How and When to Follow up With all Types of Leads

When is the Perfect Time to Get in Touch With my Leads?

Converting leads into customers is a fine art. The process doesn't end when you capture leads' contact information. Depending on the sales cycle in your business, you will need to nurture prospects until they are ready to make a decision.

Following up at the right time is crucial for closing the deal. So how do you know when it's the perfect moment to get in touch?

How Long is Your Sales Cycle?

Many companies go through a process of identifying leads, qualifying prospects, proposing a deal and closing it, according to Forbes. While this varies by business and industry, the steps are usually similar.

However, the modern buyer's journey has significantly disrupted this process. Citing data from Google and the Corporate Executive Board, Scott Gillum at gyro wrote for Forbes that:

"buyers are 57 percent of the way through their decision-making efforts before they ever contact a sales representative directly, and this was found to be true no matter the product's price point was. This means 57 percent of the sales process has vanished for many companies."

Leads have more control over the sales process than companies. They conduct a lot of research and weigh different options, like vendors and product offerings.

While some companies may see the removal of sales staff from the process as a bad thing, most customers are comfortable doing research on their own.

Businesses with shorter sales cycles can reduce their costs of customer acquisitions and cut down on the demands on salespeople.

How can companies with a longer sales cycle cope with this challenge? They need to produce high-quality, informative content and maintain a presence on social media.

That is: an Inbound Marketing strategy. This allows them to reach potential customers without being too aggressive. Prospects have many ways of getting information about different organizations, so it's better to curate your own online presence.

Gain a Better Understanding of Your Leads

For most businesses, there are three main types of leads: hot leads that are ready to buy now, warm leads that will become more interested in the future, and cold leads that aren't ready to purchase and may never be.

You need a more accurate way of determining what kind of leads you're working with because it dictates your follow-up, Entrepreneur magazine stated.

Sales-ready leads should always be prioritized because these prospects may still be trying to make a final choice between vendors, and they are most likely to go with the company that responds first. Warm leads also need attention, since a large number of them ensures you will have a healthy sales pipeline in the near future.

Remember! Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales (Gleanster). So please don’t waste your time! If you don’t know how to nurture this kind of leads, here you have some strategies to turn Sales-ready leads into customers.

1. Know your customers and their buying process as well as the back of your hand. How can you reach your potential clients if you can’t identify their needs, interests and wishes?

2. Focus on your CRM. Please, don’t forget your database! The contacts in there have already revealed an interest in your brand by responding to previous marketing efforts.

3. Use segmented email campaigns. Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%, according to Aberdeen Group.

4. Optimize your e-commerce. To do prospects buy your products, you need to do the buyer process as simple as you can. So don’t ask for too much information, give a brief description of your products, use striking CTAs and include social media bottoms and customers testimonials.

Cold leads are often a bad fit for your organization. They may not have a sufficient budget for your offering or are located outside of your geographical range.

Your sales team needs a way to proactively identify cold leads so they don't spend time following up with them at the expense of more engaged prospects. It's important to remember that people buy when they're ready, not when you want to sell something to them.

Because of that, here you have some tips that help you converting frozen leads into hot sales prospects. Take note of them!

  • Combine Email Marketing and Landing Pages to present your subscribers a great offer which they won’t can to resist.
  • Create Retargeting campaigns to attract users who visit your website or e-commerce.
  • Use Inbound Marketing techniques to attract prospects through specific content: eBooks, white papers, webinars, infographics and every digital format.
  • Design a potent Social Media strategy to generate engagement on your community. Also you can put in practice some contest or game to engage users.
  • Make feel your prospects special. It’s very important that you answer all your potential customers’ questions, trying to resolve their problems and attend to their needs.

Use Lead Nurturing to Never Miss an Opportunity

Did you know that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads according to The Annuitas Group?

Landing page forms are a great way to capture lead information. Whether prospects enter just their name and email address in exchange for a white paper or e-book download or provide more information, you can get in touch with these leads again.

In many cases, people may be seeking more information and aren't ready to make a decision yet. Savvy marketers implement lead nurturing campaigns to build the relationship with potential customers without getting too pushy during the independent research process.

Do you currently use lead nurturing? A recent study from BtoB and Bizo revealed only half of companies have an established lead nurturing process, according to Business 2 Community.

This form of marketing also allows you to gain more information about your prospects. What are their pain points? What influences their buying decisions?

Lead generation is the source of many headaches for marketers at a large number of companies because they have a hard time connecting with the right prospects or attracting the right number of customers.

While nurturing can't solve all your lead generation problems, it can improve return on investment because you lose fewer prospects to competitors.

Automating some of these processes makes a huge difference and prevents you from missing opportunities. For example, when a lead fills out a form on a landing page, an automated platform triggers a welcome email.

This kicks the relationship off on the right foot, even if marketing and sales employees are busy with other tasks when contact information is captured.

Additionally, marketing automation software can send alerts when leads take a specific action that may indicate they are ready buy. These platforms add more visibility to the sales process.

If prospects continue to respond to lead nurturing efforts, you have a better indication of where they are in the decision-making process.

Signals that leads are about to purchase vary depending on your business. Are prospects browsing product pages? Did they enroll for a free trial that is about the expire?

It's crucial to know what the particular signals are for your target audience so your sales team can follow up at the right moment and close the deal.

Understanding your company's unique sales process and target audience can make a huge difference in your ability to close deals.