Gathering leads is an essential part of business growth, but they will fall away if you don’t follow up on them!
A lead is a person or business who is considering purchasing from your company, so your aim is to implement a strategy to encourage that sale. When you follow up a lead, you are nurturing them, building a relationship and further highlighting how you can help the prospect with their goal or challenge. This means it’s important you address their barriers to sale, and demonstrate that you truly care about meeting their business needs.
When you don’t follow up effectively, you risk losing sales to competitors who will inevitably also be pursuing your potential customers.
So how can you effectively and efficiently follow up on leads to increase your conversion rate?
Here are our tips on following up on leads and making sure that you’re consistent. Let’s explore them:
Tip 1: Utilise Qualification Criteria
It’s crucial that between sales and marketing you have defined criteria of what a well-qualified lead is for your business. Understanding what elements make up a good customer means that you can seek out those same elements in future sales opportunities.
Consider what needs, motivations, authority, budget and timescales make a prospect perfect for you. You can also set qualification criteria for the profile of company you are looking to target, what industries have been successful for you in the past? Are there any industries you haven’t explored before that could be even more successful? Can employee numbers or company turnover help you segment which businesses will be a best fit?
Once you have a clear picture of your criteria you can use this when following up leads, what aspects do you still not understand about your current lead? By reflecting on your qualification criteria you can be more effective at understanding more about your lead’s situation and using that information to inform your communication whilst following up with them.
Tip 2: Regularly update your CRM with lead information
Now you have the important information on your lead to help move it through the sales pipeline, ensure this is accurately recorded in your CRM. Keeping your database up to date will ensure you and your team are using your resources to your best advantage and making accurate, informed decisions.
Clearly recording which team member is following up each lead is also crucial to make sure there is a sense of ownership with every lead and none are neglected.
Tip 3: Secure Commitment To The Next Step
Try not to leave things open-ended after each communication with your leads, as you may risk turning warm or hot leads cold, or even worse, lose them completely.
Book a meeting with your lead by explaining how this will help them. If it is simply a case of wrong timing you can still secure commitment by agreeing a next step with them, whether that’s pencilling in a follow up call with them to then secure a meeting, or simply explaining why a meeting now will help them with their other priorities.
Your leads will appreciate you putting their priorities first, securing commitment not only helps you but also helps them to consider the best steps to take in their decision making process. If you would like some support with securing meetings, see how we can help you with appointment setting.
Tip 4: Provide Useful Content
You want to demonstrate to your leads that you can deliver a solution to their problems, and if you can show evidence of that through case studies and testimonials, even better. Be sure to use the information recorded in your database to inform you what marketing materials could be worth sending to your lead.
Helpful resources such as case studies, blogs, whitepapers, and video explanations can all be useful to educate the prospect on your brand and solution whilst they are still at the consideration stage. With these resources at hand, you can send these to your leads or direct them to your website to learn more.
Tip 5: Avoid Sales Pitching
To have a successful interaction with a lead, you need to do more than simply pitch them a sales pitch. Ideally, you want to build a rapport with your client, by understanding their priorities and challenges, along with their need and what you can offer them. But how can you build a rapport with someone, without them feeling like they’re being pushed into a sale?
By listening, and offering valuable advice without any expectations that they will buy from you in the future, you can begin to build rapport. This way, you are showing them that you value their time and understand them, rather than pushing your services onto them, before they know if you would be right for them to work with!
Tip 6: Use Different Methods to Follow Up
When you follow up with leads, you should always assess which method of communication would work best. You may choose to reach out to them using the same communication method they got in touch with you with. If you’re finding it difficult to reach your lead try mixing things up, different people prefer different communication methods. You could try:
- Connecting and Direct Messaging on LinkedIn
- Text message
However they like to communicate best, if you take the time to personalise their experience, you may find it more rewarding for both of you.
Tip 7: Know When to Walk Away
There are some leads that require a bit more attention to ensure you will get the best results possible. Properly exploring their current situation and understanding their barriers to sale will help you provide the correct information to address their concerns.
But, sometimes, no matter how much time or effort you put in, a lead simply doesn’t work out. Here are some things to ask yourself, to help decide whether it’s worth continuing to pursue a lead:
- Have you properly qualified the lead and know it’s the right fit? Do you not only know about their need but also their motivation, timescale, authority and budget for your solution? Have they confirmed that they have the finances and ability to decide to make a purchase?
- Have you established a timeframe with them of when they may like to make a purchase, or when they will reach out to you with a decision?
With these questions in mind, you can try to establish how serious a lead is about making a purchase with you.
Lead follow ups are an essential part of converting a lead to a customer, but you need to be conscious of the process to pull it off successfully. Try to gently remind them every so often that you are there for them when they need you to help them with their priorities. By following these tips, you should find that it will be easier for them to come to you and for you to get the results you want.
Whether you are looking to uncover new leads in your market, or are trying to better manage your existing pipeline, we provide additional resources to ensure you are generating new interest and actively following up existing leads. Find out more about our Lead Generation service.