<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=290086984736480&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

5 Tips to Avoid Chasing the Wrong Sales Leads

Jul. 21, 2016 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
shutterstock_76874305


When it comes to sales leads, many organizations make the mistake of treating every individual or business that contacts them as genuine opportunities and then expend significant time and resources trying to convert them into a sale.

Given this approach, it’s not surprising that the vast majority of “leads” fail to go anywhere.

As your own sales team will likely tell you, not all leads are created equal. While some prospects might be interested in purchasing immediately, others are just trolling for information on your products or services (which may arm them with valuable knowledge when reaching out to your competitors) and some are simply a bad fit with your business.

Taking time to assess the quality of leads and refining a strategy for pursuing the most promising ones will save you time and money in the long run. Here are five tips to help avoid chasing the wrong sales leads in the future:

1. Create an ideal “buyer persona.” You may have a general idea about what constitutes the ideal customer for your business—but if you and your sales team lack an in-depth understanding of this person or company, considerable time will be wasted with the wrong leads. Put together a detailed “buyer persona,” so that you can focus more quickly on the leads worth pursuing. By taking time to develop your buyer persona, you will have a deeper understanding not just of who your ideal customer is, but what they need.

2. Weed out lukewarm leads by getting to know them. Prospects who contact your business in order to solicit some free advice are generally unlikely to actually buy from you. While it’s always a good policy to be friendly with such lukewarm prospects, refrain from handing out abundant free advice. Instead, in your preliminary conversation, get to know the person a little better and then determine whether it’s worthwhile to pursue the lead any further.

Want additional insight? Download Harness the Power of Social Media to learn more

DOWNLOAD

3. Ask open-ended questions to qualify leads. Subjecting prospects to a series of yes-or-no questions won’t produce the kind of information needed to accurately assess the likelihood of a sale. Particularly in the B2B realm, it’s vital to eliminate prospects who come to you with unrealistic demands or want more features than they’re interested in paying for.

Have “a process in place to ask lead qualifying questions upfront” so you can “sort and rank your sales leads based on which ones are the best priority and fit,” advises sales expert Gregg Schwartz. Otherwise, you will “end up with a lot of clutter and noise,” as well as an increasingly frustrated sales team.

4. Nurture leads to separate the wheat from the chaff. Occasionally, a bad sales lead can—with proper nurturing—blossom into a good sales lead. The vast majority of prospects aren’t willing or able to buy on the first call; to expect differently is a costly misconception on the part of sales reps.

This is where marketing can collaborate closely with sales to separate the wheat from the chaff. Employ nurturing techniques such as ongoing content marketing and other outreach efforts to demonstrate to the prospect the kind of value your business offers them, while abstaining from making the hard sell. It will become clear over time whether or not there’s a good fit waiting to be exploited.

5. Follow up ASAP. How many valuable opportunities are lost because your sales team neglected to follow up promptly with a new lead? With so many online inquiries receiving an initial automated reply, it’s altogether possible that good leads will slip through the cracks due to inattention. Look for ways to refine the process so that sales leads are contacted quickly (within 24 hours if possible) so the best prospects don’t get lost in the shuffle.

By regarding each lead as a potential customer, rather than just a “contact,” your team will be more focused on avoiding the wrong leads. Converting qualified leads into buying customers will keep the team highly motivated and working hard on future sales opportunities as well.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board Worldwide

Related posts

How to Manage Your Mobile Workforce

Jul. 16, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
The American workforce is changing the nature of “work” as we once knew it. The days when employees absolutely had to work at a desk, in an office, are long gone. While many businesses still insist...

CEOs Save Time by Learning to Say “No”

Jul. 2, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
  Learn to Say No!    How many times in a day do people approach you or your gatekeeper with a request, suggestion or some other time-consuming appeal? Like many other business leaders, your first...

Save Time with Fewer (and More Productive) Meetings

Jul. 2, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
For most companies, there’s no way around having meetings as a way to conduct day-to-day business. At the same time, it’s hard to find any CEO or business owner who doesn’t experience frustration at...

Differentiating Between “Urgent” and “Important” Saves You Time

Jun. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Urgent? Or important? Take a moment to look back on what you did today in your role as business owner or CEO. How much time was spent reacting to an urgent issue or crisis someone brought to you,...

A Quick Guide to More Efficient CEO Time Management

Jun. 27, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Most CEOs and business leaders understand on a gut level that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. They also know that time, (and the management of their time!), probably the...

The Right Feedback Can Boost Employee Retention

May. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Among the many skills a CEO or business owner should possess is the ability to provide constructive, meaningful feedback. Employees at every level of an organization want to do the best job possible,...

6 Tips on Turning Great Employees into Outstanding Leaders

May. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
The current job market is so tight and competitive, why make it any more difficult to recruit and retain the right people for your company? Too many businesses focus on getting bodies into open...

Is “Emotional Marketing” the Best Way to Connect with Customers?

Apr. 24, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
According to the Small Business Association, “All humans feel four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.” Of course, no business wants to spur feelings of disgust or...

5 Tips for Monitoring Your Competitor’s Marketing Strategy

Apr. 23, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
 No matter how unique their product or service, every business has a competitor (or more than one). This is probably a good thing because it means no CEO or business owner can become complacent or...

How to Motivate and Recognize Your Sales Team

Apr. 10, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
  Assembling a high-performing sales team is challenging enough, but that’s just the start of any focused sales effort. With quality salespeople in place, the next task is determining how best to ...