Lead Scoring

Oh no…not another new buzz word? That’s right. Several companies have started using this acronym for “Being in front of the right person at the right time with the right message.” No, it isn’t really new. IMPACT sales has had this as one of the primary principles for years. What is new however, is the technology. The automated system which allows a sales person and a manager to track the progress or lack thereof on a specific customer makes the process more effective than the traditional spreadsheets.

The system is clearly aimed at the “C” level of organizations using phrases such as “shortened time to revenue”, “shorter time to market” and “shorten time to profitability”. They talk about providing an edge for savvy businesses and maximizing team selling time. As a company moves away from commodity selling, it focuses on team selling. savvy sales organizations understand that it takes a team to identify the right clients, uncover their specific wants and deliver the products in a professional and targeted way. Any system that creates a more effective and efficient method to achieve this should be seriously considered.

The downside of a technologically advanced lead scoring system is the same as it is for the excel spreadsheet system. It removes the sales manager from the field. It provides one more reason to work from behind a desk. It gives top officers one more report, study and analysis to request. Let’s face it, as a manager, who wouldn’t prefer to work from the quiet warmth of their home office or their well-equipped regional office? The alternative is frankly more work and often requires more travel. But the real reason managers shy away from field work is none of these. To be a fully-engaged manager, one must know the market, know the sales person’s strengths and weaknesses, understand where he or she is in the sales process and have the confidence to take on the customer and coach the sales person. On a snowy, blustery winter morning which task would you prefer?

The answer, of course is that great sales managers love what they do every day. They thrive on developing their people to stardom. They relish putting themselves out there. They do more demonstration calls than ride alongs. Why? Because they understand that they are the expert and that their most valuable role is to pass that knowledge on to their sales force enabling them to rise up and become better. They will shine when each and every person they coach becomes better. That is how regions and divisions outsell others. It has very little to do with reports and analysis

The decision for every manager is about how to achieve that balance. How much in-process coaching can I accomplish while providing post-process reporting to those in leadership roles. Reports and analysis that are truly needed and effective in strategic decision making.