Over the years, I have made it very clear that I don’t believe marketing has any business qualifying leads for salespeople. I’ve written several articles and blog posts on the topic, and included the following in my book, Pick Up the Damn Phone!:
A marketing expert left me flabbergasted when he said, “Salespeople should not generate their own leads. That’s the job of marketing.” He even had the nerve to add: “And salespeople are terrible at it.”
Sales, and only sales, can truly determine if a lead is qualified. Why? Because we’re responsible for business development, client relationships, and making quota. Not to mention the fact that we’re better at it. After all, it’s what we do every single day.
Not only is generating leads our responsibility, it’s a task you don’t want marketing (or anyone else) doing for you. These are your clients, and hopefully you’re going to be working with them for a long time. These are also the people who can send you the best, hottest referrals, so you want them to be the right fit for you.
Don’t get me wrong. Marketing teams today provide invaluable support. They bring prospects to our websites, nurture relationships, conduct research, create demographics, write case studies, and build social-media strategies. Well-aligned sales and marketing teams produce significant results.
One thing marketing should not be doing is qualifying leads for sales. That’s our job. (Tweet this.)
I’ve Had a Change of Heart
As adamant as I’ve always been about this belief, I read The Truth About Leads, by prospect-development expert, Dan McDade.
Dan recently interviewed me about referral selling. And he actually took the time to read my book and agree with my points of view—even though he knew I didn’t believe marketing should qualify sales leads.
I like Dan, but I didn’t expect to agree with him. I was wrong.
A New Way of Thinking About Marketing-Generated Leads
In The Truth About Leads, Dan writes:
The fact is, fewer than seven percent of leads passed to sales by marketing should be … Even when a sales representative takes the time to plow through a stack of leads and finds a good one or two, they’re not very likely to pass credit along to marketing. So from marketing’s perspective, all leads end up in a dark hole. As a result of this dynamic, companies default to buying leads for the lowest possible price. And they end up measuring marketing by quantity, not quality—a vicious cycle with numerous drawbacks.
Dan goes on to outline a remarkable process that enables marketing teams to increase sales pipelines for reps. If every company followed his advice, they would stop the cold calling and cold emailing stupidity, and actually get qualified leads.
So what’s the secret? It’s not one-and-done, and it’s not up to me to explain. It’s up to you to grab a copy of the book and find out for yourself. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
I owe Dan an apology for ever doubting him. If marketing worked the way he suggests, companies would stop wasting money on ineffective campaigns, and our job as salespeople would be so much easier.
Connect with No More Cold Calling
Which sales books have you read that changed your mind about something?