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The smartest way to handle sales saturation

Here’s a scenario that I’m sure you’re familiar with. Your sales team has performed incredibly well, busting a gut to find new leads in a crowded market. Marketing plans have worked out perfectly, sending a torrent of potential conversions flooding towards your sales reps.

There’s just one problem: nobody had the foresight to recruit and train enough reps to handle a deluge of leads. When the leads start pouring in, the reps struggle to give them the attention they deserve, clients start to experience delays, and the quality of service they receive starts to decline.

In the end, it’s very possible that your big marketing push ends up delivering much less than it promised. In extreme cases, bottlenecks like this can inflict huge damage on a company’s reputation.

Sales saturation affects companies across the USA

This isn’t actually a rare situation at all. It’s estimated that between 70 and 90 percent of leads aren’t acted upon properly, for a number of reasons.

Sometimes, the leads generated aren’t of sufficient quality for sales reps to act upon, which is a problem for the marketing team to solve. But more often, problems like this are created by inefficient sales organizations.

There is also pressure in many companies to show instant statistical results. Instead of patiently working leads through to completion, managers often prioritize the lead generation part. In the worst case, they understand that, if we generate lots of interest, conversions will increase – even if the sales team is inundated.

And impressive lead numbers never look bad when a CMO has to justify themselves at senior levels. If they don’t lead to completions, CMOs can point to other factors, from sales rep performance and pricing to product quality.

Calculating whether your company is vulnerable to sales saturation

If you feel like your business might be suffering from overloading its sales reps, it shouldn’t be too hard to investigate whether this is actually the case.

Firstly, you’ll need to know how many fresh leads are passed from marketing to sales team every week.

After that, calculate two metrics. Firstly, how much time individual sales reps have per week to devote to converting sales. Secondly, how long follow-ups generally take.

Multiply the number of leads per week by the time taken per lead. Then multiply the number of sales reps in your team by the amount of time they have to deal with leads.

If the first number is larger than the second, you’re out of balance, and your sales reps probably don’t have sufficient time to handle the burden of leads that your marketing team is generating.

Work out whether sales saturation is costing your business

However, we aren’t quite finished in the math department. It’s also necessary to calculate whether unresolved leads are costing your company, and how much.

To do so, work out how much a single lead costs then multiply it by the average number of leads generated per week. That gives you a rough figure for the weekly marketing spend.

Now subtract the number of leads your sales reps can handle from the average number of leads delivered. This gives you a total number of unresolved leads per week.

Multiply this by the cost of generating a single lead, and you’ll discover how much money you are wasting. Even in small businesses, this can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Find a sustainable solution to sales saturation

If you’re experiencing a flood of unresolved leads, there are solutions. One course of action is to move resources from marketing to sales, balancing the numbers we talked about above. But this will result in lower aggregate leads and probably isn’t the best way to generate revenue.

Alternatively, companies like Upcall can supply teams with outbound call expertise to engage leads in minutes and follow-up at the right time. By providing an instant lead response, they can deal with spikes in your lead volume or become a semi-permanent feature of your operation.

Whether you cut back a bit or bring in the experts, it’s got to be better than drowning in unresolved leads, right?

Posted on August 1 at 5:00 PM

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