thumbs up and thumbs down hand signsIf you’ve been in sales for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of continually following up on a “hot” sales lead only to eventually find out there is no interest.

Possibly the contact is no longer with the company, has no need for your offering or does not make the buying decisions. Whatever the reason may be, you’ve invested time and effort without gaining anything in return. When this happens frequently a negative perception can develop that may result in an aversion to following up on sales leads in general. This aversion can then quickly result in missed revenue opportunity combined with wasted marketing effort and budget. How can this be avoided? In my opinion, a certain win percentage needs to be realized from supplied leads that makes the overall effort worthwhile. There are many different variables to consider based on your specific situation, but in general, the better the leads and follow up process, the higher the win rate. I suggest considering the following when analyzing your current lead generation and processing to maximize your win percentage:

  1. Where did the lead come from? There are many different ways that sales leads can be generated and that often determines the quality of the lead. Maybe your company targets a specific set of industries and purchases names that are then sent to sales as leads. Maybe your company runs sophisticated email campaigns and passes on leads to sales based on interest level parameters. Maybe your company only passes on form registrations as leads. Whatever the mechanism used, the key criteria to judging the quality of the lead is the interest level shown. Once you’ve determined where the lead came from you should be able to estimate the interest level of the prospect and therefore the quality.
  2. How do I distribute the leads to sales? This is a tricky question because much depends upon the size of your team versus the amount of leads your marketing engine generates. In a case of large sales team and few leads, it probably doesn’t matter how the leads are distributed. In a case of small sales team and many leads, it becomes much more important to focus on the highest quality (interest level) leads first. So, prioritize the leads based on where they came from and then ensure that the recipients of the leads treat them with the priority they deserve. Maybe low quality leads warrant one follow up call and an email while high quality leads warrant a successive call pattern over the next 30 days. Whenever possible, the recipient should also be given any additional information regarding the prospect’s interest level.
  3. What does success look like? Make sure you have a process in place to track progress and results. If you’re going to invest in lead generation you should also be able to monitor the results. Make sure the recipients are following up on the leads they receive and keep track of the wins to determine where you should focus your future lead generation efforts.

If you are a VisitorTrack user or considering using VisitorTrack, let me relate the above back to ways you might be able optimize your use of the platform.

  1. I highly suggest putting the tool back into the hands of the individual sales person. Let sales run their individual reports based on their geographies and classifications and they will also be able to see the level of interest of the leads that VisitorTrack supplies. If sales owns the process, they will be much more likely to follow up on the leads they generate.
  2. No one knows your business better than you do. You know your ideal customer and you know how your offering addresses their needs. Don’t just rely on automated emails, spend some time building reports specific to your client profile and matching those up to the target pages on your website that you feel show the highest level of intent to buy.
  3. Develop a plan within your sales organization to assign priorities to leads generated from various sources. Then develop a mechanism to keep track of those leads throughout the sales process so that you can build data on what works the best.

All sales leads are not created equal. Leads that signify a high interest level, like prospects scouring your website, should be treated with a higher focus than leads with no known interest level, like names generated from a target profile list. Hope you find this helpful and good luck in your revenue generation efforts.