Lead generation is at the heart of sales and marketing campaigns, but generating leads is really only Step 1. What you do once leads are generated is equally important. The goal is to turn sales and marketing generated leads into paying clients or customers. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. In some industries, it can take months or even years for the lead to convert, which is why it’s important for companies to follow these tips in order to move leads through the sales funnel towards conversion:
Score leads to determine if they’re qualified
Not every lead that comes in via sales and marketing efforts is going to be a good fit. Or, they might be a good fit, but the timing isn’t right. It doesn’t make sense to waste time trying to move these leads through the sales funnel, which is why all leads should be scored. During a phone conversation, a representative can ask questions that will help them score the lead and determine what the next steps should be (if any).
Determine who can make purchase decisions
Every conversation with a company is valuable in some capacity, but the lead will only move further through the sales funnel when the conversations are with those that are higher up and able to make purchase decisions. Otherwise, you could end up going around in circles and wasting time.
Outline specific benefits
During initial lead qualification discussions, representatives should get a good sense of what the lead’s pain points are and what they are looking for in a product/solution/service. This information can be used to your advantage as it allows you to craft a message that speaks directly to their needs by focusing on the benefits of what’s offered.
Keep the conversation going
At the end of each conversation with a lead, define what next steps are in order to keep the conversation going and keep everyone on the same page. If things are left in the air, there’s a good chance that the process will stall, perhaps never moving forward. Wrap up the conversation by setting up the next meeting, whether it’s another phone meeting, an online demonstration, an in-person meeting, etc. Leading up to that next meeting, be sure to send friendly reminder emails.
Conduct multiple follow ups
Don’t give up on leads too quickly. Just because they don’t respond on the first or second try, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested. Leads are busy people! Keep at it and conduct multiple follow ups using a few outreach methods such as phone, email, and social media.
Nurture leads when the timing isn’t right
Develop a lead nurturing strategy for the leads that you’ve determined aren’t ready to buy anytime soon, but would be a great fit once the timing is better. Conduct occasional outreach via follow up calls and emails in order to stay top of mind.
While it’s great to have a lot of incoming leads, they aren’t doing much for the bottom line unless they move through the sales funnel and ultimately convert. Follow these tips to turn leads into business.