It doesn't necessarily follow that a lead that converts on website content is a hot prospect who is prepared to make a purchase right away. Although there is a larger probability that an inbound lead will become a sale, it is not always time-efficient to pursue every single incoming lead. Success of a marketing and sales representative depends on how they manage their time. To handle inbound leads, it is crucial to have a clear and well-thought-out protocol.
However, we frequently observe salespeople wasting time and money on inbound prospects. Making errors as a lead enters and progresses through your sales funnel lowers your likelihood of closing. Let's go over the five most frequent and expensive errors with inbound leads.
1. Not assigning the duty of generating inbound leads to a particular team or department
You need to put in place a procedure for handling inbound leads if you want to create a machine for effective sales development. If your business is like the majority of others, all of your untapped incoming leads are shown on a dashboard and available for purchase. However, if everyone is accountable, then no one is.
2. Improper Inbound Lead Qualifying
What constitutes a qualified inbound lead must be defined and explicitly stated. Don't forget that incoming leads also need to be scored using qualifying criteria—we just discussed this in the previous section. Is this inbound prospect a suitable fit for your product or service, to put it simply? Put the lead into a drip marketing campaign if the answers to these three questions are "no"; there is no use in contacting the lead further at this time. If the response is "yes," however, it is time to forward the lead to sales.
3. Failing to do adequate research before to contacting someone
The sales representative in charge of the follow-up should undertake extra investigation now that the inbound lead has been qualified and forwarded to the sales team. Reaching out blindly is another major error we observe sales representatives doing. You may be aware of the business the person is employed by, but do you know what that business does?
Investigating some of the behavioural and psychographic aspects is really helpful in this situation. Here are some inquiries to make in order to identify behavioural and psychographic factors:
- What kind of content was used to build this lead?
- What other content have they visited, and how long have they been a lead in your system?
- Who referred them, and where?
- How are they dealing with their issue right now? (Whether you use a service like BuiltWith or Datanyze, you can check to see if they're utilising a rival, giving you an idea of who you're competing with.)
Similar to traditional prospecting, it's crucial for a rep to thoroughly investigate an inbound lead before following up.
4. Not addressing inbound leads personally in follow-up communications
No issue if you weren't able to contact that inbound lead right away. Even while your odds of connecting may decrease, persistence pays off, as we all know. The creation and delivery of persuasive emails to sourced prospects receives a lot of attention, but salespeople don't frequently apply the same guidelines to inbound leads. It goes without saying that you are contacting them since they requested certain information and you are doing so. They still desire human interaction, therefore you must customise your messaging. Any automation will destroy rapport.
5. Not properly following up
Any shrewd salesperson understands the value of perseverance, even though there is no set number of follow-up attempts or follow-up pace you should use with prospective prospects. However, the majority of reps don't consider using this similar approach with incoming prospects. Effective follow-up techniques can and should be utilised for inbound lead management as well.
There are 4 critical factors for successful follow up:
- Number of touchpoints: We advocate for 7 or more touches for each prospect, even with qualified inbound leads.
- Channel Diversity: Go beyond phone and email by adding social to the mix. But don’t overlook some other less conventional ways to get in front of your prospects, like direct mail, fax, conferences and industry tradeshows, door-to-door, etc.
- Time between touchpoints: We recommend being a little more persistent early on, then tapering off if the buyer hasn’t responded. We’ve seen great results sending the second touch a day or even 12 hours after the first.
- Content of touchpoints: Sending “just checking in” and “just following up” gets really old really fast. Instead, offer value by providing new insights, educating your prospects, sharing relevant news or reemphasizing business value.