The film Glengarry Glen Ross presented an infamous image of the real estate world, one where sales people were driven by fear and intimidation in order to meet the edict from their boss to "Always Be Closing." If nothing else, this shock-therapy approach to sales got the team to take action on every possible lead. Unfortunately, according to industry studies, an extraordinary number of banking leads mysteriously disappear into the ether. Short of brow-beating your sales team into action, what can you do to make sure that every lead gets the attention it deserves?
The answer may lie in the emerging science—not art —of lead management. The sales art still exists in the actual sales conversations that go on, but the legwork and behind-the-scenes preparation has largely adopted a scientific bent. It is clear that the use of data and analysis today are taking on larger roles in all aspects of sales management. This science is more effective and more actionable than the method of fear and reward used in Glengarry Glen Ross.
Often, lead source management boils down to sales resources’ intuition. While making an educated guess could prove to be right, it is hardly the most accurate or efficient method. Why take the chance? A much more effective tactic to ensuring qualified lead conversion is to leverage analytics to promptly analyze lead sources and overall lead management.
"With the proliferation of social media networks and the advancement of social selling, sales resources have no excuse not to be as prepared as possible before speaking with a prospective customer."
There are going to be situations where even the best natural-born sales reps struggle to establish a connection. With the proliferation of social media networks and the advancement of social selling, sales resources have no excuse not to be as prepared as possible before speaking with a prospective customer. This information can be gathered automatically, integrated into the lead evaluation and passed along before the sales process even starts so that sales people can quickly pick up on subtle traits and subconscious cries for help buried in a LinkedIn profile or Twitter feed.
Background research behind a lead is one thing, but enriching what we know about a particular lead with analytical models has been proven to improve lead outcomes. Analytical scoring, grading methods and propensity models can further qualify whether a lead should be actioned and even what channel or method for contact should be used. Sales resources don’t have to take the time to chase down this information to figure out the best action to take—or even if a lead should be actioned at all. Instead, analytics can provide them with a data-driven, reasoned judgment.
As awful as he was, no one questioned where the boss stood in Glengarry Glen Ross: He was crystal clear in his art, style and direction. It was as simple as A-B-C in his mind. By leveraging sophisticated analytics (and not fear and intimidation!), your lead decisioning can be just as clear, making it much easier for your sales resources to Always Be Closing.