According to most sales experts, no matter how many leads you receive only 2% of them are ready to buy right away. At least 25% of your leads will turn out to be no good, and the other 73% will need a whole lot of nurturing, coaching and maybe even cajoling to get them to a point where you'll know if they'll convert to sales.
Nobody ever said the business of selling was easy - so how can you make your lead management more efficient and cut down the amount of time your sales staff (or you) are wasting on go-nowhere leads? Here are the top 4 tips to improve your lead management and fine tune your sales processes!
1. Start with better leads
That's not just a glib piece of advice! Which is more efficient -trawling the entire ocean floor and spending hours picking garbage out of your nets, or only hooking the specific the type of fish you want by using the bait they like best? By pursuing quality leads and making sure they're qualified buyers ahead of time, the quantity of leads you bring in might be lower, but you'll spend far less effort trying to convert them. That's the iQ3 Rule.
2.Talk it Out & Lead the Discussion
People usually don't know what they want right away. Don't just present them with your sales options; take the time to ask a lead what they think they need from you, and what they want as the ultimate goal. Don't turn yourself into a free consulting service - become a trusted advisor and a thought leader in your area of expertise. If they're still researching their options, give them the advice they need and see if they come back. Chances are, if you look like the experts in your field, they will.
3.Pay attention to what they're doing.
With the tools available to you today, there's no reason to be in the dark about what your clients are thinking. It's easy to know if they're downloading your white papers, clicking your links and reading what you send them. If they're opening, reading and responding - pay more attention to them, but if they're not looking at your product pages, or they haven't done anything since watching the webinar, downgrade the lead and cut your losses. By knowing what your leads are doing, you can use your time far more efficiently.
4.Know your leads and your customers
It's not rocket science to know you want more leads like the customers you already have - so set up landing pages to help you capture the information you need to know ahead of time. For example - your company sells safety equipment to a huge variety of people all over the world. If you know what industry the lead is in you'll be able to recommend products other customers in their industry have asked for and know what they're not interested in. Knowing more about your leads means you can analyze what works and what doesn't based on the demographic or industry information you keep.
There you go - 4 simple ways to save yourself time and earn more money. The best thing about this advice is it's all free. It doesn't cost you anything to manage your leads better, and you don't need CRM software to do it.The tools that can help you are all available for free online.
Photo: Not all leads are winners - separate the wilted flowers from the fresh ones. Photo by David Goehring, Flickr.