Leads are causing our sales process to be inefficient (But not for the reason you might think.)

We don’t get enough leads, and the ones we do have aren’t good quality.

Not because we’ve been able to get more leads quicker (although that’s true, yes?)

We’re not even on speaking terms because we keep arguing over how to qualify leads and follow up with them.

Do you really think your salespeople give any credit to the lead score?

Leads are killing sales because the only time a saleperson has to sell is when they have a lead, and if that doesn’t happen then they don’t know how to do it.

Your sales reps have become worse at selling as a result of too many leads.

too many leads

We’re giving reps so many leads that it feels like we can’t keep up. It’s faster and easier to ditch the hard ones and focus on the next cherry.

And now we have a whole new generation of employees who haven’t experienced what it was like to work in the pre-Internet era.

Sadly, they will probably never find out the secret to selling.

I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of these kids on LinkedIn, trying to sell themselves.

Before you stop reading and decide I’m a marketing sympathizer, read this story to see if it resonates with your experience.

1. Might agree with me, and”

It’s also possible to see these tendencies on your floor.

A small online technical training company in FL gives their BDR (this is Lead Gen, SDR, Biz Dev to some friends) Team lists of companies to outbound call, uncover opportunity, and pass to an inside/outside ISE. Because their industry is industrial, they will often break in through an industrial or tech role like maintenance engineer, shift manager, etc.   Their new rep (let’s call him Ben) shows me his lead list (hundreds you guys, he’s scrolling and scrolling here) and explains that these seventeen that he’s highlighted are the ones that he is working. Why? Because Ben used to be a production engineer and he has good luck breaking into the leads with that title listed.  

Ben tells me that he’s good at getting into the leads with his old job title listed.

My readers were good about finding the “In” to his argument.  They deserve props for that.

And what is going to happen with the other 300 leads that don’t have a title?


Let’s be clear on 2 things:

  • Every one of those leads has an engineer in the company; they just may not be listed as such.
  • If Ben doesn’t prioritize a lead, he will likely give up on it and you’ll have to do the work for him.

With this list, what could we be doing? Well, Ben’s boss hired us to teach him how it can help.

  • Before you even try to find the right DM, it is important that you know what an account is potentially worth. We call this sales qualification – using any live body in order to estimate revenue potential (not lead buying potential).
  • When you prioritize the list, put the leads with a high potential on top and call them 15 times each. You should only contact less promising prospects 3 times.
  • What are the steps to get production engineer’s name, title, and direct dial number?

Ben is excited to uncover new opportunities for his company.

When I started using this new strategy, the results were great. By the end of month one, they had nearly doubled their qualified leads passed and accepted.

You should try this next example. Give your people inbound leads.

I spent a few days on the floor of a massive internet tech company with their inbound team. These guys get so many good calls a day that the top guys have basically just learned how to not pee for a workday. Wish I was kidding. If they’re 3 min into a call that is slightly annoying what have they learned to do? You got it. They ditch the caller and get the next one.

If they’ve been on a 3-minute call and it was just ok, what do you think the next thing is? That’s right. They get off that call and go to the next one.

They keep spinning the reels and don’t even watch to see what happens.

They’re addicted to the idea that they might get lucky and win big.

And of course, they’re randomly rewarded so the addiction is set.

We’ve been so focused on providing them with the best leads that we forgot to teach them what to do when they get one.

We often buy our salespeople the same things we bought for ourselves as reps.

The problem is that it’s hard to find people with potential. They don’t have a lot of heroes anymore.

The talent pool for sales is very small and these people have never really had to learn how to sell.

We’ve made reps lazy and entitled by surrounding them with leads they can cherry-pick to quota. We have it easy, but we don’t want our rep’s lives to be too hard.

I call it the”

“Silver Platter Syndrome”

too many leads

So the reason this is a syndrome and not just an achievement, is because quota attainment has gone down.

CSO Insights has some interesting stats:

The percentage of people who are able to attain their quota has decreased in the past few years.

Forecasted deals won: 47%

Most execs say that their sales reps didn’t help them at all.

Sales are down, so we can’t meet our goals. Our customers would rather do it without us because they know what will close and how to get there.

As an industry, we are not doing enough to retain you guys.

I see that the more marketing and lead spending there is, the less sales ability people have.

How Many Leads Per Day are Wasted? Here’s How To Diagnose (And Treat) Silver Platter Syndrome With Swift Action!

I’m not sure if everyone else sees it, but I see the problem.

Maybe we all don’t want to see it. But I have a feeling that there are some people who do.

There are a lot of symptoms for Silver Platter Syndrome, and it’s important to know what they all look like.

What percent of opps in stage one began as leads? Are there ANY that reps self-generated? How do reps determine who to call first on their list? How many touches do leads get before they are trashed / recycled? How is this managed? When you listen to a call, does the rep ask at least 5 sales questions? Do they try to close? What are you spending to generate these leads and what’s your current ROI or % closed (or however you measure it. Has it gone down?)

When reps have a list of prospects, they typically call the person at the top first.

How does a company determine when to recycle or trash leads?

When the rep is on a call, are they asking at least 5 sales questions? Is there any attempt to close during their calls?

What are you spending to generate these leads, and how much has your return on investment or percentage of closed deals decreased?

So make sure you put this in your calendar for a week from now. You’ll be surprised when I tell you how to do it, and then afterward will probably say “OMG”.

 I feel this way after I read LB’s article, so now she is right.

5 Specific Steps To Cure You Company’s Silver Platter Syndrome

  • Reduce lead flow. Don’t cut it all at once, the poor babies will starve.

    If there are only 30 inbound calls, I might not hang up on this one until I’ve really tried”

  • I might not hang up on the inbound call even if I’ve already decided it doesn’t seem to be a good lead.
  • Hire more heads if you can’t slow down the engine.

    You’ll lose a few reps who don’t like to share their leads – good riddance.

  • You might lose a few reps who don’t want to share leads, but that’s good.
  • Implement lead management rules + inspection.

    No Ben, you can’t have more leads until you finish working the ones you have!

  • I’m not going to give you any more leads until you finish with the ones that are in your inbox.
  • Install sales qualification.

    It’s different than a lead score and your rep scores it himself so he’ll actually believe it

  • A rep’s lead score is different than his own and he rates it himself, so he’ll believe the results.
  • Get them some sales training (why yes, I’d LOVE to help you with this thanks for asking).

    Sales qualification, capturing new contacts, asking questions, closing” they need it all!

  • Salespeople need to be able to do a lot of things, including qualification and new contact capture.

Agree? Disagree? Do you think Silver Platter is a syndrome or something to be celebrated? I would love your opinion and stories.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀



Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.