is. The hardest part is Step 3, the Messaging. Here is the beauty of that part. This is a sales campaign not a marketing campaign. They are your words. Clean, simple, pain focused, and aggressive.
If you embark on some self preservation lead generation you’ll find one additional fact about the leads you get. They close faster. It’s a little known and statistically unproven fact that opportunities generated by sales themselves close faster and for more average money than those that originate elsewhere.
If you don’t buy what I’m selling, the only way to prove me wrong is to try.
Pete Gracey, is the Chief Operations Officer and co-Founder of AG Salesworks, a marketing and teleprospecting services firm. Pete oversees the daily operations of AG Salesworks, is a prolific blogger and is also Adjunct Professor of Sales and Marketing for the University of Massachusetts Amherst. You can connect with Pete on Google+, LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter.