If you are managing your sales process effectively, then you should have a grasp on your numbers. The typical sales process has low numbers for conversion – 10% lead conversion or 5% deal conversion. That means 90%+ failure.
The failure is a real number. Most salespeople do not like to dwell on the bad news. Their optimism and hope sees the bad leads as a necessary evil to getting to the real leads.
The problem comes when you are spending your time, energy and ultimately, money, on engaging, persuading and servicing bad leads.
Using Inbound Marketing To Separate The Wheat From The Chaff
What if you could increase your conversion rate dramatically so that you are not wasting your time or someone else’s? Getting rid of the bad leads requires several parts of your process to be scrutinized and changed.
Here are some things to take a good hard look at and ensure your inbound marketing systems address so your sales process is much more effective:
- Define what a customer is. Look at your past book of business. Who are these people? Why did they say, “Yes”? If your customer is an executive of a Fortune 500 that works on operations and has a large budget, then make sure you are not wasting time with a startup person that cannot afford what you do. The more granular you can get, the better.
- Identify the key selling event. When a customer is serious, what do they do? Is it engaging a webinar? Or have a face-to-face meeting? This should only be reserved for true prospects that are able to say, “Yes”. If you cannot see a person saying, “Yes,” then ensure the RSVP for your key selling event is not accessible to them.
- Train your team to know what conversion is. Make sure your CRM captures what a conversion of a lead is. Ideally, it is the key selling event. The lead is treated like a deal. The deal is part of the pipeline. Pipeline and forecasting reveal what should be quality.
- Use inbound marketing to qualify. Your systems should have logic and solicit information to find out what the intention and potential of your leads are. This should segment your prospects and help you qualify leads without a conversation or interruption, which is more elusive and costly. Make it convenient for leads to qualify themselves.
- Move your metric. Expect a high conversion rate. Move it to 50%, 70% or something that demands quality. Ensure this is part of a reviewable and accountable metric for your sales team. This will create a culture of quality. Reward your team for high conversion rates to weed out noise and conserve their time for high value prospects and activities.
- Use marketing automation. Marketing automation nurtures unready leads. This will allow your team to free up their bandwidth and allow your systems to personalize messages and value over time to ready leads and increase conversion ratios. They can focus on what is important rather than culling through the noise.
These are some things to transform your sales process in conjunction with inbound marketing to get rid of bad leads once and for all. You should have a smaller team with less expense. Your team should be working with high quality candidates and deals and allow your automation and systems to take care of the heavy lifting of working with subpar leads.
If you are addicted to noise, headcount or being inefficient, this may be painful. Chasing sales is one way to feel good about ourselves, however, this strategy will create more clarity in your sales process and build trust with those that are truly qualified.