Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

B2B Friday: Persistence & The Golden Question

by Matt Bertuzzi on Fri, Nov 06, 2009

On this day in 1989, American professional football (aka "soccer player") Jozy Altodore was born. Wait, people born in 1989 are professional anythings? Scary!

Now onto our B2B Friday thoughts!


B2B Thought #1: Don't forget the Golden Question

Every day I talk to Marketers struggling with the modern lead management dilmena: "When should I pass a lead as sales-ready?" Unfortunately, the 3 most common practices I encounter are:

  • Firehose
  • Trickle
  • Alternating firehose & trickle

Then I ran into this post by Dale Underwood that really got me thinking: Before Nurturing a New B2B Lead, Ask the Golden Question. Dale argues that the "only thing worse than sending a non-qualified lead to sales is not passing one and finding out 6 months later that the lead turned into a customer...for your competition."

To make sure that doesn't happen, Dale shares this example of the golden question:

My name is YYY and I approved your request for ZZZ. This is a courtesy follow-up to make sure you received it. If you have not received it, please check your spam filter.

May I ask you one question? Have you defined the requirements for your XYZ project, or no? For future reference, we have compiled a "Top 20 Customer Requirements List" from our customers and would be happy to share it with you.

Thank you for your interest in WWW.


Matt here:  I really love this approach.

  • First, it's personalized. It's a message from an actual person, who I can call or reply to.
  • Second, it makes sure I received what I requested. I am sure we all think our sites are perfectly designed for the visitor, but let's face it - requested item fullfillment is never as easy for a first time visitor as we imagine.
  • Third, it promises an additional piece of highly valuable content that should interest me IF I'm a serious buyer. But, I have to reach out to the Rep and begin a dialogue to receive it.
  • Fourth (golden question time), think of this as the lead management trump card. If "yes," nothing else matters - the lead goes to Sales- period.

Am I crazy to think a single question can trump the mighty scoring model? Please let me know if you are using anything similar in your organizations.

B2B Thought #2: Persistence & Process

Garth over at the Jigsaw blog had a post this week on Persistence. It's a great read with funny tidbits about persistence being the key to success.  Here's an excerpt:

It sounds so annoyingly simple, but persistence is the only trait that I have seen common in all successful people- from salespeople to CEOs to founders of companies.

When it comes to sales, I'm not talking about a penchant for annoying and aggressive communications. Nothing is more pathetic than a sales guy who tries to talk someone into something. Don't put that idiot pan on your head and repeatedly slam yourself into a brick wall by ignoring it when a specific individual tells you "no." But do make sure you that you have exhausted all other avenues and connections, and that you have in fact been given a "no" for good

Debbie here:  I could not agree more that persistence is a key selling trait. I'll add to that with the need for a rock solid sales process behind it. So you aren't "stalking" your prospect by leaving a voicemail every day or WORSE not leaving one at all (the phantom caller ID trail).

I believe in a 4x4 calling methodology:

Put "4" contacts from a target companies through a "4" touch process - all within
10 business days. Hey, if you don't have a sense of urgency why should your prospect?
If you don't connect, make sure you kick them into your company's nurture strategy.

Persistence & process - far from magic, but it gives you something that is repeatable and measurable.

Think about the most successful sales people you know, are they persistent? Do they have a solid process?

(Photo Credit: priskiller)

Topics: sales process, lead generation

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