New leads keep your organization humming. They bring new life and purpose to your sales team and new prospects to your business. You want to make sure your sales staff is doing the most they can with the leads they receive. The initial follow-up is crucial. Every new lead represents a potential paying customer. If you follow these five steps, you can be confident you are making the most out of your sales leads.
1. Follow up on every single lead
A new prospect is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get. That means you have to take a bite and find out. No lead should ever be judged on superficial information alone, such as an online contact request form. Make sure you log every new lead and keep track of when and how the follow-up is done. If you see some leads not being responded to, address the issue with your sales staff.
2. Do it quickly
You should be responding to new leads quicker than you think. Response time could depend on the size of your organization, but keeping it under an hour can have an impact on your conversion rates. Think of this a couple different ways. First, suppose you respond to an initial inquiry email within an hour. You’re more likely to have a meaningful conversation with that prospect because that person probably still is thinking about the reason he sent the email in the first place. The more time that passes, the less relevant your products or services could become to that person. Secondly, each minute ticking off the clock is one more minute a competitor could be converting that lead. You need to be the first one to the finish line, so to speak.
3. Be smart and highly trained
The first call to a prospect (or the first call from a prospect) can sometimes be daunting to salespeople—even the pros. Assuage that tension with thorough training and retraining. Also, prepare scripts with compelling opening statements to capture prospects’ attention. Your sales staff should be ready for any questions, doubts, and objections. They should be armed with information and extensive knowledge.
4. Be persistent, but not pushy
Typical sales mantra is to not take the first no. You need to decide how many “nos” your sales staff needs to hear before abandoning the lead. If you set that number too high, you’ll only frustrate prospects and develop a bad reputation. If you set that number too low, you may miss out on important opportunities. Additionally, your sales team can never be grouchy, rude, short or impolite with any prospect, no matter what. You’ll need to train them to walk the very fine line between persistence and nuisance.
5. Track, track, track
You need Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM can store prospect information, note lead status, and even time stamp contacts made by your sales staff. You should be able to look at a prospect history in your CRM and know everything you need, such as when and how that prospect first entered your sales funnel, when the first follow-up was made, how that contact went, when the prospect became a customer, etc. Make sure you’re utilizing all the information stored in your CRM to track how successful your sales staff is, which marketing campaigns are performing well, and which leads are converted.
Don’t let lead follow-up be the bane of your business. Data Axle Genie is a sales and marketing hub that can give you everything you need to find new customers and keep track of them in one place. Look into one of our packages to find the services your business needs.