Create a Feeding Frenzy: 4 Types of Sales Leads for Your Shark Tank

shark tankWhat happens to leads that don’t result in a closed won deal? Often times they’re moved to a nurture status. But if you’re looking to get more mileage out of your leads, consider the shark tank tactic.

A shark tank is an effective way to revitalize aged leads. The idea is to redistribute leads that don’t result in a sale into a “shark tank” for other reps to pull from. This type of redistribution program can be automated to ensure opportunities aren’t being left behind and have the chance to be reworked.

If you don’t have a way to automate this process, you can run a monthly or quarterly report to identify leads that have gone unworked for longer than you’d like, pulling them away from the assigned reps and reassigning or putting them into a pull program that reps can work when they have extra time.

Fill your shark tank to create a feeding frenzy for your reps. There’s no reason why every week can’t be shark week! Here are four types of leads to consider throwing into the tank for your sales rep sharks to feast on:

1) The Seal

Seals are amphibious. When they hop out of the water to spend some time on land, those are your closed lost opportunities signing with a competitor. They will eventually come back in the water and when they do, you have an opportunity to win them back. Consider when each sale was lost and leverage that as an indicator of contract renewal with the competitor. Throw leads into the tank when they are 90 days from renewing so that your reps can start working the contacts.

2) The Squid

Squids are highly intelligent, resourceful, and complex creatures that live in the open ocean. They have eight arms with two specialized tentacles used to capture prey. Leads you spoke with who didn’t express interest are your squids. Maybe they reached out with their two tentacles to examine what you were selling, but weren’t convinced they needed your offering yet. They believe the resources they currently use will suffice. They are still building awareness and may not fully realize they are experiencing the pain points you solve.

3) The Octopus

Octopuses are also very intelligent and complex. The primary difference is that they use all eight of their arms to capture prey and they live in dens on the ocean floor. These are leads you’ve put into your nurture program that haven’t been contacted. Living on the ocean floor, away from the open ocean, they are picking up on the bits of content you feed them, but have yet to engage. Toss these leads into the shark tank. Even better if you can track content consumption along the nurture path so that your reps can have more meaningful conversations.

4) The Jellyfish

Jellyfish aren’t typically thought of as social creatures and sometimes your leads might not be very social either. And although jellyfish may be found in blooms, it’s typically the result of ocean currents, since they aren’t very strong swimmers. Maybe some of your leads have been swept away in the currents of life, causing them to go dark. If, after 90 days, your reps’ contact attempts have gone unanswered, move the lead to the tank for another shark. Sometimes a fresh conversation with a new rep is what is needed to re-engage the opportunity.

Timing is the common denominator for all of the above leads. Make sure reps maintain engagement across the account to stay top of mind so that they are ready to pounce when opportunity strikes.

josh pittman - headshotAbout the author: Joshua Pittman is the Vice President of Inside Sales at Velocify. A seasoned Inside Sales expert with over 10 years of experience, Joshua specializes in architecting, growing and leading sales organizations within the technology space. He has built numerous high performing teams throughout the country; most recently designing and executing the sales growth plan of California-based startup, Cargomatic. Joshua also architected and implemented the sales structure and growth plan at Minneapolis based Sport Ngin, a leader in the emerging sports technology space. During his 4-year tenure at the high growth Washington DC social commerce startup Livingsocial, he built out an industry leading 100+ rep Inside Sales team while driving numerous successful pilot initiatives. Joshua studied at Anoka Ramsey in Minneapolis with a focus on business management and administration.

  • Daniel Kimm

    Sales is not trying to boil the ocean but #findingnemo

  • Michael Mendelson


  • Rachel Lurie

    Great tips on using a shark tank method, thanks!

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