Should salespeople generate their own leads?

More companies are splitting out their lead generation function; a dedicated staff focuses on generating leads, while more senior sales staffers spend their time taking those leads through to closing. There are a number of benefits to this approach, says Brian Cotter, co-founder and president of PSG Global Solutions, the world’s largest provider of outsourced recruiting support to the U.S. staffing industry.

Cost. Good salespeople are expensive. If work that they now do could be done as well by someone who costs 50 to 75 percent less than they do, why not get that less-expensive person to do it?

Specialization. A salesperson who is also responsible for lead generation is likely to be weaker in one of those roles. If the roles are split, the lead generators can focus on their duties, while the salespeople focus on selling.

Focus. Lead generation is rarely the most interesting thing that salespeople do. Consequently, they will oftentimes spend less time and do a poorer job of it than a person could whose entire job is to generate leads.

There also are strong arguments for leaving lead generation as part of the salesperson’s role. A sales rep who is responsible for the whole process has a clearer sense of what a good lead looks like and there’s less likely to be finger pointing when targets aren’t met.