Dropping the Ball: Do Bad Salespeople Fail to Follow Up on Good Leads?

By Tuesday, July 7, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Even the best salespeople can’t keep up with multiple leads. When salespeople do get that “Glenngarry lead,” dropping the ball and losing the sale can seem like a catastrophe. Here’s why it happens, and what to do about it.

The Statistics On Sales Conversions

Roughly 45 percent of B2B leads end up buying. That’s a surprising statistic, but what’s even more surprising is that the percentage is higher for B2C sales: 55 to 60 percent.

Why do so many salespeople believe that sales leads are usually poor? It’s because out of the first 100 leads, many salespeople assume that leads must buy right away or they won’t ever buy. But, the reality is that 45 out of 100 will buy – just not right away.

If the salesperson has a 33 percent closing ratio, but the maximum hypothetical sales conversion is 45, then the salesperson will close just 15 leads.

And, not all of those leads convert right away, so salesmen might be disappointed when those sales are staggered over several months.

Why Good Salesmen Drop Golden Leads

Most salesmen, even good salesmen, drop golden leads because they believe that sales leads go stale soon after they hit the inbox.

But, buyers can be at different points in the buying cycle. A lead may genuinely be interested, but not ready to buy yet.

Smoothing Out Volatility

To smooth out the lead-conversion volatility, companies need to buy into good lead management software that captures leads and nurtures them over time. A sales lead that is periodically contacted with non-sales information stays “warm.”

Then, when their interest is piqued, and the interest level has peaked, the lead can be sent back to the sales department for closing.

Other Solutions

Make sure that your salesmen are following up on all leads, and that they followup quickly. The key to conversions is quick followup – within 2 minutes, ideally. When you can’t followup within an hour, the lead goes into a nurturing pile.

From there, marketing should follow up with them until they are “hot” again – then, pass them back to the salespeople.

Your salesmen should also focus on the story of the prospect’s problem. People go on the web, search through the phone book, and look at advertisements because they have a problem they want to solve.

What’s the story behind their problem? Sometimes, the clue is in how they got to your company. If a prospect was reading a particular article on the web that linked to your opt-in page, for example, you have an idea about why the prospect called. Use it as a way to press on “pain points” and close the sale.

Make sure your salesforce is prepared for a followup call. You can’t assume that the prospect only wants to discuss one thing. They may have more than one problem they’re trying to solve, and the salesman has to ferret out the most painful issue they’re facing and solve it.

Train your salespeople to understand the different problems that prospects have and how to map your company’s unique solutions to those problems.

Donald Christopher has many years experience as a software consultant. He enjoys the challenge of technical problems and is happy to share his opinion on various solutions online. You can find his thoughts and advice on a variety of relevant websites.

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