Often, you hear salespeople say, “Our inbound leads are causing more work than good sales.” It’s always on the question of who should follow up on inbound leads and how to go about it effectively.
Many small organizations are having a hard time utilizing their inbound strategies effectively. We don’t have all the variables and all the situations within an organization. Still, we can assume that there are three people on a sales team.
The sales team
Assume that a sales team is composed of three people: the marketing person who does almost everything, the junior assistant who helps with content creation, and the outsourced person who does the marketing strategies. Among the three, who should follow-up the lead?
Not all leads are created equal. This means that before deciding who will follow up the lead, the lead should be evaluated first.
You don’t want your salesperson pitching to a lead that in the end would go to another competitor.
Do a pre-qualification
Do a pre-qualification in your organization to know if the people you are going to have the conversation with are ready to consider the deal. Set a benchmark and rules for what you consider a marketing quantifiable lead. Consider the following questions:
- What is considered a sales qualified lead?
- What is the KPI of your organization?
- How many new inbound leads do you want to get per quarter/per month?
- How much money do you want to generate from those leads?
The answers to those questions will lead you to your ideal customer. It would also help you identify the triggers that qualify them to be a marketing quantifiable lead and a sales qualified lead.
The work is far more efficient because when a lead comes in, your salespeople can vet them and follow the pre-qualification factors you’ve set to see if the lead can generate new business for the organization. This is also helpful in maintaining your current customers. There’s no time wasted in sifting through leads and trying to figure out which one works and which one doesn’t.
Create a system
Create a system to efficiently manage the workload. The marketing team can do the pre-qualification to increase the odds of the lead being converted into something real. Whenever a lead comes in, let marketing take a look at it and check the website and the title of the person.
Then let the intern or junior marketing rep take over the other tasks like looking into LinkedIn, HubSpot, Marketo, or other platforms you have to find the data that you can transfer into your CRM.
You can then sign that into the sales team for it to become a sales qualified lead. The system prevents wasting time on people who aren’t real prospects.
Marketing can help fix the problem of having to go back to the beginning of the funnel and pre-qualify the leads again because they’re not yet ready then.
- Fix your content
- Develop a good strategy
- Make a drip campaign for people who are not yet ready
- Separate the marketing qualified lead and your sales qualified lead
Website leads matter
The sales team sometimes takes for granted the leads that they didn’t hunt for. A good example is leads coming in from the websites. Salespeople have this notion that they can get more of those so they ignore them. It’s the mentality that since they didn’t work for it, it doesn’t mean much.
You must recognize that the organization spent thousands of dollars to get that lead. The organization paid for the marketing and the sales rep to produce content on your site. You have writers and you have graphics on your site. You have all the different infrastructure to make sure that your website functions.
It is disheartening when a sales rep doesn’t take that into consideration when a lead comes in via the website.
Whenever an inbound lead comes in, it is best to use your flow process to follow-up particular prospects. It should be written and put in your company’s playbook so that everyone can read it and use it with every inbound lead that comes in.
Follow-up right away
A stat from insidesales.com said that a lead that’s contacted within five minutes is 100 times more likely to convert than leads that are followed-up 90 minutes later.
When a lead comes in, follow up right away. You’re more likely to convert than if you wait. #SalesHacks
Strike while the iron is hot.
Do a quick research and evaluate whether the person is real, see if it’s a true marketing qualified lead, and toss it over as a sales qualified lead if it ticks all the boxes.
The sales team can take a quick visit to the person’s website, check their LinkedIn profile, and the pages they’ve visited on your site.
Tools like HubSpot and Active Campaign allow you to see where they’ve signed up and the number of times they’ve looked at the pages. You can then use these data to have a meaningful conversation with the prospect leads.
Focus on the people that matter
Include in your flow process the phone call and email for the first time then do the same things a day later. Connect with them on LinkedIn and share some of their content for seven full business days.
Do the same things that you would do with a cold person. Nurture the lead and try to grab his attention. Even if they’re not ready now, then at least you can toss it back into the marketing pool and revisit it another time.
With the right system and by focusing on the people that matter, your work is going to be minimized but the return is going to be much higher. Filter your inbound leads and let the marketing do the review. Recognize the good ones and toss them over to the sales reps to reach out and convert.
“Our Inbound Leads Are Causing More Work Than Good Sales” episode resource
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