From a business perspective this one is an easy answer.
From a professional salesperson’s perspective this one is an easy answer.
An unprofessional salesperson will debate this one.
Today’s episode, I address “I was fired from a sales job today for letting a week go without following up on a lead. Is that fair?”
Episode 84 – Transcript
Welcome to episode 84 of the sales experience podcast.
Today I’m gonna answer a question that I’ve seen online. I’ve seen it in real life before. I’ve never had somebody ask it, but I’ve been involved with situations where this is kind of the premise behind it and hopefully you’re enjoying all these episodes. If you haven’t yet, make sure you subscribe to the podcast.
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So if you listen to it and you’re like, hey, that was great, but I didn’t have a chance to take a note. Always go to the cutter consulting group.com site slash podcast you can find every episode there, all of the transcripts you can find what you need, copy and paste.
Use it in your sales career, in your sales, like with your sales team as an owner of a company. You know, take all these bits. That’s why I do this. So that you can have this valuable information and not just hear it like a shelf help book where you hear it or you read it sounded great. You put it on the shelf, you never see it again until you have to move.
The goal of this and what I do is for you to put these things in actions. Why I try to keep these episodes under 10 minutes so you can listen to a digest, take action on it, put it in place, next episode the following day. Put that in action and just layer on all these little bits over time in order to change the sales experience for you and your customers. All right, today’s question.
I was fired from a sales job today for letting a week go by without following up on a lead. Is that fair? Now, other situations I’ve seen like this is where I’ve had to let reps go or I have advised managers and companies to let somebody go who’s literally not following up on their leads and they’re not putting in the action.
Now, why is this a big deal? Sales Reps, hopefully it doesn’t apply to you if you’re listening to this, but just in case it does. The reason why this is so important is that sales reps need to follow up on their leads.
Fundamentally, no matter what you’re selling, there’s a good chance that it’s never a one call close 100% of the time. Now, of course the goal is probably to close deals in one call as much as possible, but there’s usually a ideal percentage for every industry.
Now if you’re in something like mortgage, it’s never a one call close. However, a one call close to you may be getting the information you need to pull a credit report to prequalify somebody, so that may be considered your one called close.
Instead of having multiple calls in order to even get to that point where you’re getting a social or they’re filling out information online or they’re filling out your basic 10 oh three so you can get done what you need.
Other industries, it may be more of a chance of a one call close or that may look different, including payment information and you know, getting the three digit number on the back of their credit card or whatever that may be for you. In every industry there’s some type of one call close and there’s a percentage that you should be shooting for.
That usually is not 100% the reason why is there’s always gonna be prospects who ae need more time there in a personality type, let’s say like analysts where they’re not necessarily going to make one call close buying decisions.
The other part is that depending on what you’re selling, depending on what you need from the prospect in order to move them forward to a customer, they might not have it at the time and they might not have their statement or an account number or their credit card with them or authorization or approval to buy and they need the check with somebody else.
Or there’s a committee involved, whatever that looks like. Business to business, business to consumer, you know, depending on what that means for you, there’s going to be times where you can close them in one call and there’s going to be a fair amount of times where you can’t.
That’s when you need to make sure that you’re following up with those leads. The challenge can be is that sales reps can get lazy. I know sales reps don’t like to hear that.
They don’t like to hear the truth. Managers know it. Owners know sales reps, if you have any kind of inbound leads that you’re getting or you have warm leads, most salespeople are going to default to going after those warm leads, those inbound leads or new fresh populated leads versus chasing down old leads and the tendency can be that those old leads, the follow-ups get ignored, they don’t get closed and the focus is on the new one.
Here’s the problem when it comes to the business side of it, is that all of these leads are at a cost. The business paid for them. Whether they’re doing the marketing and they’re paying for the website, the SEO, the search, there’s a cost that goes into that could be thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars every month or they’re actually buying leads, so that lead could have cost $50 a hundred dollars $500 $10, whatever that is the company is buying.
Those leads are paying for those leads to either come in or buying the list that you’re calling on. When you don’t close enough deals, that means the cost per acquisition is higher for the company means they’re paying more for marketing to get the deals from you then might even be profitable for the business. The follow up leads the pipeline.
That’s where if you’re not calling them and closing some of those, then that means all of the focus of the cost per acquisition and the closing is on the new warm inbound leads and I’ll tell you based on experience, nobody is that good.
Nobody is so good. They can live off of just a new leads. Inbound leads are warm leads and close enough deals to meet quota and B, be able to keep the company afloat from a profitability standpoint of those deals. Nobody is that good.
Nobody can do that 100% of the time. Inbound, it’s probably not good. It means probably also a lot of cancels because you’re high pressure. But generally what that means is also closing low volume because there’s a lot of deals left in the pipeline.
So when your manager or when your company needs you to close pipeline deals, make those follow-up calls and you don’t do it. I’ve seen so many reps who just won’t do it or they do it and they put in kind of a half ass effort and they just don’t really care. When that happens, that’s costing the company money and is not effective.
That doesn’t work. That’s not a good business model to let reps sit around and do they want and not make their follow-up calls. So for someone like this, and I’ve seen this so many times in the past where just reps either check out or they don’t want to do it, or they get lazy and spoiled and entitled by those new inbound leads that come in and they don’t want to chase anybody.
They don’t want to follow up. They don’t feel like they should. Maybe they are so experienced and so amazing that they feel like that’s below them. Whatever the case is, I guarantee every sales organization there is a level and there’s amount of your day that needs to go into the follow-ups.
So for this person here didn’t follow up with a lead after a week. Not surprised that they were let go. Most likely. It wasn’t just the first infraction. It’s probably happened several times in the past. I know for me, there’s been reps who don’t follow up with their leads, especially with appointments. It’s like, hey, this person said, call them on Tuesday.
If they don’t get a call, the person’s not calling it. The salesperson’s not calling them. Just ignoring it, just kind of moving their pipeline around and that’s it. There’s an over-under from a business perspective of the tolerance for that kind of behaviour.
Hopefully that helps. The big message for this, and the reason why I want to answer this question is because if you’re in sales, you need to value your pipeline as much as you value new leads. Your pipeline is full of gold. It’s full of deals that could close.
Now, they could close next week, they could close next month, whatever your sales cycle is, but it’s full of gold and that is where the money is made for most sales organizations because the first inbound deals, the warm leads, whatever those are, those are great for now, but really the profit comes from the follow-up leads as an overall business strategy when it comes to sales.
Hopefully that helps. Again, make sure to subscribe, rate, review. I love the feedback. Send me a message. LinkedIn is always a great way to go. You can go on there and find me. You can find the show. You can find cutter consulting group.
Always, remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.