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5 Lethal Mistakes of If you are a part of the majority, the recession has not

been kind to your sales. Deloitte and Touche1 reported

Sales that 67% of companies failed to reach satisfactory

expectations in their sales in 2008, and 2009 is not

Professionals looking much brighter. Only 47% of companies think

2009 is going to wrap up brighter than the previous year.

In the middle of a recession, there are steps that you can

and how to solve them take to increase your sales. With the advent of Search
Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, and online
marketing, many sales professionals insist traditional
sales methods are dead.

In this paper, we have listed Five Lethal Mistakes sales

teams are employing that are killing their company’s

The mistakes outlined in this paper are as Lethal Mistake #1

follows: Neglecting or the inability to increase lead quantity and lead
With the increasing cost of sales calls, companies can ill afford to gamble on
Neglecting or the inability to increase lead who they market to.
quantity and lead quality A huge majority of sales teams want more leads, and better ones at that.
Only 28% of companies2 are satisfied with the quality and quantity of
Relying too heavily on inbound leads from their sales pipelines. Companies spend vast amounts of resources
Internet marketing and social media generating leads, but most fail to handle them correctly. A whopping 69%
fail to properly disseminate leads to field sales or partner organizations.3
Utilizing untrained or inexperienced sales Companies and Leads
professionals Companies satisfied with leads
Companies that fail to properly
Responding too slowly to leads who have disseminate leads
expressed interest
In 2006, Hoovers reported the
Either using the wrong systems and messages, or average cost of an industrial sales
failing to use systems and messages at all. call was $379.4 At the rate reported,
Actual and Projected Sales Call Costs* today’s cost has exceeded $400.
Based on data gathered by
Cahner’s Research, as reported With multiples of that quantity,
by the Direct Marketing sales management must do all it
These are common, but lethal, mistakes we have can to ensure their leads are both
detected in our daily interactions with sales qualified and handled correctly.
organizations just like yours.
Once companies have leads, most
companies move on if the client
After explaining the facts associated with these does not close within their normal
sales cycle. Sixty-one percent of
mistakes, we offer solutions your sales professionals companies have no system to
can implement to increase your sales. nurture leads for future sales.5

1 Deloitte and Touche, 2008, "2008 Strategic Sales Compensation Survey"

2 Achieving Pipeline Predictability, by Jennifer Janica, Senior Analyst, Blaire Group (hereafter referenced as “The Blaire Group.”)
3 The Blaire Group.
4 Hoovers, 2005, "How To Convert Prospects To Sales Faster With Pre-Call Planning"
5 The Blaire Group.
www.launchsalesandmarketing.com 877-466-0111
Solution to Lethal Mistake #1
Is your current prospecting model meeting your lead generation The Quality and Quantity of Leads Generated by
needs? If not, find new ways to generate new leads. Online Searches
Qualify your leads before presenting to them. SEO
Create a series of questions to determine the quality of a lead. Paid Ads on Google
Neither you nor the lead want to waste time by discussing a
product or service your leads will never purchase.
Additionally, ensure that you are presenting to a decision maker. Paid Ads on Yahoo!,
Microsoft, Aol, and Ask
The Kern Organization identifies three types of influential decision
makers within each organization: Economic buyers, Technical
buyers, and End-users. In a “complex sales” environment, do you 58% of the money
companies spend
have all the bases of your leads covered? on SEO produces
High Quantity, High Quality
Low Quality, High Quantity low quality leads.
Launch Sales and Marketing’s Solution: Low Quantity, High Quality Only 42% produce
high quality leads.
Each Launch sales professional makes 150 calls per day to a Low Quantity, Low Quality
targeted list of executives and decision makers.
Problem Two – Lost Sales
Each sales professional creates 20 - 60 new sales opportunities per Second, you are losing sales. Once a potential 50% of potential
month for our clients. client expresses interest in a particular product or business is lost if
service, your likelihood of success drops by 50% if you are not the
Launch works with its clients to determine what a “qualified lead” is. your sales team is not the first to followup with first in the door.
Launch screens for qualified leads - and those are the only leads we set. the potential client.
Average Daily Cold Call Stats Problem Three – Complacent Sales Professionals
Third, training your sales team to wait for leads to
come to them creates complacency. Such habits
do not bode well for response time, which does 34% of marketers
do not believe
bode well for qualification of leads. This topic will that sales or
be discussed further in the section titled, revenue is part
“Responding to leads who have expressed of ROI
interest too slowly”
Additionally, there currently is some disconnect in the marketing and
sales world. Over one third of marketing professionals, 34% to be exact,
do not believe sales or revenue is part of ROI. Instead, these look more at
brand and company image8.

Solution to Lethal Mistake #2

Make sure your marketing team is on the same page as you are.
Lethal Mistake #2 Online marketing, Social Media, and SEO are vital in today’s market,
Relying Too Heavily on Internet Marketing/Social Media but find out how much revenue your marketing dollars are actually
While social media and Internet marketing are irreplaceable, relying solely
on inbound leads leaves a huge portion of potential sales on your Coordinate your efforts with social media experts to increase the
competitors’ doorsteps. actual ROI you earn from your online marketing.

GoogleAds, SEO, and Social Media are vital in today’s market. Successful Whether they pick up the phone and dial or lace up their boots
marketing campaigns utilize them effectively. Solely relying on these and knock, companies are still making millions and beating their
inbound leads creates three lethal problems. quotas because of cold calling.

Problem One – Lost Leads Launch Sales and Marketing’s Solution:

First, companies are losing leads. Only 30% of companies’ high quality Launch tracks daily how many qualified leads produce actual sales
leads are generated through SEO and only 16% through GoogleAds.1 for its clients.
Companies surfing the Net to find what they’re looking for have already Launch knows exactly how much revenue is generated from the
set you up against your competition. Those leads are usually about leads that fill its clients’ pipelines.
nothing but your price point – you’re being compared before your sales
Launch knows exactly how much revenue is generated from the
team even opens their mouths.
leads that fill its clients’ pipelines.
Even if employing both, where are the other potential 54% of your leads Launch interacts closely with its clients’ sales teams to better
going to come from? understand how to present to and close different types of leads.
6 The Kern Organization, 2009, "Business-to-Business High-Tech Lead Farm"
7 Marketing Sherpa, 2009, "2009 -10 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report"
8 Sales and Marketing Management, Tuesday, February 1, 2005, "S&MM Pulse."

www.launchsalesandmarketing.com 877-466-0111
Lethal Mistake #3 Lethal Mistake #4
Utilizing untrained or inexperienced sales professionals Responding too slowly to leads who have expressed
It’s shocking, we know, but most sales professionals do not have the skills to interest
work with executives or decision makers, nor do they have the desire to Responding slowly to leads that have expressed interest in your product has
change that! always been a formula for failure. This failure is amplified in today’s age of
It may be time to look at the skills of those you have on your sales force. immediate response expectations.
The fact of the matter is, 93% have never cold-called a senior-level As illustrated previously, sales professionals who are waiting for leads
executive and 87% are untrained at conducting executive-level from Internet sources are typically not “on their game.” Waiting for leads
briefings.9 to drop into their laps from sources they don’t control is a recipe for
A large amount of sales professionals have no 42% of sales
disaster because it slows their response reaction times.
aspirations for change in regards to cold calling. professionals Aesop penned the dangers of false leads in the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The
Of all tasks sales team professionals are given, Hate cold calling townspeople progressively slowed in their response until it was too late.
42% list cold calling as the least desirable to Similarly, if your sales professionals are spending time determining
perform.10 whether or not leads are legitimate, their reaction time to actual qualified
Sales Professionals Who Have Experience Presenting to Executives leads is going to lag.
In 2009, MIT performed research for InsideSales spotlighting the
likelihood that leads would become qualified following a company’s
response time to a lead submitting or indicating interest12.
87% do not know how
13% know how
to present to executives
Response Time From Creation by 5 Minute Initial Dials
to Leads That Become Qualified
Sales Professionals Who Have Experience Cold Calling Executives
5 Min
7% have 10 Min
15 Min
96% of sales 20 Min
93% have professionals fail 25 Min
never called to use a coherent 30 Min
call structure
in their sales 35 Min
An even greater amount, 96% to be exact, have presentation that 40 Min
no coherent call structure in their sales will lead to success 45 Min
presentation that will lead to success11. 50 Min
55 Min
Solution - Leverage Available Experience! 60 Min
In times of recession, unemployment generally increases. Since many 65 Min
70 Min
of these unemployed people are not being reported, latest estimates
75 Min
indicate the true jobless numbers nationally may be as high as 18%.
80 Min
Is it time to upgrade? Think about accessing the deep end of the
85 Min
experience pool in today’s environment. From a sales perspective, it 0 5000 25000
creates an added benefit: the ability to hire experienced
non-traditional professionals in a sales role.
To put this chart into perspective, the odds of qualifying a lead increase
Men and women with years of experience in an industry can bring
by 21 Times if attempted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes.
that experience to the sales table. Generally, an increased amount of
training and initial management is required to ensure success, but The odds of qualifying a lead increase by Four
many of these new players have experience in speaking to traditional Times if attempted within 5 minutes versus 10
The odds of
decision makers such as company executives. Leverage their minutes. qualifying a lead
knowledge and experience. Waiting until the next day is actually detrimental increase by 21
Times if attempted
to your cause. After 20 hours, every additional
Launch Sales and Marketing’s Solution: dial a sales professional makes actually hurts
within 5 minutes
versus 30 minutes
Launch removes the fear and hatred of cold calling from our clients their ability to make contact to qualify a lead.
by filling its clients’ sales pipelines with qualified appointments.
And, 90% of the appointments stick. When a prospect raises their hand, answer it
immediately. If you can develop a system to reach
Each Launch sales professional makes 150 calls per day to a out to your prospective client before they begin submitting their
targeted list of executives and decision makers. information to be presented to (i.e., to both you and your competitors),
Launch’s sales team is experienced and fully equipped to deal with your likelihood of success rises exponentially. Again, 50% of potential
the executives you are targeting in peer-to-peer conversations. business is lost if you are not the first to follow up.
9 The Blaire Group.
10 Sales & Marketing Management [serial online], S&MM/Equation Research survey, November 2004, “Cold Feet Over Cold Calling.”
11 The Blaire Group.
12 LeadResponseManagement.Org, 2009, “The InsideSales.com/M.I.T. Lead Response Management Study.”

www.launchsalesandmarketing.com 877-466-0111
Solution to Lethal Mistake #4 Solution to Lethal Mistake #5
Respond immediately to leads as they come in. Find a sales structure that is correct for your organization. Then,
stick with it.
If you are unable to respond in real time, find somebody with the
expertise who can. Create metrics that allow your sales professionals to stay on
After 20 hours, your sales professionals will have more success
working with leads that come in today than with those that If you are failing to meet your goals, audit your managers to
submitted their information the previous day. Move on, because determine whether they are staying up with sales-industry best
statistically, the window has closed. practices.

Launch Sales and Marketing’s Solution: Launch Sales and Marketing’s Solution:
Launch’s automated dialing system increases contact rates up to Launch has a proven track record in sales scripting and sales
400%. presentations.
Every qualified appointment Launch sets for its clients has been Launch generates successful voicemails and emails, pushing
qualified, increasing the efficiency of its clients’ sales teams and response percentages into the double digits with qualified leads
decreases time wasted. calling to schedule appointments with our clients.
Launch’s response technologies increase contact rates 800%. Launch’s team focuses solely on increasing their clients’ sales so
those clients can focus on their products and services. It is the law
of comparative advantage.
Lethal Mistake #5
Failing to Use Effective Systems and Messages
Shooting from the hip has never been the key to success or consistent results.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what most sales professionals do
Invite your sales team into your office and ask them to detail the structure We’ve outlined the Five Lethal Mistakes sales professionals are
they follow when doing a sales presentation. Chances are, they will tell making. The observations and the statistics we’ve gathered
you they do not follow a structure. Only 4%13 of sales professionals are and presented are not make believe – it’s all happening right
actually prepared for a structured sales presentation. There are a number
of sales methodologies available for implementation.
now in the sales world to which your sales team is exposed
every day.
An efficiently executed bad plan is still more effective than no plan at all.
In 2005, 27% percent of executives who measured their marketing Some practices to consider or actually implementing include:
increased their budgets, compared to only 3% of those who didn't
measure them14. Don’t rely on “fuzzy math” to determine whether your brand is
Sales Professionals Who Follow Structure When Presenting a Sale
Track the metrics, quantify the ROI, outsource the measurements if
you can’t get them on your own, but stop “believing” and KNOW
your ROI
Upgrade your sales force.
4% Follow 96% Do not
Either hire experienced inside sales, outsource, or do both.
structure follow structure
Increase your response times, narrow the gap between the lead
coming in and the lead being touched by your team.
If you’re missing the window of opportunity, don’t waste time and
It’s probably not just the sales team failing to follow a proper structure.
money, Just Move On because your odds decrease with each
Only 19%15 of sales managers track activity metrics that are consistent
passing minute.
with best practices. Most sales managers come from sales teams and
utilize what worked in their situation. Customers and economies change. Structure your message, drill on it, practice it, perfect it.
If you are not hitting your goals, perhaps it is time to see if your managers
Keep It Fresh – change it up when it goes stale and you aren’t
are staying abreast of best practices with the current economy and
getting results.
current customers.
Give the sales team the training they need to communicate effectively. In the day of social media and advertising, failure to effectively
Practice, drill, and complete the exercise by giving them the metrics they utilize traditional lead generation methods will cause you to lose
can use. sales.
Turn “shooting from the hip” with a shotgun into laser-focused Remember, reach out to the experts for help – outsourcing to the
messaging consistent with what you want your prospective clients to people who love cold calling leverages your strengths by helping
hear. you focus on all your core competencies.

13 The Blaire Group.

14 Sales and Marketing Management, Wednesday, June 1 2005, "S&MM Pulse."
15 The Blaire Group.

www.launchsalesandmarketing.com 877-466-0111