Managing Capacity for Lead Generation Teams
Today more and more lead generation systems in the software industry are adding another layer between cold leads and the sales rep. The lead qualification team, whose job it is to do outbound prospecting, or qualification of inbound leads, or both, has become a somewhat of an industry standard for companies once they reach a certain stage. OpenView Labs, the consulting arm of OpenView Venture Partners, has helped implement such teams into the lead generation systems of many of our expansion stage portfolio companies including Intronis, Zmags, and Balihoo.
I have helped hire, train, and mange a number of these teams, and for most of them I have provided the backend support and salesforce.com administration including lead provisioning for the team. I have always provisioned leads on a weekly rhythm, about 50/week/rep, because I suspected that controlling the flow of leads to the team had a positive impact on their performance, but I didn’t have any data to support that.
I would argue that controlling the flow of leads to the team based on their capacity:
- Provides more focus
- Systematically ensures contact to every lead that is distributed
- Gives the team a sense of accomplishment when they get through all of their leads for the week and can ask for more
Recently I read a couple blog posts which support and give additional insights into the matter.
In one of my favorite blogs Marci Reynolds of the Sales Ops Blog recommends creating a lead capacity model for organizations which have lead qualification teams qualifying inbound leads. This approach also requires some kind of lead scoring model that would allow you to lower and raise the bar based on the volume of inbound leads so that only the highest quality leads within the capacity of the reps get to the reps.
The Kaleidico blog also suggest that “the right number of sales leads can improve lead conversion.” They also recommend using the following factors to measure the capacity of your team.
- Sales call volume
- Average attempts before a sale
- Average attempts before a withdraw
- Sales targets and quotas
- Commission tiers (you will be amazed at the glass ceilings this causes in sales)
Do you know your team’s capacity?