Definitive Guide to Following-up with Inbound Leads


s1Inbound leads are something that most salespeople relish. With an inbound lead, the chances of converting a prospect into a client increases. It is also an indication that your product or service is on the radar of a potential client. However, getting an inbound lead is just the beginning. There could many reasons behind a conversion fail of an inbound lead. A properly tailored approach needs to be followed in order to convert an inbound inside sales lead. There are many ways to have a successful inbound lead management and follow-up. Here are a few of them:

1) Offer something of value: Always keep in mind that your lead has a problem to solve. Therefore, when you call a lead, make sure that you become a problem solver and not the one who is only trying to sell. Try to make things easy for the buyer and let him/her know that you are the solution provider. This way you will be able to earn the trust of your prospect, and set up a great foundation for a long term association.

2) Effective Response: Another step that can be used to follow-up with an inbound lead is to respond effectively. According to Harvard Business School Review, companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers, compared to companies that respond after an hour. Also, the longer you wait, the better are the chances of your competitor to make an impact on the lead.  

3) Do not make assumptions: Another thing to be kept in mind while following up with an inbound lead is not to make any assumptions. If a lead is viewing a certain page or has clicked a certain link, it doesn’t guarantee that they have a persisting need for your offering. It is always advisable for sales reps to start afresh and let the lead speak their mind. This is actually beneficial in two ways. Firstly, the lead never gets to know that you are tracking all their activities. Secondly, by active listening, you are able to mirror the prospect by acknowledging what they are saying and use the same words in your pitch.

4) Follow-up with all the leads: A good practice is to make sure you follow-up with all your leads. Try to enter it into your system (CRM) as early as possible. Once this is done, make sure that a salesperson is assigned to follow-up regularly with these leads. This will help you to have your focus on each and every possible prospect and at the same time, have satisfied clients.

5) Be good with your answers: Rather than beating around the bush, it is always advisable to give to the point answers.  It is not a bad idea to be precise and respond to the lead aptly. You must remember that the lead is looking out for a solution. The better you are at in answering to their queries, higher are your chances to create an impression in their minds. This way you can keep your lead motivated and engaged at the same time. Try to provide solutions in such a way that the lead can trust you and your answers.

6) Be persistent without being vexatious: This is my favourite. Being persistent with your lead is a good sign, as it gives them an impression that you treat them as important. However, at the same time, be mindful of the fact that everyone is busy. Hence, do not expect them to entertain you and your proposals even if they need it. They might not respond to your email or return your call initially. It is important to remain committed and not give up if your first few attempts to connect fail. There are high chances that within the first 6 -10 calls, you might be successful.

7) Listen closely: This becomes important when you have your lead on the phone. Have a script ready. This helps you to ease into a conversation which in turn increases your level of confidence while speaking.  But do not be focussed on this aspect so much that you end up not listening to your lead at all. You must be aware of the fact they have a problem to solve and is looking for a solution. They’ll often tell you exactly how you can sell to them. Listen to their questions, needs, and pain-points. Then respond appropriately. A good honest and open conversation is your best sales tool.

As remarked earlier, an inbound lead is just one tick in a big checklist. It does not mean that you have a client waiting to buy your product. Converting an inbound lead is not a herculean task if the right approaches are followed and monitored. For that to happen, it is very important to think about most of the above written points, else you have your task cut out.

Also read here about What should you do with your Unqualified Sales Leads?

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