Johtamisen yksikkö, 2018
Johtaminen ja organisaatiot
Master’s Programme in Strategic Business Development
In the competitive market, companies are looking for new ways to feed their sales pipelines. Improving the sales lead process is of interest, as finding new lead sources and ways to qualify sales leads can result in additional sales. Yet, sales departments are often overwhelmed by the amount of sales leads they receive, and the quality of those leads can be seen as insufficient. For this reason, it is important to establish what sales expects from leads as well as the needs they have. A special interest in the study is the customer value category and the role of the salesperson in sales lead distribution. The research question that is answered in this study is: how can the sales lead process be improved from a sales perspective? In order to arrive at a comprehensive understanding, the theoretical perspectives of the sales process, sales leads, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), account management and value creation are studied.
This study is a qualitative, single-case study that focusses on a global industrial B2B service company. In this context, leads are customers or contacts that are known and listed in the company’s CRM system; thus, customer retention is the focus. The research process follows a combination of deduction and induction. Eleven semi-structured interviews with representatives from different sales roles within the case company were conducted to collect data.
The study identifies seven managerial implications, which aim at improving the sales lead process. The key managerial implications revolve around the need to categorise and rethink the distribution of leads as well as the importance of having definitions and commitment from management in the sales lead process. As theoretical contribution, this study builds upon and extends the existing sales lead process literature.
sales leads, sales lead qualification, sales pipeline, sales needs, CRM