For someone who loves electronic gadgets as much as I do, I am still woefully dependent on a cute little paper organizer in which I scribble my to-dos. Something about copying them from one day to another makes me more aware of what items on my list really need my attention. Believe me, I’ve tried the electronic methods. Maybe when someone gets me a good iPhone app that also syncs with my computer, I’ll change my ways.
Anyway, I have never REALLY thought about what it must be like to be a technology sales person, out there working hot and cold prospects every day. I am horrible with rejection, and I admire anyone who has the backbone to get out there and expose yourself to it regularly. Certainly, I never even knew what “A, B and C” leads WERE until a couple months ago when someone posted a question about prioritizing them in the SWOT LinkedIn group.
Yet, I found myself deep into a discussion about the ABCs of picking A, B and C opportunities during a recent conversation with Matt McManus, vice president of channel sales for Fujitsu Computer Systems. Fujitsu’s lead-generation team is working on refining the way that it categorizes a particular prospect, to give less weight on things like projected time to close and more weight to considerations including geography and vertical market.
Intuitively speaking, at least in the past, it might have seemed better to jump opportunities that were going to close sooner up to the front of the queue. Yet, even though someone might be ready to sign a check or purchase order more quickly, that buyer also is more likely to have a preconceived notion about what product or brand he or she is ready to buy. Why on earth, then, would that be an “A” lead?
It seems to me that if you haven’t addressed your own lead generation and cataloguing strategy lately (although I’m SURE you must have given what’s going on right now in the world economy!), that you might want to take a fresh peek to see what metrics your team is using.
While having very objective measures is important for automating the process, it’s worth reassessing those allocation measures. For a company like Fujitsu, as an example, which has been closing plenty of business in healthcare and education lately, leads in those accounts might jump the queue even if they were smaller deals or longer lead-time opportunities.
Why not work your company’s strengths instead of going with conventional wisdom?
Chat me up: Do you have a channel strategy I should be writing about? E-mail me.