The leads are pouring in.
Your team’s focused on getting tons of leads because, frankly, a lot of them are bound to go to waste. You’re lucky to get half of them respond, only to tell you that they really don’t need your product. On the fifth call.
If you’re nodding in agreement, then we’re sure there’s some—if not a lot—to improve in your sales lead management process.
What is sales lead management?
Sales lead management is all the processes involved in converting leads into opportunities to make sales. Lead qualification is at the heart of sales lead management—potential customers are identified, helped, educated, engaged and qualified. If they can be converted into opportunities for sales, the leads are turned over to the closers.
Simple? It sounds simple. But most leads don’t even get the first touch. It’s estimated that 90 percent of leads are wasted, not even getting a single call or contact.
For a million reasons, really. It could be that someone overlooked the lead because it was just scribbled on a notepad. Or it was assigned to the wrong department who just forgot about the lead altogether.
It is unreasonable for anyone who leads a sales department or who leads a sales team to just overlook the reality that leads can be managed better, that more sales can be made, but they’re not doing what’s needed to achieve that! Some probing and adjusting of the way teams manage their leads can do wonders.
Here are five lead management tips that directly impact your sales. These are the ones you should never overlook.
#1 Ensure the team has a singular, solid understanding of what a lead is
Drawing the line between just a contact and a lead will make a difference in your results. Making sure that the whole team has the same definition of what a lead is will not only take out the guesswork but will also expedite the flow of work. The marketing people should know when exactly a contact becomes a lead that needs to be transferred to SDR and then to closers. Being dilly-dally and not having an exact definition of a lead that everyone involved in the sales process is united in.
#2 Know where your leads are coming from
Sales departments spend a lot of time polishing their sales techniques, but sometimes, managing a lead can go wrong when you don’t know where the lead is coming from.
One of the golden rules of sales is the more you know about the prospect, the better. Did they find you through a offline marketing campaign? Was it on Facebook? A Google search? This information is important not only to help you handle the lead well but also to help you keep track of what’s working and what isn’t.
#3 Assign leads quickly
An evaluation of 1.25 million sales leads revealed companies that contact leads within an hour were 60 times more likely to get qualified leads compared to those that took upwards of 24 hours. Sixty times.
Where the does the bottleneck occur? Why are leads not contacted right away if the statistics all scream CONTACT THEM ASAP? The answer probably lies in leads distribution. The first phone call to the lead from someone in your team is crucial to setting the sales hook for prospects. Whether it’s to give them more product information or to set an appointment for a more thorough presentation, a lead can go ice cold in a matter of minutes. By distributing leads quickly, you are giving the team an edge, a more efficient way of selling from the get-go.
#4 Don’t neglect analytics
An efficient sales lead management system uses tools with robust analytics like CRMs or integrations. Measure everything. Using analytics, you can get important metrics like cost per lead, lead source, size of opportunity, and other pertinent information important to move forward in the sales process. Once you know which information and metrics you want to keep track of and measure, you can seek the right tools to do the job.
Having this information is crucial so you’re not left in the dark when improving or troubleshooting your sales department. Using this information for better sales lead management will surely help increase your sales pipeline. You have to look at these numbers and information when making decisions regarding your sales process.
For example, if a lead source is not registering the number of leads you have been projecting, that will be a jump-off to troubleshooting the said lead source. Is it a bad fit? Are you implementing marketing plans well? Is the channel not a place where targets are found?
Without analytics, you won’t be able to make quick and smart decisions that solve these problems.
#5 Get quality leads
Upon evaluating the quality of your leads, do you find that your team is spending time contacting leads that weren’t even remotely interested in your product?
At the root of an effective sales lead management system are quality leads. Lead generation is mostly the job of the marketing team, yes—and communicating the need for better quality leads to them is crucial for the sales team to do its job.
Driving high sales lead quality should be the main thrust of marketing, and sales teams should be able to help them achieve that by providing access to metrics and information about the leads they supply.
Having quality leads not only makes sales a smoother process but it also helps keep sales professionals energized. Contacting low-quality leads can dull even the sharpest sales pros. An energized sales team is the main ingredient of a winning department.
It goes without saying that buying leads is a passé way of getting contacts. It is unethical and just results to a lot of time wasted. Buying lists is always a bad idea.