How to Manage Leads and Turn Them into Customers
A lead is a prospect interested in purchasing from your business. Leads come from marketing efforts such as advertising, direct mail, events, or referrals. Leads may also come from online marketing efforts.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably have many leads but only a few actual customers. One survey found that 77% of small businesses had trouble keeping track of all their leads—which wasn’t surprising. When it comes to managing leads, it’s no wonder that most small business owners are flailing around trying to figure out how to keep up. And, if you’re like most small business owners, you probably feel overwhelmed by the number of leads coming in, unsure of what to do with them, and confused about whether you’re getting the best deals for yourself. So, where do you start?
Are you tired of working hard to get people to buy from you? Are you tired of doing all the hard work yourself?
You probably want to have your leads flow to you instead of you having to go out and chase them down.
I have spent months working on it and want to share it with you.
This is the perfect time to learn how to manage leads better so that they flow to you instead of you having to chase them down.
What is a Lead?
Business leads come in many forms, from big-name companies with high-profile ads to smaller, niche businesses with fewer resources and rely on word of mouth instead.
Some leads can be hard to find. If you want to find a lead for your business, consider searching online for businesses in the same niche as yours.
Once you have found a lead that could work well for you, consider using that lead to promote your business. In other words, use the lead to promote your business by referring people to it and offering them a discount or freebie in exchange for their business.
The key to effective lead generation is to get the lead in front of your prospects.
Leads Can Come from Many Sources
As mentioned above, leads can come from many sources. Here are a few examples:
Advertising: If you have a big company or a product that you can advertise, you can generate a lead from your advertising efforts. You can advertise through your business card, flyers, websites, social media pages, etc.
Content Marketing: If you write a blog or article, you can publish it on sites like Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other popular publications. You can promote your content through email marketing, social media, etc.
Events: If you organise a conference, event, or even just a local networking event, you can use that to generate leads. This can include events such as:
- Local networking events
- Local expos
- Local conferences
- Local seminars
- Social gatherings
- And many more
Sales Leads: If you sell products or services, you can generate a lead by selling your products or services to people that find you on the internet or elsewhere.
Referrals: If you are working with an existing client and are trying to increase your sales, you can get a lead from your client. This is the same way you would get a referral if you asked a friend, colleague, or family member to buy your products or services.
Lead Management – Turning them into Customers
1 – Classify your Leads
If you’ve been working in sales long enough, you know that leads are the lifeblood of any business, so it’s vital to treat them with the utmost care and respect. However, it’s also true that leads can become annoying or even downright irritating if you’re not careful. You want to protect them from themselves and from being annoyed by your tactics. That’s where the classification of leads comes in.
Lead classification is a simple yet powerful concept. The idea is to classify leads based on how much interest they show. So, what should you do if you see someone who shows interest but needs to figure out whether they are a lead? A simple trick for figuring this out is called the “80/20 rule.”
The 80/20 Rule
One way to classify a lead is to look at the ratio of how many contacts or opportunities they’ve made to how many leads they’ve generated. In other words, if a lead generates ten or fewer qualified leads, chances are that they’re a “passive” lead. On the other hand, if they generate more than 10 qualified leads, chances are that they’re a “converting” lead.
This method is beneficial if you have a team of salespeople who work together daily. If a particular lead generates ten or fewer qualified leads for one of your teammates, likely, the person isn’t showing sufficient interest to qualify as a lead.
Classifying leads based on this ratio makes it easier to prioritise the ones worth the time and effort to nurture further. This is why 80/20 lead classification is so important.
How Does the 80/20 Lead Classification Work?
In the example above, you can see that the lead has generated ten or fewer qualified opportunities. Based on this data, we can safely assume that this lead isn’t an excellent candidate to cultivate and is a better fit for the “passive” category.
On the other hand, if a lead generates more than ten qualified opportunities, we can be reasonably sure that the person is a “converting” lead. Based on this, it’s likely that the lead is showing interest and is worth nurturing.
However, what about the person who generates 5 or 6 qualified leads? Should you consider that a lead or not? You can only make an exact determination by looking at the content of their emails. For example, some people send generic content to everyone they contact, while others focus on providing value-added content and responding to their requests. If the person sending the emails is consistent, you can expect that the leads they generate are quality.
The 80/20 Lead Classification Is a Powerful Technique for Boosting Sales
Lead classification is a powerful technique for boosting your sales results. The 80/20 rule is an effective way to help you distinguish between passive leads and converting leads and to identify the best leads to nurture further. A study from Harvard Business Review found that a simple 80/20 analysis of the content of leads can boost your conversion rate by up to 40%.
So, now that you’ve learned how to classify your leads, which category should you assign to the person who generates 5 or 6 qualified leads? It would be best if you nurtured that lead further. The person has shown interest, and it’s reasonable to assume that the person is a prospect with the potential to convert.
The bottom line: The more qualified leads you generate, the easier it becomes to nurture them further. With the help of the 80/20 rule, you can classify your leads and assign them to their respective categories.
2 – Create a Process that Nurtures Leads
A lead nurturing process is like a sales funnel, where the top leads get funnelled down to less desirable customers, and the bottom leads are flushed out. If you’re not using a process, you’ll get leads that aren’t ready to buy your product, which wastes resources and keeps you from generating revenue.
Lead nurturing is a great way to nurture sales leads before they become customers. This process begins with lead generation and follows with the nurturing of the lead, and it’s essential to understand both.
The lead generation process starts with finding prospects. Prospecting is simply identifying your potential buyers. It’s challenging, but it’s crucial to building your sales pipeline. Without leads, your sales team can’t do anything.
Lead generation can be efficient and effective with the right tools and processes. Prospecting with the right combination of tools and processes can help you quickly get the most qualified leads and identify the ones most interested in your products.
There are several ways to generate leads. For example, social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter can help you connect with people looking for products or services like yours.
Email lists are another common way to find prospects. You can use email marketing software such as MailChimp or Constant Contact to create an email list from your website.
Online lead generation is another option that can help you find the right buyers for your products. The online lead generation industry is booming. Tools such as Marketo, HubSpot, Eloqua, and Leadpages can help you build a landing page or web-based lead capture form to find the best leads that fit your target audience.
Lead generation tools are only as good as your team, so you must choose the right one for your business. When selecting a lead gen tool, consider these three questions:
- Is the tool easy to use and understand?
- Does it have the features that you need to get started?
- Can it integrate into your existing business processes?
Once you’ve identified the best leads, it’s time to nurture them. Nurturing is the next step in the sales funnel, where you work to convert the leads into actual customers.
The best leads are ready to buy, but that doesn’t mean every lead will be a customer. Your goal is to turn the best leads into customers that keep buying from you.
When you nurture your leads, you should do so using a process. A good sales process is a step-by-step approach that takes leads through your sales funnel to close a sale.
It would be best if you worked on the correct process stage for each lead. For example, a lead that has already bought from you is in the qualified stage of the process, while a lead who hasn’t is in the pre-qualification stage.
The lead nurturing process is critical since you want to move the leads ready to buy into the final stage of the sales funnel. With a sales process, you can convert those leads into customers and potentially gain revenue.
Lead nurturing can be done in many ways. For example, you can use email marketing tools to nurture the leads that have already purchased from you, send promotional emails to the ones who haven’t, or set up a webinar with the most qualified leads.
With the right tools and processes, lead nurturing can help you find the right leads and convert them into customers.
3 – Act Quickly
In sales, leads are the most valuable asset. They’re also the easiest to lose since the closer they close, the more likely they will sign on with you. If you wait too long to manage them, you may lose them forever.
When I talk to salespeople about leads, I usually ask three questions:
- Why didn’t you convert?
- Who do you think is interested in your product?
- What would it take to make that interest into a conversion?
Let’s start with number 1. What stopped you from converting this lead? Why did you pass it on?
In my experience, the most common reason is that you sold the lead too late. For example, a prospect could have been very interested in your offer and ready to buy, but a competitor got to her before you could. In this scenario, the prospect could have told you that she was ready to buy, but you didn’t hear it from her until it was too late.
This is the most common problem I see. Most salespeople are so busy pitching that they don’t realise they must focus on managing leads. And when they realise it, they find themselves scrambling to find qualified leads, a situation that’s almost impossible to sustain.
So how can you avoid this pitfall?
A straightforward solution is to assign a specific salesperson to manage leads. When someone hears about a potential lead, she’s responsible for getting it to a qualified prospect.
This may mean sending the prospect an email, inviting him to an event or webinar, or setting up a phone call. This allows your salespeople to spend less time cold calling and more time connecting with prospects.
Another option is to set up a pipeline of leads. You’ll want to identify the people most likely to buy and develop a process to qualify and follow up with them.
And finally, if you’re running a team, ensure everyone knows who manages leads. Having clear responsibilities and expectations helps salespeople work more efficiently and keeps leads flowing through your pipeline.
So what happens after you get a lead?
Your job is to turn it into a conversion. What can you do to get that prospect to agree to purchase from you?
For example, you could share the prospect’s feedback with your team to gain insight into what she’s looking for. Or you could ask her to fill out a questionnaire to determine her needs and determine if your product can fulfil those needs.
You can use a tool like Google Docs or Trello to track conversations and build a relationship with the prospect.
Once you’ve figured out what it will take for the prospect to close, the next step is to set up a plan to close the sale. It’s important to note that the closer the prospect gets to making the final decision, the harder it will be to close. So you must get to know the person and his preferences.
In one study, for example, salespeople converted 15% of their leads into customers. By contrast, lead generation companies averaged only 5%.
The lesson is that it’s easier to find leads than convert them. The better you understand a prospect’s needs and preferences, the easier it is to convert.
So don’t hesitate to move quickly on your leads. Be prepared to ask tough questions, get feedback, and act quickly. It’s often easier to find a new prospect than to convert one.
4 – Follow up
Follow-up after a first interaction is an essential part of any sales process. When you follow up, you allow your client to consider your business proposition, which is often the only way to decide to buy. It’s also a chance to reinforce your interest in their business and the value of working with you, which helps to move them from consideration to purchase.
The first step is to determine whether they’ve made a purchase or are still considering buying from you. This is known as a qualified lead.
The second step is to confirm that they’ve made a purchase or are interested in buying from you, so you can proceed to the next step of setting up a call. The critical thing here is to ensure you understand what the client wants, not just what you want to sell them. For example, if you sell software, do they need to upgrade to your product or want some training?
In other words, if you’re following up after a sale, your goal is to determine your client’s priorities and what they need from you to achieve their goals.
Follow-up isn’t just a time-consuming activity. It requires effort and thought, and it’s one of the easiest ways to demonstrate how much you care about your clients.
Why Salespeople Should Follow Up After a First Interaction
If you’re looking to increase the likelihood of closing a deal, follow-up is the only way to close the loop and build rapport. A qualified lead is a lead that is qualified for you to contact. Follow up to ensure you can take advantage of future opportunities to close a deal.
When you follow up, you increase the likelihood of the customer returning to you for further interactions.
Follow-up is the only way to demonstrate that you’re committed to the customer relationship and that you care about what they have to say.
What Are the Benefits of Following Up?
Follow-up is an opportunity for your client to think about your business proposition.
It provides the opportunity to remind them that you’re still interested in them and the value of working together.
If your client still needs to make a purchase, it’s a great chance to ask for referrals and set up a future call.
Follow-up is also the only way to determine what your client needs from you to achieve their goals. It’s a chance to get the customer’s buy-in for the relationship and the sales process.
5 – Involve your Sales Team
Knowing that the right way of doing this is to involve your sales team is imperative. We know that only some have the time to go out and meet with all of the potential leads that come their way.
Your sales team are the experts and has access to information that you don’t. You can build a stronger relationship with them and understand what they are doing with the leads by involving them.
In addition, you are more likely to be able to retain leads and keep them engaged once you start the relationship. This helps you to increase the chances of converting them into paying customers.
We know the leads coming your way are only sometimes the ones that will convert, so engaging with them and getting to know them before investing your time and money is the key to a successful sales and marketing strategy.
What are the ways to involve your sales team in managing leads?
There are several ways to get the best from your sales team and use them to their fullest potential.
- Having a Lead Management System
- Engaging with the Leads that your sales team has already identified
- Having a Salesperson that is focused on the leads that are generated
- Have an Automated Process for contacting leads and converting them
Lead management is a crucial part of online business. You can save time, energy, and money by managing leads well.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to create a system that makes lead management easy. Then you can automate many of your processes to focus on building relationships with your prospects.
Download my free guide to learn how to manage leads better!
How do you manage leads?
The most effective way to manage leads is through a sales funnel. A sales funnel is a process that helps you turn leads into customers. The process includes setting goals, building a pipeline, creating a lead nurturing plan, following up with leads, closing deals, and measuring results.
What’s the difference between a lead and a customer?
A lead is a person interested in buying your product or service. A customer is someone who has bought your product or service.
What’s the best way to turn a lead into a customer?
The best way to turn a lead into a customer is to follow up with them. Be sure to follow up promptly and offer a freebie or discount when you call.
What’s the best way to get leads?
The best way to get leads is through marketing and advertising. You can also get leads from referrals, social media, and cold calling.
What’s the difference between a sales lead and a marketing lead?
A sales lead is someone interested in buying your product or service. A marketing lead is a person who is interested in learning more about your product or service.
What’s people’s most common mistake when creating a marketing plan?
The most common mistake people make when creating a marketing plan is to focus too much on the plan itself. Marketing plans are just a guide to what you need to do. They’re not the end-all-be-all.
What’s the best way to build a lead list?
The best way to build a lead list is to have your sales team call people and ask them to sign up for your newsletter or to visit your website.
What’s important to remember when following up with a lead?
The most important thing to remember when following up with a lead is to be persistent. Keep going if you hear back from a lead.
What’s people’s most common mistake when doing a cold-calling campaign?
The most common mistake people make when doing a cold-calling campaign is not having a script or using a short one.