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Lead Generation: Are Your Sales Reps Treating Their Prospects Like Tinder Profiles

Executive Summary

  • Losing Sales reps try to save time by quickly swiping through endless incoming leads
  • 66% of top-performing sellers think that underperforming peers don’t dedicate enough time or energy to their leads
  • 58% of sales meetings are not valuable to buyers
  • Winning reps know how to balance their pipeline
  • Quality over quantity is the philosophy of the best B2B lead generation companies

Quality over Quantity.

It’s an idiom we’re all familiar with and perhaps even use ourselves in passing conversation, but when it comes to Sales reps and pursuing leads, it shouldn’t just be a saying. It should be an industry practice.

Focusing a Sales rep's most valuable resource, time, toward the right leads, can accelerate closed deal rates. Unfortunately, many Sales reps try to save time by quickly swiping through endless incoming leads -Lead Swiping- and simply pray they’ll set a meeting with prospective buyers.

Lead swiping is when a Sales rep is treating their Lead Generation B2B like Tinder, quick to swipe away from a prospect if they don’t fit the EXACT criteria they are looking for. Reps naturally gravitate toward potential deals with the least resistance or the largest price tag attached, leaving a large part of their pipeline neglected.

Others treat Lead Swiping with the same frivolity, but from the opposite end of the spectrum, swiping right on EVERY lead with a pulse and hoping they get lucky by playing a numbers game. These reps grab at any deal that looks like it could bear fruit, offering a small fraction of attention to their entire pipeline, but by doing so, inherently end up not giving enough attention to any of it.

Both strategies of Lead Swiping are done in an effort to save time and energy, but the best Sales reps don’t do it at all.

According to the Rain Group, a Center for Sales Research, 66% of top-performing sellers think that their peers who are underperforming don’t dedicate enough time or energy to prospecting their leads.

Time is inherently valuable, essentially irreplaceable, a true commodity in a world of buys, sells, and trades, but instead of something to be seen as covetously saved, time should be aggressively optimized. That's how the best sellers, and the best lead generation services, do it.

Instead of swiping and praying, Sales reps should slow down and actually give their prospects a reason to deal. If they treat each incoming lead with careful purpose, push highly relevant messaging, and understand the various needs of their potential buyers, they close on higher-quality deals.

Lead Generation Size Matters

As reps find their pipelines filling up from lead generation specialists, it’s common for rookie and experienced reps alike to focus their efforts on a few prospects they think are going to be the easiest to close or will bring the biggest commission. 

Now, I’m in no way suggesting that purposefully generating less leads for your rep teams to pursue is a better campaign strategy. In fact, that’s a sure-fire way to assure your own self-destruction, but Sales reps come across hundreds, and potentially thousands, of leads.

The wider the parameters for lead generation agencies to work their magic, the more leads that can be generated for reps; HR titles will generate a ton of contacts, but something like legal counsel won't have nearly as many.

That’s a lot of leads to sift through, but with highly relevant messaging, reps can narrow down the quality leads from the start.

Relevant Messaging for Lead Generation

An important element of prospecting that a good Sales rep accounts for is making sure that outgoing messaging is getting to the right contact within an organization or company.

There are cases when those at the top of an organization have so much on their plates they defer decision making powers to trusted employees, but more-often-than-not decisions in closing new deals rest near the top, or perhaps at the very pinnacle, of a company’s structure; Executive and C-Suite level.

C-suite level exec’s are unendingly busy, and good reps know that the limited attention an Executive can devote to them is rather fleeting, so it’s paramount that relevant messaging and a good value prop are laid out.

Instead of Lead Swiping their way through high-level prospects, hoping some B2B company leaders will simply make time for them, Sales reps need to capitalize on the brief window they secure.

Unfortunately, many don’t do this.

According to Rain Group, 58% of sales meetings are not valuable to buyers. That means that the majority of Sales reps don’t approach their high-level prospects properly or with the relevant messaging that could encourage an Exec to pursue a relationship.

They just aren’t capitalizing

Sales reps need to be sure their message is clear and relevant to buyers before they ever get to the table. Research on a lead is one of the most underutilized tools of a Sales rep before a meeting. Yes, some skilled reps can enter a cold meeting and drag some sort of success out kicking and screaming, but most can’t.

Reps can’t just seem valuable to prospects, they must be valuable. 

Value Proposition for Leads

The best sellers know it’s never about how a prospect can help them, it’s always about how they can help their prospect. Problem solve for them. Find out what’s broken for them and tell them how you can fix it. Know their agenda and how to boost it, bringing them new ideas and perspectives to run with.

Winning reps sell with insight. They understand their prospects and they provide them value. Much like Tinder, if you don’t understand your dating pool and don’t give them a reason to date you, then you’re not going to go much further than a dead-end match. That’s the strength of value propositions.

Value propositions are concise messages of innovation and service that feature what makes a B2B company or product attractive to customers. Value props clearly demonstrate to an Exec what a deal would do for them.

Good value propositions are riddled with opportunity. Opportunities for prospects.

Most execs don’t have budgets to work with, keeping slim margins of bankruptcy at bay, but the Rain Group found that C-suite level Execs invest when there is an opportunity. Show high-level buyers what opportunities await them by pitching highly relevant messaging with strong value propositions.

Messaging content for a Sales rep is important, but they should also be using specific channels that are the preferred methods by high-level prospects.

Lead Generation Channels

Focus Lead Generation. Sure, you can match with someone on tinder 2,000 miles away, but if you have no ability to date in that market then you’re just chasing the dragon. Focus energy on prospects that are going to be a good fit for where you are at. And more importantly, a good fit for where they are at.

It’s fine to chase a few whales (that’s not a euphemism for fat girls, it’s large deals that are elusive) in the process, but whale chasing is also a dangerous game when your pipeline dries up and you have nothing to show your manager and have spent months chasing big opportunities that never panned out.

A good way to focus on outreach and yield closed deals is using the proper channels.

Email comes in as the most favored communication channel for all buyers, the convenience of its speed, reliability, and cross-continent linking lifting it to the top. Speaking to Sales reps over the phone and sending direct mail rank as the second and third most preferred methods among all buyers.

The C-suite however, they prefer using the phone to connect with Sales reps.

Desperate Sales reps who flail through their prospects in volume, trying to save time, miss this connection opportunity entirely. While it takes more invested time to jump on the phone with a prospect than it does to hit send on a generic email blast, Sales reps who do this aren’t nearly as effective.

Of 15 outreach methods studied by the Rain Group, 3 of the top 5 were via telephone. Cold calling services are a rather contentious topic, some claiming it’s by-gone dead, yet others argue that it's more than alive and well, but whether cold calling is still viable across the industry at large is worth debating, it's a fact that better sellers utilize the phone far more often.

Why They Should Swipe Right On You

Losing reps who Lead Swipe are too picky for their own good and never end up with any matches and new deals, or they have far too many matches and can’t cover all of them.

As the best lead generation companies know, the balance lies somewhere in between.

Winning reps know how to balance their pipeline, paying attention to prospects across different stages and sizes without letting good ones slip through the cracks or focusing too much energy on fruitless prospects.

Sales reps who slow down, prospect with purpose, and actually give their prospects a reason to deal always end up taking the lion's share of deals.

Successful reps treat each incoming lead carefully, push highly relevant messaging catered specifically to each, and understand the various needs of their potential buyers. That’s why they close on higher-quality deals, and that’s why losing reps shouldn’t treat their prospects like Tinder.

Quality over quantity is the philosophy of the best B2B lead generation companies.

And for the best Sales reps... it’s industry practice.

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