Easy inbound sales might be every sales agent’s dream, but unfortunately, they’re definitely the exception and not the rule.
That’s why every sales operation needs a lead follow-up strategy that’s as good as (or better than) its approach to marketing and lead gen.
Make the most of every lead, lower your customer acquisition costs, and set yourself up for growth by following these sales lead follow-up best practices.
5 Best Practices for Following Up with Sales Leads
Segmenting & Scoring: Know Which Leads Matter Most
No two leads are the same, so why would you treat them like they are? Segmenting and scoring your leads based on how warm or how close to a sale they are can help you take the right approach.
To score your leads, lead source is likely the single most important piece of data you have at your disposal. Did a lead opt in via your blog to receive emails and news updates? They might need a little more time, so following up with a drip campaign via email (or text, if they consented) may be best. Did they ask for a free quote or consultation? They need to be moved to the top of the queue.
Of course, lead segmentation doesn’t necessarily need to be a manual process. Lead scoring software is available to streamline the process. Likewise, lead management solutions built right into your dialer software should be able to prioritize your warmest leads and help you win with speed to lead.
Make a Personalized Approach
Personalization is no longer a marker of only the best sales experiences. It’s now a norm that the vast majority of customers expect. According to McKinsey data, 71% of consumers expect personalization in the sales process, and 76% express frustration when they don’t find it. From tailored messaging and targeted promotions to timely, relevant recommendations and post-purchase follow-up, brands are expected to know their customers’ needs and act accordingly.
Your lead follow-up strategy should reflect this, from your email campaigns to your sales scripts. To make the most of customer data, identify areas in your outbound lead generation process (namely your opt-in forms) where you might be able to add a field or two that can help inform your sales process without getting too personal or making conversion too cumbersome.
Additionally, analyze the data fields contained in each customer case within your CRM database and brainstorm how they might be used to alter your approach or messaging.
Automate Your Lead Follow-Up Process
We mentioned speed to lead before. Also known as lead response time, this might be the most important metric for understanding your lead follow-up process’s performance. Why? Because hot leads only stay hot for so long! After as little as five minutes, your chances of making contact and converting a lead drop precipitously.
So, how do you ensure that the right leads are prioritized and contacted as soon as possible? Integration and automation.
If you’re relying on omnichannel outbound dialing software to contact and follow up with leads, you first need software that offers frictionless integration with your CRM. The time between a lead entering your pipeline and hitting the queue for a call, text, or email should be measured not in minutes but in seconds—and as few as possible, at that.
Plus, to truly maximize speed to lead, this shouldn’t require any action on the part of your agents. Leads or lists added to your hopper should be able to immediately enter into automated workflows, whose cadences can be fine-tuned by sales managers. (And done so with the help of some truly transparent contact center reporting and analytics.)
In short: to master sales lead follow-up, let your sales system handle the nitty-gritty of follow-up and let your sales agents focus on what they do best.
Use an Omnichannel Approach
It’s been hinted at in the other lead follow-up best practices above, and that’s because this best practice can’t be overlooked in 2023. If you’re not using an omnichannel approach to reach out (and reach back out) to your leads and customers, you’re likely—very likely—losing out on qualifications and sales.
Just as today’s consumers expect personalized experiences, they also expect to be able to engage with businesses over any of the channels they prefer. Moreover, they expect those channels to be interconnected.
According to recent data on consumer engagement:
- 90% of consumers expect interactions to be consistent across channels
- The average consumer uses as many as six touchpoints per purchase
- Omnichannel campaigns drove an average of 18.96% engagement rates, while single-channel outreach led to just 5.4% engagement.
The story told by the data couldn’t be clearer. Stick to single-channel engagement at your own peril. Because in 2023, a platform-driven omnichannel approach to lead follow-up is not a luxury—it’s a necessity.
Nurture Leads with Quality Content
No matter which channels you’re engaging with leads in, your sales team needs to be fluent in more than the “hard sell.” As we covered in our discussion of lead scoring, not every lead comes to you raring to go and ready to make a purchase. To keep them around—and eventually close a sale—you need to be capable of providing value during that interim period.
Developing quality content is crucial here. To nurture your relationship with a lead and, ideally, warm them more and more to the idea of a purchase, you need to channel your particular expertise into content that is relevant and valuable—content that’s distributed via each of your active channels and that’s capable of keeping your leads coming back for more.
Turn Your Follow-Up Strategy Into Sales Growth with the Right Tech
From lead generation to lead nurturing to lead conversion, a successful customer journey isn’t always a short one. And in today’s digital day and age, where leads frequently jump from one channel to the next, those journeys are rarely a simple one.
In this environment, being able to design, execute, and improve sales experiences that drive growth requires having the right tools and the best strategies for the job.
Learn more about how Convoso’s powerful cloud-based contact center software can help you scale your outbound sales operation and streamline your lead follow-up strategy. Schedule a free demo and experience the difference for yourself. And stay tuned to our blog for more tips and expert advice.