What to do once you have a new sales lead

There’s nothing like the chase of a brand new sales lead. At first you’re sceptical if the lead is going to be a qualified opportunity. Then when you find out they are sales-ready, you jump right on in with your pitch. Except you’ve jumped too early and spooked your lead. So how should you be handling every sales lead that appears in your pipeline?

Find out who they are

Firstly, find out who they are. Your first point of contact with a lead should be more like a friendly conversation rather than a sales pitch, to make sure they don’t tune you out straight away. To find out who the lead is, do your homework. Research them on LinkedIn or use visitor identification software to tell you everything you need to know about the company they work in.

Find out where they came from

Where your sales lead came from isn’t only important for your marketing team, it also tells you how to approach them. If they’ve used a specific keyword to search for you and moved straight onto your website, they are an inbound lead that you can call almost immediately.

If, however, they’ve come through an email campaign, read one of your social media blogs or clicked on your sponsored ad from Google, they probably aren’t ready to take your call. Instead, you might be better off sending them a quick email to introduce yourself and let them know you’ll be calling at some point in the near future.

Get ready to call them

If you’ve tracked your sales lead and seen that they’ve interacted with plenty of pages on your website, they are “hot” enough for you to call. One important thing to note, if you mention in your phone call that you’ve seen them on your website your call is going to be around 81% less effective than if you’ve never mentioned it at all.

Instead, when you call, ask for them by name and find another connection between the two of you. Perhaps you’re in the same LinkedIn group or you’ve worked with someone else in their industry and they mentioned your prospect. Then ask them if they are free to talk. Remember, your first phone call doesn’t have to be your full sales pitch. It should just start your relationship off on the right foot.

What to do if they’re not sure about you…

If your lead doesn’t look like they are sales-ready, don’t leave them alone entirely. Instead, send them a short email introducing yourself and why you want to get in contact with them. Keep the email short, sweet and personal. Maybe add in some quality content about what your company can do to help them and see if you get a response. If you don’t get a response, don’t qualify them out. Instead, add their email address to a lead nurturing campaign and see if you can get them to engage with other parts of your product.

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