Cherry Picking is the terminology used by the Lead Generation, Distribution, Routing and Sales practitioners to represent the choices provided to the sales agents or lead buyers while choosing their leads for purchase or active followup. Comprehensive Distribution and Routing software systems includes Cherry Picking method as an option for sellers and lead generation businesses.
Businesses can also provide choices for their inside sales or field sale representatives to cherry pick leads available in the distribution queue. This is generally used in the Lead Pull method of the assignment process. Sales reps can pull the prospects when they are ready for next follow up. However, businesses have the option to specify if the reps can choose their prospects or accept without any choice. If the reps can review and accept or reject the prospects in the Lead Pull method, then the process is referred to as cherry picking leads.
When the term Cherry Picking is used in general by the Lead Generation industry, it refers to the usage in the Lead Selling scenarios rather than the internal distribution scenario within an organization.
Why Allow Cherry Picking?
The process allows the lead buyers to evaluate the conversion probability of the prospect and then decide to purchase or reject the same. This helps the buyers to pick and choose the prospects suitable for their specific requirements. Hence this process is generally not feasible when hundreds or thousands of leads are purchased at a time.
Also, Lead Filters used in the automated lead distribution processes (by setting up an order or profile) can only filter quantitative properties. Where is the Cherry Picking process allows the buyer to apply qualitative decision making based on the available lead parameters.
Lead Filters Vs Cherry Picking
Lead Filters and Cherry Picking are used as complimentary distribution procedures. For example, if thousands of prospects are generated daily and available in the sales / distribution queue, it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to cherry pick individual leads manually. In such a case, the potential buyers will specify one or more lead filters or criteria based on lead profile properties to zero in specific group of leads. This is carried out by setting up a Lead Order or Buyer Profile (depending on the database / software system that you use) and passing the leads through the criteria.
For instance, in the case of Mortgage Leads, the buyer could specify the basic criteria such as geography (i.e. State) and type of leads (mortgage, refinance, credit range, etc.). When the user (buyer) logs in, the system will filter the records and display only the leads meeting the specified criteria.
When to Allow Cherry Picking for Lead Sales
As a thumb rule, picking and choosing selectively works well in the scenarios where the individual lead prices are reasonably high. While there is no hard and fast rule to determine the threshold for the lead sales value, a per lead price of $50 or above will be suitable for allowing cherry picking.
It is also noticed that the number of leads purchased by individual buyer is quite low, when cherry picking is employed. As mentioned earlier, if the lead buying volume is very large, cherry-picking leads is a cumbersome process and hence generally avoided.
For example, specialized financial services leads sold to investment / financial consultants are good candidates for this method. The buyer can look at the available lead properties and then decide to buy the lead.
Notice that the critical information such as prospect’s name, physical address, phone number or email address will never be revealed (or displayed) to the buyer looking to cherry pick. Other meaningful data which would be useful for the buyer’s decision making process will be displayed by the system in the pick list screen.
Each business has to weigh the pros and cons of allowing the freedom to the buyers to choose their records. What for works for one business may not be suitable for other businesses. Also, some high value verticals work well with this method leading to higher customer satisfaction, while other verticals do not.
By John Hester