There’s an old Russian proverb that says, “If you chase two rabbits, you’ll catch neither.” This might as well have been written about sales representatives who often chase multiple rabbits simultaneously, hoping to catch them all. Sales reps do understand that sometimes a rabbit or two will get away. To be willing to pursue nevertheless is the mark of a good sales rep; to know when to stop the pursuit is the mark of a great sales rep.
Although it only takes a few clicks, disqualifying leads is one of the most daunting tasks that sales reps do every day. That’s because it can be uncomfortable to accept that all the time, effort, and money invested will never bear fruit. But is it worth pursuing any further? Failing to win a lead is not necessarily bad, but failing to accept the loss is much worse. In times like these, the best course of action for yourself and the company is pulling the plug.
Leads May Come Back. Time Won’t.
When you invest a significant amount of time on a lead who won’t convert, you’re wasting the most valuable resource a sales rep, or anyone for that matter has—time. Every second you spend with a client trying to negotiate a deal is time you can’t recover. This isn’t to say that you should stress out about contacting any lead at all, but you should be able to quickly tell where a deal is heading if you have a proper qualification framework in your CRM. When you cut down on your efforts to convert them, you’ll find yourself having more time to focus on leads that have more potential.
Focus Better On Prospects
Sales reps are generally adept at multitasking, but not all tasks get equal time – there’s always a priority disparity. When you’re assigned to deal with multiple leads and you’re simultaneously talking to them to win their business, you might feel burnt out. Having cold leads among the bunch will only make it worse. When your focus is spread out, making sure you invest time in the right prospects is important. Ignoring those cold leads will give you some breathing room and you’ll find yourself closing better deals.
Flushing The Funnel
When you don’t decide whether a lead is hot or cold, you’re stalling it on your sales pipeline. When multiple sales reps do this, it clogs your sales funnel, severely hurting the company’s efficiency. This will make it hard for higher-ups to have a clear view of the current sales cycle, and they can end up making wrong decisions on how to proceed. Additionally, generating reports become onerous as the cold leads will inflate your statistics, which might end up with unsustainable decisions from management. By closing these leads you will free up the funnel giving more accurate insights into the sales cycle.
Better Rep Profile
If you have too many stalled leads in your profile, your sales score will suffer. Even if you did close a decent number of deals that month, the fact that you got no answer on the cold ones will hurt your metrics. This can have an impact on your job and your morale later on. Flushing out leads with too many negative signs will keep your profile clean, allowing you to focus on prospects that matter.
But Most Importantly, They Won’t Convert
Your qualification framework clearly says this lead will not do business with your company, so what’s the point of pursuing it? If they don’t need your services, you can’t force it. If the lead can’t afford your service and your company can’t give them a discount, there isn’t much left to discuss. If the pieces don’t fit, the deal won’t go through. When these roadblocks occur, accept that it’s not going to work and move on to the next task.
Nobody wants to turn down an opportunity, but picking the right ones will always a more efficient use of your time and energy than trying to convert them all. Remember, it’s quality over quantity so don’t waste your expertise on opportunities that are fickle. Your company needs you, so give them your best.