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Lead Generation or Sales Training, Where will you get the best ROI?

This is always the challenge when budget times come around, where will you get the most “bang for your buck”?

Nowadays it’s still common place for a companies marketing spend to be literally have the sale team cold call the world, I don’t necessarily think is the most effective form of marketing or equally the best use of a sales persons skills.

I guess it all leads to the age old Sales / Marketing arguments, Sales will always claim the glory for volume and blame marketing for poor quality leads bringing low sales conversions, whereas marketing think sales are prima donnas and just can’t close, so they attempt to spoon feed clients to the sales teams instead of focusing on generating enquiries.

For me it’s quite clear, Marketing generate the enquiries, sales convert them to business.

Different skills that can work autonomously but when in sync will almost certainly guarantee a successful business.

The challenge as in life is balance, you need a decent quality of lead and equally you must have an efficient sales team, sometimes the quality of leads can be a lottery but the quality of the sales team should never be so, it’s a straight forward training and culture issue, fail to train your team and then just watch them burn your leads, train them well and watch conversions and efficiencies increase.

More bang less buck.

The thing is, it really is a culture, some companies get it right and some seem to get it very wrong, as this case in point highlights.

We were introduced to a potential client earlier this year, they were suffering from poor sales conversions despite having an excellent well established product with a very good reputation.

I asked the client, why he thought the sales were dropping, his reply was clear,

“we have a weak sales team”

I asked him about the company policy regarding investing in sales training.

He responded “that’s the job of the sales managers”?

Again I asked about the company policy of training the sales managers

“We don't spend money on that, the managers should be able to train”

Sadly this is not an uncommon take, in further dialogue it turned out (without surprise) the managers had no formal training they were put in the job because they were good closers “back in the day” and should just make the current team sell the way that they used to.

I asked the client what he thought the solution was, “more leads” was his reply”

His mindset was that he knew and accepted he had a very weak sales team, so the best way to increase volumes was to simply put them in front of more clients.

I tried to point out that by training his Managers and his sales team he could undoubtably generate more volumes from his existing clients giving him a greater return and an efficient sales team, the only thing needed was an intervention and for the company to invest in their sales team.

He told me there was no budget for this.

Rather unsurprisingly they never became clients for us, but I know a lead generator who is making a lot of fees from them.

So where would you spend your money in this situation, increase lead generation or invest in external sales training?

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