You have a hot lead in your system, yet you’re out chasing cold leads again. What gives?
Far too many businesses are disorderly when it comes to their lead nurturing process. Most businesses lose nearly 80% of their new leads before the sale (according to research done by Invesp). As search & social saturate and customer acquisition costs continue to skyrocket, the focus must turn inwards.
You might have your lead generation tactics down-pat, but if you aren’t taking the time to actually nurture those leads through your sales pipeline, you are missing out on a lot of excellent opportunities—many of which your business may not be able to get back.
Hot (qualified) leads should take precedence over warm (interested) leads, which should take precedence over cold (unfamiliar) leads. To help your business convert more leads, and avoid the loss of warm and hot leads as much as possible, take this advice to heart.
1. What Can You Control?
As a business owner, you have to face it: some things are simply out of your control. Rather than getting scared because of those unknowns, focus on what you can control instead and tailor those aspects to perfectly fit with your lead strategy.
2. Be Prompt With Your Communication
Imagine someone walks into a physical store you own and expressed interest in one of your products. Are you going to ignore them until you’re finished with whatever it is you’re doing? Of course not, so why would you allow a warm or hot lead to sit in your system untouched as they slowly lose interest in your company?
The moment that a lead expresses interest in your business, you need to begin nurturing them. Reach out right away so that you can build upon that interest. As soon as you’re in touch with them, you can gather the information you need in order to qualify them before pushing them on to the sales team.
3. Qualify Leads Early
There’s no reason for you to waste your time trying to work with a lead who is never going to convert. To help you save time and be more efficient with your lead nurturing, qualify the leads you get early on.
Qualified leads should be at the top of your priority list each day. They should be the first leads you check in on and follow up with as they are the most likely to convert into customers. You can qualify a lead in under 60 seconds by asking yourself:
- What’s their profile? Does it match the criteria you’ve laid out previously? For example, maybe they’re an executive and you’re looking for directors.
- Do they have interest or intent? There is a difference, and it’s your job to determine the answer to this question for each lead.
- Do they have purchasing power? Don’t push an intern to your sales team, no matter how qualified they are as a lead. You need to be selling directly to a person with purchasing power.
- Have you seen their website? Looking at a lead’s website is perhaps the most powerful qualification step you can take. Will your product or service be compatible with their offerings? What specific ways can you pitch to them when thinking about your product in the context of their business?
When qualifying leads, you should also keep a close eye on your CRM to make sure that no one else on the team is working with that lead. It should be one representative per lead to keep everything linear and organized, and it will also help the lead build a stronger business relationship with that team member because they’ll feel like they have dedicated assistance.
Remember those businesses that are losing 80% of their new business before any kind of purchase? Those same businesses managed to increase sales 50% by just adopting a more refined sales nurturing process. We should know: Tubularcustomers are cracking heads on solving the nurturing problem daily.
4. Dump Bad Leads Quickly
Don’t spend your time trying to nurture a bad lead. If someone isn’t the right fit for your company, dump them immediately. There are plenty of good leads that are more deserving of your time. Nothing more needs to be said!
5. Add The Human Touch
An automated sales process can save you a lot of time, but it can also end up feeling cold and disconnected. If you are automating anything in your business, make sure you add a human touch to it.
Are you going to automatically send a follow-up email after they request a quote on your site? Delay it by a few minutes, add a profile picture to the sender, and make sure to include a name. People always need to know who is on the other end of their communications. It will help your business build a stronger reputation and a closer connection with your leads.
The human touch can come in many forms, but putting names to all types of communications (and faces to those names) will help a lead feel like they know your business and the people behind it a bit better, and it beats an auto-responder any day of the week.
6. Follow-Up With Old Customers
You probably already know that it costs substantially more to try and acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current one. That’s why your business needs to be on the top of its game when it comes to the follow-up. Not only will following up improve your customer’s experience with their purchase, it will also lower the rate of refunds/returns and give you the chance to address any issues or concerns they may be having.
When you follow-up with a customer, you can also open the door for repeat business. And, the great thing about a past customer is that you don’t have to prove anything to them. When you have a product or service that you think a past customer could benefit from, shoot them an email or give them a phone call to discuss. Make sure you start out the conversation by asking how __________ is working out for them and listen to their feedback.
You’ll also have an easier time with your follow-ups if you follow-up frequently. Don’t allow six months to pass and then randomly contact them out of the blue trying to sell them something else. To improve your customer relationship and keep them loyal to your business, follow-up with them regularly.
7. Keep it Simple
Ultimately, the keys to lead nurturing usually boil down to common sense: keep it simple. While building Tubular, we quickly realized that most sales teams had extremely convoluted and inefficient pipelines. It’s why we designed Tubular in the first place – to completely automate, simplify & streamline the sales pipeline.
The most important thing you can do is take a step back, look at your overall processes from a birds eye and find the bottlenecks you can solve. You might be surprised not only at the inefficiencies in your sales pipeline, but the gains you’ll find in lead retention.