A Sales Lead Management Process You Can Count On

Sales_Lead_Management_Process_You_Can_Count_On

Want a more profitable business? (Dumb question. Of course you do.) Whether you’ve been around for a while or are just starting up, every smart business owner wants to increase their sales.

So what’s your lead tracking process?

Too often, a quality system for tracking leads falls through the cracks — and so do potential customers. It’s tempting to take each lead individually and patchwork your responses based on what’s worked in the past. But that’s not the most effective method.

Instead, you need a sales lead management process you can count on. And good sales lead tracking does one thing: follow the right leads systematically.

How to Qualify Your Leads

Before you meet with people, ask yourself, “Who is a real potential client?”

Make sure leads can afford what you sell. Not sure? Try this simple calculation.

Perceived cost x 1,000 = Minimum Business Revenue

Let’s say your product costs $12,000, but clients pay monthly. That means they perceive the costs to be $1,000. When you multiply $1,000 by 1,000, you’ll know you should be selling to businesses who bring in at least a million dollars. Otherwise, it’s too expensive for them.

Then find a niche so your leads can be more specific. A specific market lets you stand out as a specialist for your product, as it applies to certain clients.

Related: Looking For A Sales Lead Tracking App? Use This Checklist

Let’s say you sell scissors. Everyone needs them, and all businesses are prospects. But you’ll get a better result if you tailor your specialty. So become an expert at selling scissors to insurance companies. Now, when you sell, you can say, “I know everyone sells scissors, but I work with people just like you. Here’s my story…” Through the course of your story, you’ll show your understanding of how they use scissors in their industry and how you can help with that.

Selling isn’t just about what they literally want (i.e. the scissors). Selling is about the aggregate experience that you have in dealing with people just like them.

How to Handle Leads Systematically

Once you find leads that can afford your product and fit your niche, put them in your “mechanism” immediately. This mechanism, or system, for following up helps you know what action to take when. Here’s how it works.

1. Start the Funnel

Contact your leads at regular intervals. I start with an email and a phone call. To begin a “trust bond” — a connection point that starts building their trust — I’ll email them, “Hey! I got your name from here. I’m going to call you right now.” This isn’t about marketing or a grand introduction. It’s just a way to make the first contact.

Then I call them. If they don’t answer, I leave a message and immediately email them with the subject: Just left you a voicemail. More often than not, people will respond to the email but won’t call back, even if they’re interested.

After this first touch, I start my call funnel. I’ll call back the next day (and leave a message if I don’t reach them). Then I call back at these intervals:

  • 2 days later
  • 1 week later
  • 2 weeks later
  • 1 month later
  • every 60 days until they buy

You’ll need to tweak your timing depending on your industry. But the key is to be professionally persistent. You don’t want to be in their face. And you don’t want any of these touches to seem like triggered responses (even though they are). Instead, you want clients to feel like they’re your only lead. Make it seem like they’re the only client on your agenda.

2. Script the Process

In reality, all these responses are triggered. So establish a way to respond every single time. Whether you’re a one-man business or a 20-person team, you need the process scripted.

Related: 5 Things Your Sales Script Should (and Shouldn’t) Include

3. Tweak It

Then tweak it if it’s not working. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Once you have a place to start, you just need to edit.

Think about the sales lead management process like writing. The hardest part is getting the first draft on paper. It’s much easier to critique and edit. It’s the same with the sales process.

Get your process on paper — even if it’s wrong. Then, if you’re losing people, figure out where you’re losing them and fix it. That doesn’t mean you make changes with every piece of feedback, but you look at the big picture to see where a repeated breakdown happens. Then adjust.

If you want to know the best way to make changes, ask your clients. After they’re on board, just say, “Thank you for your business. I know you’re a new client, and I’m looking forward to working with you. By the way, how did you feel through the process?” They’ll tell you what they liked and didn’t. Then you’ll know firsthand where to improve in the future.

Solid sales lead management can make all the difference in your revenue growth. A CRM like CallProof will help keep you on track.

 

5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Lead Quality

Lead qualityHave you ever considered that it takes the same amount of time to source and qualify a good lead as it does a bad lead? Of course we all want more leads, but having a sales funnel full of poor quality leads can not only cost you a fortune in wasted marketing spend, it chews through the precious and finite time of your sales team. Improving sales lead quality means reducing the calling people who are unlikely to buy.

Lead quality really is a make or break metric for strong sales and in this article, you’ll discover how to significantly improve your averages.

Lead Quality Analysis

It’s easy to tell how many leads you have, but what determines their quality? What defines a good lead? This can be a little tricky, so here’s a couple of starting points for you.

Go through your current sales lead list and organize them into piles of good, better and best. Now it’s reorganized, take a moment to consider the common characteristics between them. Is it purely a matter of the budget? Perhaps time is more sensitive and it’s really a matter of who’s ready to buy now?

Another good metric is found by looking at your company’s best performing month for the lead conversion ratio. Now, take a look at the worst month and start to build a picture and get a good idea of the average. The average conversion rate can provide a decent target for your lead quality during these improvement strategies.

1. Consider Raising Your Prices

Dropping the price is a method too quickly adopted by salespeople who fail to dig out the real objections. Another side effect of dropping prices is damaging the quality of leads attracted to your product or service.

By raising prices, you make the price point a hurdle that potential prospects must leap before they’re taken seriously. If you put the price up by 20%, you know the people are calling you liked your marketing and have cash in the bank.

2. Consider Putting More Hurdles in Place

In a similar principle to the above, there are other places in your funnel where more hurdles can be added to separate casual inquiries from serious buyers. We all know that a contact form requesting nothing but a name and email address will generate more leads. But how serious are they?

Consider adding more fields to request more information. For example, if you request a potential lead’s annual revenue, you know whether you’re looking at a $100,000 account or a $5,000 account. Put the low quality leads on an email drip campaign and the high-quality leads on a telephone call list.

FreeEbook

3. Use Your Leads to Generate More Leads

We’ve written a number of blog posts on how to generate more referrals here on the CallProof blog. If a referral really is worth 100 cold calls, surely there’s no better way to generate high-quality leads? See our other posts for inspiration on referral requesting strategies that can take your business to the next level.

4. Experiment with Targeted Marketing Platforms

The wonders of modern digital marketing mean that the cost-ineffective “scattergun” approach of advertising is becoming a thing of the past. Advertising platforms such as those on LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to select between the demographics of many different descriptions.

Consider where your marketing spend is allocated right now and look into other avenues that can produce higher quality leads for less money by narrowing down the target audience to those relevant to your business.

5. Match up Lead Quality to Salesperson Experience

The steps in this article will improve your overall sales lead quality, but you will still have some better than others and devising metrics to track quality is the key to maintaining high standards. Now you’ve considered ways to do that, always match up your best quality leads with your best quality salespeople. Low quality leads may be less valuable in terms of revenue, but they’re a great place for rookie salespeople to get their feet wet with real experience.