5 Reasons Why Late Stage Leads are Only a Small Piece of the Puzzle

Mike Cotoia
Mike Cotoia

Chief Executive Officer

All of you technology marketers have undoubtedly heard from your sales counterparts countless times that they want more late stage leads who are “ready to buy”. This sounds great on paper – who doesn’t want leads who are “ready to buy”? But are these leads always the best leads? Just because they are ready to buy, doesn’t mean they are going to buy from you. When it comes to selling enterprise IT hardware and software solutions, late stage leads are just a small piece of the puzzle. In our industry, it is not about the “last minute deal,” but rather just the opposite.

How companies can guide the RFP process to shape the deal in their favor

For marketers and sales professionals, it is not about waiting for that final dash when the deal is happening, it is about knowing when the deal is being researched and about to become a budget-considered project within organizations. Enterprise tech sales people want and need to know about the deal earlier because they can actually help guide the RFP process rather than having their competitors do that by engaging with the prospect.

Consider this technology buying scenario:

If a technology rep from Company A has the ability to engage with the prospect earlier in  the sales cycle he or she will have the ability to modify, tilt, and guide the RFP process in Company A’s favor. The client might be looking for “flash/ssd” storage solution, but getting in there early and identifying key pain points within the prospect’s organization the rep from Company A will have a competitive advantage by identifying how Company A’s solution can address that pain point better than any other vendors in  the market.  Maybe the prospect has some legacy AS400 or Mainframe systems that are still very important to the business, but might not have been considered as part of the upcoming project.  IF Company A knows they can support AS400, Mainframe, and all open systems they can influence the prospect to put this as part of the requirement in the RFP in order to narrow the field and provide a competitive “leg up” on the remaining players

There are literally hundreds of examples just like this where a vendor’s technology has a key feature or functionality that can address a pain point that the prospect might not realize could become a pain point that can provide a competitive advantage. If you arrive to the table too late, you lose the advantage and level the playing field for your competitors. The right marketing and sales intelligence can give you and your reps the insight and guidance to know when and how to engage with buyers as they are researching the deal, before it is too late.

5 reasons why getting in early with the right intelligence is always a competitive advantage for your sales teams

  1. It creates a barrier to entry with certain competitors based on your features and functionalities
  2. You have the ability to drive the RFP process vs letting your competitor drive the process
  3. You drive better margins by selling what you know is the right solution (hardware, software, or services) for the client and articulating your value proposition vs selling “hardware or software”
  4. Coming into the game late means you are coming in as the underdog or “best case scenario” even with the rest of the playing field
  5. If you win you only win by lowering your price (and I mean by a lot) which is not a good way to earn the business and sets a bad precedent for future renewals and upgrade cycles

You have more control over the buying process than you think. Be a front-runner and take advantage of your opportunities.

If you want to learn more about how your business can be a front-runner with the right intelligence, feel free to comment below or connect with me via email or LinkedIn.


Customer Engagement, demand generation, lead generation, marketing and sales alignment, marketing intelligence, RFP, sales intelligence

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