We've talked previously about sales teams - the choice between pioneers and duplicators and the reasons why many MDs don't like to employ sales people at all.
The truth is that, even with a great marketing department producing warm leads, you still need to have someone who can close the deal.
But losing leads is not just about poor sales technique or an enquiror that just wasn't qualified.
The sales team can only turn leads into customers if they have the information to be able to make contact. Most importantly, they have to know that the lead exists.
Here's a cautionary tale about how that process went horribly wrong and why it's crucial to have a proper method for registering leads and clear lines of communication between Marketing and Sales.
We had been providing optimised blog posts for a company for over a year with regular leads arriving via email from the contact form on their website. We had set things up so that a copy of the contact details came to us as well as the original going to the client.
The client then changed both their IT provider and their email system. When we came to provide our regular quarterly report, we asked the client to provide the usual stats about enquiries through the website and which ones had become sales.
What? No leads?
The sales team informed us that they had only had two enquiries in three months via the website contact form.