Hot sales leads naturally get most or all of a salesperson’s attention. Salespeople are always hunting for more customers right now. Unfortunately, this “right now” mindset overlooks other sales leads well worth cultivating. By maintaining a long-term sales funnel and paying more attention to neglected leads, your business can nurture today’s cold leads and convert them into successful sales later on.
Here are tips on how to avoid overlooking a promising sales opportunity:
Always qualify the lead. Your sales team should first determine a lead’s dollar potential, when in the sales cycle the prospect is likely to make a purchase, and who has the authority to make the all-important final buying decision. Also, establish if the sale is something the prospect thinks would be nice to have or something they must have in order to keep their business going.
Customize your sales approach. Some salespeople figure their time is better spent blasting contacts with a one-size-fits-all email. With this approach, the potential to convert leads from cold to hot is minimal, particularly when savvy would-be customers see the email blast for what it is – an impersonal, scattershot sales pitch.
Instead, direct your sales team to review the past history of efforts, including how prospective customers responded to prior contact and something about their buying history. Using this information, craft highly targeted sales messages aimed at particular customers. A personalized approach is much more likely to get the prospect’s attention.
Feature opt-in and “lead magnets.” If your online sales methods aren’t working, make sure your website prominently displays an opt-in form where interested prospects can register for more information. Consider adding a “lead magnet” – the offer of a free white paper, newsletter, e-book, etc. – something of value that entices a prospect to want to learn more. Making it easy for people to act on their interest greatly increases the odds of a future sale.
Pay attention to sales leads already in the pipeline. It’s not always about frantically chasing after new leads. Chances are, your sales team has a number of existing leads in the pipeline that haven’t demonstrated much promise in the past. Go back and make contact with these leads. Prospects who are ignored will never convert from cold to hot.
Cultivate these leads with a drip marketing campaign that addresses their specific needs. Let them know you’re always looking for ways to benefit them with your product or service offering. It takes additional time and energy, but everyone likes to feel wanted.
Build an efficient sales funnel. A well-oiled sales funnel includes not only hot leads but prospects that aren’t yet ready to make the buying decision. Encourage your sales team to stay in touch with these prospects without, of course, becoming a nuisance. Overly aggressive tactics won’t work with this target group. Patience is needed, as well as the willingness to provide ongoing value as part of the overall sales process.
Sales leads should never be taken for granted. Keep devising new ways to reach out to customers you already have and ones you’d like to get in the future. Your attention to “dormant” prospects will pay off in the long run.