Sales teams are always hungry for leads and sales leads are one of the most important resources in a successful business.
But what are leads?
Your team probably has its own definition, but for many successful sales teams, it’s quite straightforward — a lead is a prospective consumer of a product or service, created when an individual or business shows interest. It gives a reason to make a touchpoint with contacts, such as getting them on the phone and to remind them you’re there leaving with a positive impression. After all, the more people you reach and talk to, the more sales you will generate.
It's that simple. If X number of prospects are contacted, Y number of them will convert if asked.
Notice that says ‘convert,’ not ‘close.‘ Very rarely do prospects jump immediately from A (introduction) to Z (closed sale). If they did, most of us would be out of a job. Instead, there are steps they need to pass through along the way from A to Z. This is what we call the “sales funnel.” Your specific sales funnel will vary, but here’s a basic outline of how a prospect typically moves from awareness to interest, then on to desire and, ultimately, action.
- Answer the phone and take your call.
- Listen to what you have to say.
- Admit they have a problem or need.
- Acknowledge they are open to a solution.
- Show curiosity in what you offer.
- Agree to hear your pitch.
- Request or accept more information.
- Express enthusiasm for your solution.
- Bring other stakeholders into the conversation as needed.
- Demonstrate intent to buy.
Great salespeople are experts at leading prospects through these steps and out the other side as a satisfied customer. But sometimes it’s not so easy and even the greatest sales reps often struggle with one area in particular: how to get new prospects into the top of this sales funnel. Here at Blayzer, we can help you through this process in one simple click.
Where do you find fresh contacts?
This is where your marketing strategy comes into play. Advertising can be effective at making your inbound lines ring, but you should also balance out your scale with programs that offer your sales team the ability to be proactive and make other calls or similar outbound touches
Email marketing in particular can be an excellent source of fresh prospects to start with for your team to call. These terms can be very helpful in understanding this process:
When email’s “right person, right message, and right time” goals come together just right, you get a hot lead. Someone who is looking to buy, likes what they see, and lets you know. You’ll want to fast track these leads to your sales reps so they can quickly close the deal while they’re still hot.
Not quite as magical as hot replies, but still a solid inquiry or request. You’ll want to get an appointment set with an experienced sales rep who really knows their stuff and can field the toughest questions about your solution and be persistent in following up.
Email lists can attract a wide range of contacts, not all of whom are going to be the decision maker. When a contact forwards your message to the decision maker or replies to you and copies them on the conversation, you’ll want to keep that conversation flowing and make a smooth transition to the new contact.
When a contact suggests you talk to someone else about your offer, but doesn’t add them to the current conversation, you’ll want to follow through quickly while it’s still fresh.
Pay attention to your auto replies and don’t overlook role changes and turnover. Many people will share the new point of contact in their “no longer with the company” auto-response when they move on to a new company or position.
An email link click is a good indicator of prospect interest and trust in your brand. If you’re looking for a list that’s better than a blind cold call list, email clicks are a solid alternative.
If you’re looking for a warmer, shorter list of contacts to call than just everyone who clicked anything, consider contacting only people who click multiple links. If you send a newsletter and someone clicks 3 out of 4 of your articles, chances are they will be a better prospect than someone who clicked only one.
Your emails probably have a variety of links in them, everything from a homepage link in your header to social media links in your footer. Some of these links will naturally be more meaningful — links to your articles and products, for example. Consider segmenting your clicks list by what was clicked and follow up with only the highest-value clickers. Combine this with the multi-clicks tactic for the strongest clicks list yet.
If you use an advanced system for your email campaigns, you will be able to see not only who clicks the links in your emails, but who comes back to visit your site again later. These contacts are showing clear interest or curiosity and are terrific prospects for a lead generation call.
Emails bounce for many reasons. Bad addresses, server issues, and filters are the most common culprits. If you have a phone number for the bounced contact, get on the line and double check your data, see if something needs to be corrected, and deliver your message by phone.
Best practices for email marketing say to clean out your list every so often and purge inactive contacts who no longer open and click your messages. That doesn’t mean you should take them off your radar entirely — at least not until you’ve tried to reach them another way. Pick up the phone and see what’s up. Maybe their needs have changed. Maybe they bought from someone else. Maybe they’ve just been busy. Whatever the reason for their inactivity, by getting on the phone and asking why, you’ll get more info to put into your CRM and more info to report on when analysis time rolls around. You might also be able to reel them back in and restart the sales conversation.
Email marketing is so much more than just delivering an ad to a prospects inbox. This form of marketing creates opportunities to engage prospects and generate solid leads for your sales team. So next time your sales team asks, Who we gonna call?, you’ll now have plenty of options to generate more leads than ever before.