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Don't toss "dead" leads too soon: CRM tips for the long haul
10 October 2020  |  By Hiend Software Pte. Ltd.
Sales representatives have a bad habit of tossing leads as "dead" long before their expiry dates, according to CRM figures. What can you do to more effectively manage your "dead" leads and profit from their eventual return to life?
Don't toss 'dead' leads too soon: CRM tips for the long haul What makes your company toss a lead as "dead"? If you don't know, or even if you do, maybe you should take another look. Research figures show that most companies throw out at least 70% of their leads as "dead" after only a few contacts, and that's much too soon. Read on to learn more about the power of so-called "dead" leads and what CRM solutions have to offer in terms of better lead management and customer relationships.

Sales reps lose leads too soon
How long does your sales team spend with new leads? If a first phone call or email receives no response, what do you do? Many businesses give up on leads as "dead" after only a few phone calls or emails - sometimes without even speaking to the right person - and that's a big mistake.

The tendency of the front-line sales rep is to put a lead aside if nothing comes of the initial contact and move on. It's virtually a necessity in a job that pays on commission; why waste time on a client who's not going to contribute to this month's quota?

Lead time
Why is this approach a problem? Simply put, companies that encourage this sort of sales tactic are cheating themselves out of business.

Industry research shows that more than half of all sales come from leads nine months old and up. That means that even though it might not deliver a sales bonus in the short term, sticking with a lead as someone does research, considers the options, and tweaks their budget can pay off in the long run.

Still, maintaining a contact for a year or more while they sort through their options and track down funds may not be a practical approach for your average sales rep. How can you encourage this type of long-term strategy, and how can CRM help?

Effective lead sorting
The secret to getting those long-term sales is effectively sorting your leads and building a relationship with each potential customer - however long it may take. This requires a change in the way that most companies deal with leads. Instead of looking at each prospect as a "yes" or "no" teach your sales reps to consider customers either a "now" or a "later." It's a new paradigm and may take some adjustment, but it can pay dividends to your business and your sales representatives' success.

What to do with "dead" leads
Now that those "dead" leads are considered "later" instead of "no", you have to figure out what to do with them. Here's where an effective CRM system comes into play. It's easy to shuffle leads into the system for later contact and consideration, with the option of marking them to receive:

  • An email newsletter
  • Links to web articles or online seminars
  • Information about your company and products
  • A phone call from the same sales rep at a later date (in one month, six months, or whenever they may be ready to learn more or buy)
  • Other automated calls to action

Any response to an e-blast or other automated information can be set up to trigger the CRM system, notifying the original sales rep and bumping that lead up for a new phone call or other contact.

Unless the lead requests that you remove them from your mailing list, there's no harm in keeping them there forever - they could buy in one year, two years, or even ten years down the road - and you'll never know unless you keep that lead active!

Real-time response
On the other hand, it's just as easy to lose a customer by responding too slowly as by pushing them too fast. Companies that respond to email queries instantly, in virtual real time, are making inroads into industries where the typical businesses response time used to be 48 to 72 hours. If you don't respond quickly enough, you're probably losing business to a competitor who does. Implementing a system that enables faster responses can save money and net you new business that might otherwise have passed you by in moments.

Timing is essential in customer relations, more so today than ever before. Is your business up to snuff, or could you do better by implementing some of these CRM tips with your "dead" leads?

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