B2B SALES LEAD MANAGEMENT – How Many is Too Many?
“How many leads should each rep have? What is a realistic number of leads a rep should have to manage? I have 2,000. It will take 20 days just to cycle through the list once.”
This is an excellent question that has several different answers depending on a sales person’s situation.
1) Your Sales Role
It’s becoming very popular for companies to break up the sales position into multiple roles.
One category is labeled a BDR (Business Development Rep). BDR’s are primarily lead hunters / qualifiers. Their role is to find and qualify leads and then hand them over to the AE (Account Executive) once the lead is qualified.
Of course there are some companies who still kick it old school where the sales person is responsible for hunting, qualifying, presenting and closing the lead (this has always been my role).
A BDR will typically have more leads in their bucket than an Account Executive will because the AE should only be working warm to hot deals that the BDR qualified.
2) Verticals / Niches
Another factor to consider is if you sell to verticals or have a niche market. If you sell office cleaning solutions to organizations with 10,000 to 25,000 square feet of office space that are only located in Tampa and Miami, you will have a limited number of prospects that meet those requirements and, therefore, you would want all of those leads in your database that you would routinely prospect. The same would apply if you offer marketing solutions that cater to say Ferrari or Lamborghini Dealerships. The pool of prospects is such that you want all of them in your lead bucket to routinely go after.
However, you may offer a product or service that has a vast amount of prospects that you aren’t limited to a specific vertical or niche. A lot of sales people can be overwhelmed with who to go after and how many leads should they focus on, etc. when this is the situation.
SO, WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
The first thing we have to understand is that we ALWAYS need a flow or a stream of new leads coming in. The lead flow always has to be moving. Whether you have a constant rush or a small stream, doesn’t matter. Just make sure new leads are being brought in. The last thing you want is stagnant water or a dead pool.
No matter how great or small your current lead bucket is there are prospects in there that will 1) Buy Now; 2) Buy Down the Road; & 3) Will Never Buy.
You will need a system that constantly brings in fresh prospects and a system that avoids you wasting time with leads that will never buy.
B2B SALES LEAD MANAGEMENT – How Many is Too Many?
Some companies have their BDR’s manage a range from 50 to a maximum of 150 leads – This makes it easier for the Sales Manager to gauge the abilities and effectiveness of the sales rep. Being able to sit down once a week with a sales rep to review the leads they called for the week is critical.
Account Executives – Vertical / Niche Markets
It’s not uncommon to have 500 or so leads in your bucket that you are continually cycling through while always being on the lookout for adding fresh new prospects to the mix.
Account Executives – Open Markets
This can be the most dangerous one because you have an easier time adding leads but a harder time weeding the NEVER GOING TO BUY leads out of the system.
ONE SOLUTION YOU MAY WANT TO TRY
There are many different (not right or wrong – just different) answers and solutions to this question and one solution I’d like to offer that you might find helpful is this…
Try once a month to do a free webinar that actually solves a problem for your targeted audience. Caution: this is a webinar that solves a problem they have. It is NOT a 20 or 30 minute COMMERCIAL or SALES PITCH for why they should use you to solve the problem.
Doing a once a month webinar and then emailing the invite out to your ever growing lead database will help generate the lead list of prospects you should be focusing on for the week or month.
If you send out an invitation to a webinar to your lead list of 2000 – You may get as much as 1/3 to register (600+). Of that, you can expect about 1/3 of those who registered to actually attend (180 to 200).
Chances are those are the leads for the month you will want to work (the 180 to 200) for the month. And if you get through those, and still have time left in the month before the next webinar, you can start to call those who registered but didn’t attend. Or better yet, call those who registered but didn’t attend the live sessions, but watched the recordings.
These are just a few suggestions on how to manage your lead list and know who to go after.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone is a straight commissioned sales person with 20+ years experience selling by phone. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – an online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to eliminate call reluctance and close more sales.
COLD CALLING WORKSHOPS FOR B2B SALES TEAMS
- How to Warm Up and Close Cold Leads
- Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
- Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
- Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
- Improve your Qualifying Skills
- Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
- Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
- How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
- Improve Your Time Management Skills