Do you ever get caught up with warm leads? You have hope but cannot get the win? If so, this is the topic for you.
I frequently hear about sales teams that use CRM systems that include different terms to define the progress of their opportunities. In many of these cases the degree of interest is comparable to a temperature level. Terms like cold, warm, and hot are common designations that people use to express the likelihood of an agreement getting done. I get it, but I do not like it in most cases.
The phrase that recently triggered this post was the use by many of my clients of the classification WARM LEAD. I do not know why, but it just sounded like a problematic pattern in the mind of the people that were using this term. The problem, you ask.
Simple, that WARM LEAD term seemed to give people false hope that their conversations were going to eventually turn into wins, and for that reason the willingness to cut them out of their pipelines was almost non-existent. When I inquired about what a was the answers did little to convince me that the people were ever going to receive revenue from these opportunities. In short, WARM LEADS were people that expressed a willingness to talk to my clients about the products or services they offered. Sure, call me and we can chat about what you do. Beyond that, there was little that indicated anything beyond a conversation was going to take place.
For any opportunity to be a WARM LEAD there must be some degree of qualification beyond a chance to talk to someone. From where I sit you need to disqualify as quickly and effectively as possible, instead of hoping the conversation was going to lead to business down the line. For a biz dev professional to actually have anything warm there must be a reason to talk, a timeline to take action and both the budget and authority to make a commitment. Without all four of these elements, you have little more than hope, and we all know that hope is not a reliable sales strategy.