Developing Qualified Sales Opportunities for the Field Sales Force

Problem: Insufficient Qualified Sales Opportunities For The Field

Increasing revenue is always a goal for companies, but many times there aren't enough qualified sales opportunities for the Field Sales Reps to follow-up on because lead generation programs are minimal, or the market, product, and company are too new and unknown. This means the Sales Reps have a hard time building their sales pipeline, or worse, they are spending their time selling to the wrong type of prospect, or to unqualified prospects. The resulting problem is that the revenue growth of these Sales Reps is slower than desired.

Solution: Build A Lead Qualification Team

In this project, we build, manage, and then transition a 2-10 person Inside Sales Department. These departments are sometimes also called Telebusiness, Lead Qualification, Sales Development, or Business Development Groups. We conduct an assessment, develop the strategy, create the processes, hire and train the people, and manage the group until the goals are being achieved. Then we hire our replacement and transition the group under that person. The project team consists of an Engagement Director, working approximately 1/2 time on-site, and a Project Manager, working full-time on-site, each day over a 4-6 month period, depending on the scope of the project.

The fundamental goal is to build an operational department and to develop the "Lead Qualification Model," including best target prospects, number of qualified sales opportunities per month, and number of qualified sales opportunities needed to produce one sale. The tasks of the project include:

  • Hold kickoff meeting.
  • Learn the company, product, and industry.
  • Complete an assessment.
  • Present findings and go-forward plan.
  • Create or improve Inside Sales processes, including recording rules of engagement, updating compensation plans, and establishing metrics for measuring performance.
  • Optimize the SFA system for the Inside Sales team.
  • Evaluate and implement sales tools to increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Recruit and hire the Inside Sales Reps and an Inside Sales Manager.
  • Train the Inside Sales Reps.
  • Train the Inside Sales Manager.
  • Manage the department to reach the quota of qualified sales opportunities per month.
  • Transition the group to the Inside Sales Manager.
  • Conduct final presentation and contract review.

Specific Results

Within the first nine months of implementing this program for a young hardware company, $2.5 million of revenues was tracked to the qualified sales opportunities from the Inside Sales Department. Over the next 2 years, the average annual revenue per outside Sales Rep increased from approximately $1.2 million per year to approximately $3.3 million per year. The VP of Sales believes the Inside Sales Department played a major role in helping the Sales Reps' productivity increase so dramatically and quickly. The company went public one year after the project was completed. Several years later, $20 million of revenue was attributed to qualified sales opportunities developed by the Inside Sales Department. That year, revenues for the company were approximately $116 million.

General Benefits

  • Increased revenues from Field Sales Reps because they have more selling time with better qualified sales opportunities, increasing their close rate.
  • More predictable revenues because Field Sales Reps have much fuller pipelines of qualified sales opportunities.