If you work in sales, you must have already heard of lead management and its importance. Leads are the lifeblood for consistent growth and success in any business. However, before you venture into learning how to manage sales leads, it is important to understand the concept as a whole.
What are sales leads?
Sales leads are people or businesses who may ultimately become customers/clients for your business. They are also tangible data that identifies an individual or entity as a potential customer for any service or product that is offered by you. Sales leads are usually accessed by companies via advertising, online and offline marketing initiatives, exhibitions, or third-party collaboration, which is where Pivotal One come into its own.
The generation of leads is the first stage in the entire process of sales or the beginning of the journey with a prospective customer so to speak. Once you get a lead, the key is learning more about the person or business and then ultimately converting the same into a prospect via two-way engagement. However, what you have just read is easier said than done, so let’s delve a little deeper and establish what you need to consider…
How to manage sales leads
Picture the scene – you’ve got more leads than a pet shop accessory aisle, but what you do next can be the difference between success and failure. Your sales pipeline and your ability to hit revenue targets all begin with great lead management, here are several different approaches for consideration:
One of the biggest disconnects between sales and the rest of the company is the definition of a lead. Firstly, the lead must be routed to the right person in a timely fashion. Secondly, the lead should be ready to engage with a salesperson, so comprehensive due diligence is necessary before relaying. The salesperson will make one, maybe two contacts with that prospect and then move on to “lower hanging fruit”, after all, time is money people. For better sales effectiveness, your sales peeps and the rest of the company need a more granular definition of when a prospect becomes an actual lead. Pivotal One supplies great leads that are individually gift wrapped and just require you to stick the proverbial bow on.
Install an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. For optimal sales effectiveness, you need to capture information about each and every interaction with your prospects, clients and customers. This includes integrating your different channels, such as your website.
Track the source. People most often hear about your company, products and services through ads, referrals, online banner ads or some other form of advertising. You need to keep track so you can better determine what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t capture the source, you have no way of figuring out what’s working and what’s not.
Distribute your leads quicker than Usain Bolt. Studies have shown that if you respond within 48 hours of a prospect contacting you, your sales closing rate goes up dramatically. Think about your own experiences. How many times have you tried to contact a company or person and they never get back to you? By responding quickly, you set yourself apart from your competitors.
Nurture your leads like an overenthusiastic nanny. Depending on the products and services you offer, most people are probably not ready to buy based on their first interaction with you. Best practice calls for nurturing your leads over time. Pivotal One does all the leg work here, you just need to carry the sales baton over the finishing line.
Excite your sales staff about each prospect (you don’t need to go full-on Wolf of Wall Street with a chest bump rendition). The best salespeople focus on detailed qualifying, and so should the rest of your people.
Save those interesting bits of information about customers and prospects (only the clean stuff). If you tag your records with the names of your competitors on deals, what their objections are, whether they’ll be a referral or not, which products they already own and so on, you can call on those details in the future. This allows you to leverage what you learn in order to be more successful.
Treat your prospects like customers. By capturing the source (as mentioned above) about each prospect, anyone at your company can answer a sales call and more effectively be in with a very good chance of answering their questions. This will have a significant impact on your prospects and will cause them to want to engage with your team further. Knowledge is power as they say.
Measure everything you do like an Olympic official. But in order to measure your results, you need to decide what you want to measure and why. Once you have the right information, you can determine the return on investment from your campaigns and prospects that will increase your sales pipeline.
Hold regular meetings with your sales team(s) and anyone else involved in the sales process. You should meet on a regular basis to review lead quality, win/loss records, and tracking CRM systems so you can continue to improve your sales effectiveness.
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