21 May A guide to effective sales lead management
A prospect has shown interest by filling the lead form on your website. The lead sign-up form gives ample information about the prospect’s requirement. Your sales team is asked to take care of the prospect. But somewhere during the drudgery of daily work, the prospect seems to have been forgotten.
Believe it or not, this happens more often than not.
While not every lead who knocks on your door is going to be your customer, if the conversion doesn’t happen, it should not be because your sales team wasn’t organized enough to get things done.
This is where sales lead management comes in.
What is sales lead management?
It is a series of steps that are involved in converting leads into customers. At the core of sales lead management is lead qualification. In this, your potential customers are identified, nurtured, and qualified. When the leads are converted into opportunities, they are passed on to the closers.
As easy as this might seem, not every company finds this process easy to do.
Why is sales lead management important?
To put it bluntly, your leads won’t manage themselves, which is why you need sales lead management. Just because a prospect evinced interest in you doesn’t mean it will translate into a sale. In fact, someone who reached out to you is not even going to buy from you in the first instance. Only 4% of website visitors are ready to buy. You need to nurture them. Show them what you can do for them. It is imperative that you provide them enough reasons to buy from you, over a period of time
How to manage your sales leads better?
Having a seamless sales workflow is the holy grail for most businesses.
You might be losing out on leads because of the flimsiest reasons. It could be as simple as noting down information about the lead on a piece of paper and misplacing it.
You don’t listen to the prospect properly on the phone. Be ready to say goodbye to the lead.
Your responses are too slow. The lead might have reached out to a few of your competitors too. Guess who stands to lose a $100,000 per year account because you deemed it fit to respond to the lead after three days?
Pushing your leads to close the sales will push them away. Your leads want someone who could solve their pressing business issues, and not a vendor that wants to send an invoice immediately.
5 ways to manage your sales leads better:
#1 Define your lead:
One reason why sales teams find it difficult to convert a lead into a customer is because of a skewed and inconsistent definition of a lead. At what stage does a prospect become a lead? If your company has that figured out, then your chances of conversion are high. If not, the prospects will be sent to the sales team prematurely. When this happens, the prospect is not yet ready and you might end up turning them off.
If you want your sales team to convert the lead into a customer with minimal friction, there should be all-round consensus in different departments about who a lead is.
When do you think a prospect should be sent to the sales team?
What is the criteria for it?
The answers to these will help you immensely in managing your sales leads better.
#2 Know where your leads come from:
A prospect who is a part of your email newsletter for many years is more ‘warm’ than someone who reached out to you as a part of a marketing campaign on Instagram.
It is pivotal that marketers track where the leads come from. That can end up making a lot of difference.
Did they come to you through organic search?
Were they piqued by a case study on your website about your client who is in the same niche as them?
Did they come through referral traffic?
Was the lead a referral from one of your long-standing customers?
All the above scenarios should be dealt differently, which is exactly why you need to be mindful where your leads come from.
When you know where your lead comes from, you will be better prepared to handle them. You will also know the kind of information they have about you and assist them accordingly.
When you track the number of leads who come from a variety of sources, you will also be able to predict their behaviour based on the past trends. It will help you when devising a strategy to get them closer to becoming a customer.
#3 Treat prospects like customers:
Here is a simple trick that would help your sales team to get closer to the prospect. Treat them as if they are already a customer. Offer solutions that are specific to their industry and not just to curry favor with them to get the deal.
Be genuinely interested in the prospect’s business. Even if they might not be in a position to buy from you at present, the way your sales team treats them will at least go a long way in cementing your reputation as a solid company. You never know, they might even send more leads your way. It is all in the way you treat them.
Treating your prospects like just another number will leave a bitter taste for them. A prospect who gets treated that way will find it difficult to choose your services when they are on the verge of selecting the final vendor.
Because you didn’t care enough.
More often than not, price isn’t the final deciding factor when choosing a vendor. It is about how much you strived to offer them customized solutions instead of providing cookie-cutter responses.
According to a report from Salesforce, 80% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.
#4 Use an effective CRM tool:
A Customer Relationship Management tool can make a big difference as it would help streamline your activities with leads. The CRM tool captures every interaction that happens with a lead, prospect, customers and whatnot. It acts as a single repository of valuable data for your sales team.
From prioritizing tasks to ensuring that key prospects are contacted on time, the CRM is a life saver. Generate a variety of reports based on filters to increase the effectiveness of your sales lead management.
Want to segment data to identify opportunities based on various criteria? Use CRM.
Want to know the right time to contact a lead? Use CRM. It will tell you when a contract renewal is up or when is the right time to upsell or cross-sell to a customer.
A good CRM will automate tasks like order processing, preparing quotes, etc., and make the entire sales process seamless for the prospect.
If you follow the best practices for using a CRM, you will be in a great position to establish sales routines that will help you hit your sales targets consistently.
#5 Nurture your leads:
Not everyone who reaches out to you is looking to buy in the first interaction. You need to nurture these leads over a period of time before they will eventually buy from you. The campaigns that you create should be formulated in such a way that the leads move through the sales cycle and are fully convinced about your abilities.
Nurturing your leads is the only way for you to make them sales-ready. Everything from email nurturing, display retargeting, content marketing, personalization, one-on-one interaction, surveys, etc. are all examples of nurturing. All of these are immensely helpful to convert a prospect into a customer.
Having a constant stream of leads is the mark of a successful company. The more channels you get leads from, the better it is for your bottom line. But no matter how many leads you get, you should be in a position to manage them effectively so that you can convert as many as possible into paying customers. Otherwise, it will affect your business prospects as well as create a dent on your reputation.
Empower your sales team with the wherewithal and budget to go all guns blazing. Without ample support from the management, it will be difficult to get great results. If you are in the banking and insurance sector and want your sales productivity to hit the roof, a platform like GetVymo would help get things done.