In the first of this three-part blog series, we examine how high-quality leads can potentially boost your sales. Next, we examine the information you need to make more high-quality sales calls and presentations. Finally, we examine the role CRM can play in tracking your key sales priorities and in boosting sales.

The good news about leads

The formula for finding new customers used to be simple. To boost sales, you made more calls, sent more emails and posted more direct mail. In today’s market conditions, once successful lead generation campaigns are struggling and conversion rates are at an all-time low.

Many sales managers complain about the quality or quantity of leads. This is because lead generation has struggled more than any other aspect of sales and marketing over the past 5 years.

However, great companies are not fatalistic about lead generation and its potential to deliver sales growth. They know something others don’t.

Even a modest improvement in a company’s approach to lead generation can dramatically boost sales. This kind of effort can deliver a payback ahead of most other sales or marketing initiatives.

The fundamental ingredient of success

The list of ways to improve lead generation is almost endless. Examples include: new sources like social media; new techniques for generating demand; and new ways of communicating your message.

No matter what strategies or techniques you employ, there is one fundamental ingredient of success: you must adopt a contact nurturing mind-set and manage your leads like contacts.

The table below outlines why it costs money to generate leads and why nurturing contacts is an investment in tomorrow’s sales.

Why leads are out Why contacts are in
Leads are generated and prequalified
Leads require a campaign
Leads are often cold
Lead generation is often sporadic
Leads are short-term in focus
The objective is a meeting/sale
Leads go stale
Leads are found in many places
Contacts are nurtured
Contacts require a conversation
Contacts are often warm
The nurturing of contacts is on-going
Contacts require a long-term view
The objective is to build a relationship/dialogue
Contacts can last forever
Contacts live in a database/CRM tool

Remember leads can and should be a good news story. Don’t worry if there are problems with your organisation’s approach to lead generation – this means there is a greater potential to drive sales. 

In part-two of this three-part blog series, we discuss how you can tackle the information deficit behind sales calls and presentations.

Do you have a question for the author? If so please feel free to leave a comment below (please note you must be logged in to leave a comment, you can register for the Sage CRM Community here). 

About the authors

Ray Collis and John O’Gorman are authors of The B2B Sales Revolution and other books. Collis and O’Gorman are successful sales consultants with The ASG Group, and they are global leaders in sales performance management. For more information on the ASG Group, please visit