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Canadian Professional Sales Association

Did you know that as many as 50% of inbound leads are never contacted by a salesperson? And even for those that do receive a follow up the outlook isn’t great. Research shows that 80% of the time it takes five follow-ups to convert a lead, but 44% of reps give up after one follow-up attempt. Clearly then, if you want to make sure the hard-won leads supplied to your reps aren’t wasted, you must have a well-defined lead follow up system in place.

Here are the components you need to include in a winning lead follow up system that will help your reps convert more leads to customers.

All Leads Must Be Entered into Your CRM

Your business can’t afford to waste inbound leads! As a sales leader, you must insist on 100% follow up and lead qualification. To ensure this happens, the first component of your lead follow-up system is that ALL inbound sales leads must be entered into your CRM so that you can monitor their progress through the sales funnel. If reps aren’t entering leads in a timely fashion, it's all too easy for them to fall off the radar. Your CRM is an invaluable tool. It not only allows reps to record contact info and important info such gleaned from interactions, but it also allows your reps to automate reminders so they don’t miss out on opportunities. Most importantly, it allows you as a manager to track results and ensure follow-ups are happening in line with your lead follow up system.

Follow Up and Qualification Must Happen Fast

The faster your reps respond to leads the more likely they are to convert. In a winning lead follow up system, sales qualification happens within hours not days. While the method of initial follow up will depend on how leads enter the funnel - for example, welcome emails can be automated to online subscribers - actual sales qualification must also take place quickly. That means reps need to interact with leads either by phone or messages to ensure they have the means, motivation and permission to buy. Consider automating this process with an AI-powered lead qualification tool such as Conversica so your reps don’t waste time on leads that won’t convert. Once leads become qualified prospects, it’s up to reps to engage them with all the tools and strategies at their disposal.

Include Tracking and Analysis for Each Stage

Perhaps the most important part of a winning lead follow up system is the ability to track, measure and improve the process. To stay effective, you need to know how many leads your sales team are receiving, how long it takes for them to initiate follow up, what percentage of leads become qualified prospects, and what percentage of prospects convert. Without these kinds of benchmarking and tracking capabilities, it will be very difficult for you to monitor the success of your reps against the metrics you set and keep them on track. Consider the CPSA’s Professional Sales Management training program to learn more about using data, benchmarking and tracking to get the best out of your reps.

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