Smart ways to re-evaluate sales leads

Leads are the lifeblood of a business and no doubt you already have a comprehensive system in place to nurture them down the sales funnel.

But a few smart tweaks could get that lifeblood really pumping, converting more leads and bringing in more income. Even if your process turns out to be robust, it’s worth factoring in a periodic review to keep things ticking over.

Every business has the potential to save time and resource by changing things to bring in leads that really make an impact.


 

Smart ways to make the most of leads

Let’s break this down into the three types of lead:

Simple leads show when a buyer starts off on their journey, and usually it’s the first contact you have with that person. You know how your processes are working currently to move a simple lead to a qualified one, but even a small tweak could make a big difference.

A matter of minutes can change everything. For example, the chances of an inbound web lead entering the sales process or becoming qualified are 21 times greater if they’re contacted in 5 minutes vs 30 minutes.[1]

What about a marketing qualified lead (MQL)? Lead scoring can have a big impact on revenue and conversions by allowing your sales team to work more effectively. Despite this, only a third[2] of B2Bs currently use a lead scoring program.

If you’re new to the concept, lead scoring evaluates how much a lead is worth to your company, and boosts your sales team, allowing them to come in at the right time, with the information your potential client needs.

Making sure that you only follow up sales qualified leads (SQL). This can save your sales team a lot of energy, but not every company takes this step. Did you know that 61% of B2B marketers sent all of their leads to sales, whether or not they’re qualified?[3]

Even if your system is more rigorous than the majority, a refresh of your scoring and evaluation process could revolutionise the way your sales team works, and the amount of revenue generated by each lead.


 

See where you’re losing leads

A “leak” can spring up at any stage in the sales funnel – do you know where you most often lose sales? Can you find out why? The causes below could happen at any of the five stages:

• Attract – the start of the relationship
• Top of funnel (ToFu)
• Middle of funnel (MoFu)
• Bottom of Funnel (BoFu)
• Delight – convert your lead into a paying customer

Do any of these cause problems for lead retention?

1. Taking rejection as final

If a potential client doesn’t take up your services right now, it doesn’t mean they don’t need them at all. There are many reasons to object to a sales pitch, and a follow-up email addressing those needs specifically, or even just a little bit down the line to re-test the waters can take a seemingly solid “no” back into the sales funnel.

2. Poor timing

Time can make a huge difference, as we discussed when it comes to first contact. This is just as important when it comes to following up a potential lead. Research shows that 35-50 per cent of sales go to the vendor that responds first[4]. A speedy response time is crucial.

3. No follow up

The right strategy for follow ups can have a significant impact on conversion rates. In fact, almost half of salespeople (44%) give up after one follow-up. However, 4/5 sales require five follow-ups[5]. Statistically, a significant proportion of sales reps lose the majority of their potential sales!

It’s clear that even gradual change can have lasting effects on your success rate.

Sales lead strategy can be complex, all the more reason to make sure that hard work isn’t going to waste. Even the 10 minutes it takes to send that follow-up email or make the call can make the difference between a successful conversion and a lost lead.


 

 

 

[1] http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/7019/Lead-Nurturing-Explained-3-Tips-to-Increase-Qualified-Leads.aspx#sm.0000f04i1w19q2drcqads8j1q9k9r

[2] http://www.smartinsights.com/lead-generation/lead-generation-strategy/b2b-lead-scoring/

[3] http://www.salesforce.com/uk/pardot/features/qualify-leads/

[4] http://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/why-your-b2b-lead-response-time-is-killing-your-business

[5] http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-statistics#sm.0000f04i1w19q2drcqads8j1q9k9r


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