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How do you follow up on sales leads? Here are a few ways

Sales leads are people (prospective customers and clients) who have in some way shown interest in your business. They may have left a message through your contact form on your website, they may have called you, they may have shown interest in your business or your brand in a conference or they may have responded to one of your surveys or reach out programs or they may have offered to become your business partner or provide you business funding in some manner or even help you with a business loan – there are innumerable ways they may have shown a readiness to listen to you.

 

The advantage of having sales leads is that you’re not throwing darts in the darkness. The best way to find a business partner is through scouring through your sales leads. When you talk to the other person or when you send an email to the other person, you know that he or she knows what business you’re talking about and what you can offer to him or her. For example, if someone has dropped a message on your NBFC channel partnership landing page, you have a fair idea that the person is looking for a business loan and he or she is ready to explore various business funding sources.

 

This is the reason many businesses prefer to buy sales leads because even after spending money on sales leads, the success rate of turning these sales leads to actual sales is tremendous and is often, worth the cost. Having said that, the best leads are the ones you yourself obtain through your own communication efforts.

 

But having sales leads doesn’t mean that it is easier to convert these prospective customers and clients. They are merely interested. They’re still making up their minds. You have multiple competitors. On the Internet specially, it is very easy to explore opportunities with one business and then suddenly end up doing actual business with another business.

 

Today’s customers and clients are more aware. They have access to more information. Through social networking and social media websites they interact with other people. Before doing business with you they can quickly seek opinion of their family, friends and colleagues across the globe.

 

Hence, you need to handle your sales leads carefully. Here are a few things you can do to successfully follow up on your sales leads:

Segment your sales leads to find the right business partners

A fit-for-all model doesn’t work when it comes to converting sales leads to paying customers and clients. This doesn’t help you to augment your partner program. You generate sales leads through different channels, and this means people may have different information needs to convince themselves.

 

Segmentation is so important that all mainstream email marketing services provide this facility to you. After sending your first campaign to a mailing list, you can segment your list according to the way people react to your campaign.

 

Some of the recipients will click the link in your email and you can send a follow-up message to them accordingly.

 

Some will simply reply, and you can send them a different message.

 

Some will open your message during the weekend, and you can send them a message assuming that they might not check it during weekdays.

 

And so on.

Respond and reply promptly

Your prospect may change his or her mind if you don’t respond with alacrity. No matter how crucial your product or service is, it may not be on the list of priorities for your customer or client. If you don’t follow up fast enough, your lead may take this as a sign of disinterest. Remember that you may be having hundreds of sales leads to process, for your prospect, you might be the only business he or she is dealing with. So, make him or her feel that he or she is your priority.

 

After the enquiry, even if an appropriate answer is not available right now, send out a thank you message to just let your prospect know that you are always in a communication mode and you are there in case the prospect needs more information.

Use the appropriate communication channel

Let’s suppose someone has contacted you via Instagram. It doesn’t mean somehow you find out the person’s email ID and then start emailing him or her. Since he or she has contacted you via Instagram (or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), it is appropriate that you respond using the same communication channel unless your prospect prefers email or another form of communication. Every business partner or prospective customer may prefer a different communication channel especially in the current scenario.

Use a CRM system

It’s criminal not to use a CRM system, especially when you are handling scores of sales leads at a time. There are some wonderful CRM systems available that provide you services on the SaaS model, which means, you can pay them according to your need. A CRM system allows you to track every individual response from you and by your sales lead. Many of the responses can be automated based on the reply from your leads (different responses if someone replies or doesn’t reply). A CRM also reminds you if you don’t do a follow-up on time – very important.

Communicate, don’t annoy if you want to find a business partner

Remember that following up on your sales lead is for the purpose of helping your prospective customers and clients decide if they want to do business with you. It doesn’t mean you go on pestering them if they don’t respond. In fact, if they don’t respond for a long time, maybe they don’t need to do business with you or they have already made a choice, which is fine, they are free to do so. You should know when to put a stop to your communication.

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