Are you worried about where your Lead information is going and whether your reps are following up with the leads you give them?
You’ve just returned from a trade show and you’re excited to start shuffling this new list of interested leads off to your sales team and have them follow up with each new prospect. You get to the office, hand the sales manager the list, and sit down at your desk feeling good about this month’s sales pipeline. However, a month goes by and the sales numbers have barely risen and you haven’t seen much improvement with your sales team reaching their quarterly sales goals. If this sounds familiar, there are several steps you can take to be on top of your lead data.
Step 1: Get all the Lead Information into Salesforce!
This can be done through many channels such as leads funneling through directly from your website or being imported from a list that you’ve gotten from a tradeshow or other marketing event. The process of bringing leads into the system is the initial step and it’s often where people give up and don’t follow through with any of the next steps. This may cause many of your new prospects to fall through the cracks and valuable leads go to a competitor instead of your company. In order to keep this from happening, you must be dedicated to the entire lead process from the initial point of contact until conversion into a closed sale. This leads me to the next step in the process which is defining the lead qualifying process.
Step 2: Define a Lead Qualification Process
Your sales reps may be spending too much time focusing on unqualified leads and too little time with highly qualified leads. This could be because there isn’t a streamlined process in place to define what action should be taken on a new prospect based on its characteristics and engagement with your company. For example, you could enable a task to immediately get assigned to the sales rep working a new lead to call the prospect within 24 hours of this lead getting assigned to him/her. Then, have another task get assigned to send a follow up email 3 days after the introductory call if the lead is still in working status.
If your reps are not receiving any response from the lead, they can put the lead in a nurturing status and have a task assigned to them to follow up with this lead in 2 weeks and then mark as unqualified if there was no response. You could also assign an activity based on a certain characteristics associated with the lead such as flagging the lead as a large deal and making sure the appropriate management team is notified so that they can assist in working the deal as well. By defining a process for which activity to take based on lead characteristics or level engagement, your sales reps can focus their time and attention on the leads that matter most to meeting and exceeding your sales goals.
Step 3: Track the Interaction of Your Sales Reps
Lastly, part of managing leads is managing how your sales reps are engaging with your leads. You should have a system in place for holding your reps accountable for the leads you give them. You can create activity reports filtered by follow up date and group by sales rep to track which reps have activities over-due and create lead reports grouped by status and filtered by created date to get visibility into what is happening with your new leads to avoid any falling through the cracks.
As a recap, define a process for how you want your sales reps to engage with your leads and establish metrics for how you will hold your sales team accountable for their activity. This will provide your sales team a guided path for success and lend you key visibility into what is happening with your leads. You can see that by making just a few changes, you can completely change the way you manage leads and enhance your pipeline.