The Mansfield Sales Blog

Why B2B Telesales on a Per-Lead Basis May Be a Formula for Failure

One of the unwritten rules of B2B telesales campaigns is that compensation should be on a per-lead basis. Most companies performing B2B telesales offer per-lead campaign pricing and most companies requiring telesales look for those plans. As cost-effective as this approach may seem, there are hidden costs that you should consider.

#1 - Lead Volume Does Not Necessarily Equal Lead Quality

We tend to think in terms of numbers of lead generation and conversion rates to predict sales performance based on telesales campaigns. Think about motivation and incentive instead. On a per lead basis telesales people are motivated by and compensated by lead volume and number of appointments set. It takes time to make calls, and the volume-motivated caller will likely try to spend as little time on each call as possible. In an abbreviated call will he or she work hard to qualify the lead, determine precise needs and set expectations properly? If speed is the primary ingredient, probably not.

#2 - Prospecting is More Than List Building

A volume-based approach would be to purchase or cobble together a list of industry leads, then call as many as possible each day. What about the quality of the list? How much time is wasted calling people who no longer work at the listed company or tracking down people with new phone numbers or e-mail addresses? If your telesales team is motivated purely by numbers, will they take the time to obtain and update the best possible list of prospects?

#3 - Does Your Telesales Team Collaborate With Inside Sales?

What's the outcome of your telesales campaign? Is it a list of appointments handed off to your inside sales team? There may be some notes associated with each lead, but how effective will the appointment be if the inside sales person must re-discover the lead. How many will be put off by having to repeat the information they gave to the telesales person? If your telesales and inside sales teams work closely together, you have a far better chance of building on the initial relationship and moving towards a buy opportunity.

So the question becomes, how do you get your telesales and inside sales teams on the same page, working together towards the best possible sales performance. By giving them different motivations and compensations, you may actually be preventing them from collaborating. Consider an alternative compensation scheme that eliminates the "numbers game" and focuses the efforts of your telesales team on high-quality results. The best approach to B2B lead generation may be a retainer with bonuses and retention based on sales performance instead of lead volume.

Topics: Sales Consulting Sales Strategy


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