When you are processing a lead to generate new business, you have to be sure that they are ready to speak to your sales team.
Research has found that 73% of your prospects are cold at any given time – this means that the lead is not ready to speak to a member of your team. If you do talk to them too early, then you risk of turning them from a cold lead to a lost cause.
Cold calling is a particular problem. Surveys have discovered that only 20% of customers trust the information they receive during a cold call. That is why using techniques such as email marketing, and inbound marketing can be excellent to determine whether your lead is hot or not.
So how do you know when a lead is ready to speak with a member of your sales team? Here are a few factors that could help you determine that.
1. Do They Need Your Product
If someone is going to buy your product, you first need to determine whether the prospect has a need for it. Do they have a problem that you product/service can solve and do they know you are offering the right solution for them?
There are probably plenty of options available on the market, some of your competitors offering similar products and others, which are substitute products. Only when they realize you have the best solution will they be ready to speak to you.
2. Are They a Good Fit For Your Brand
Some leads are just not suitable for your brand; for instance, they might be located too far away. If they are, this could increase the delivery costs and lower your profit margins. It is not a good client when there should be plenty of other potential customers closer to you.
Another more critical fit is the brand’s values. If you have a very strong ethos that the potential customer doesn’t agree with, then you aren’t going to work well together. It doesn’t matter if you offer the best in the industry and they can pay a premium for your service; if they don’t believe in your values, they will be a difficult customer and cost more to maintain.
Sometimes, however, this is not forever. Further marketing can convince a lead to think like you. But only when this is true are they a hot lead.
3. They Have the Funds Available
This is probably one of the most common errors young salesperson make. They don’t consider whether or not the potential customer has the funds to buy the product, and this can cause significant problems. Firstly, the relationship between you and customer can break down, or you deliver a product that a client just cannot pay for, leaving you short of revenue.
Ensuring that lead has the funds available immediately is a major step. Listening to their voice when you mention the costs and understanding when they are hopeful they have funds and when those funds are safe in their bank account is a critical skill.
4. When They Interact More With Your Brand
You are probably using emails to warm up your contacts. When you notice that they are opening your emails more or clicking through to your website, this is the point where you need to start reaching out to the prospect and seeing if you can help them.
It can also be useful in determining exactly what the customer needs. For instance, if they are clicking through to view sports shoes, it is likely they need some. Tailoring your pitch to a particular need will generate better sales results.
Marketing Automation: Qualifying All Leads
Marketing automation is something more companies are using today to qualify leads. The process involves your online assets including your website and email list (and much more) to bring in new leads, educate and qualify them and only send them to your sales team once they are ready to get into the buying process.
The great thing is that the qualifying process is automated. You setup content and have it sent to your leads at different stages of the early sales process. They get the information they seek automatically, and your business becomes more efficient.
With the steps above, each can be determined using marketing automation.
Approaching your leads when they are warm and ready to speak to a sales person is about delicate timing. Consider the four elements above to ensure you aren’t talking to leads too early, turning them away from your services. Then you achieve a better sales conversion rate.
How do you determine whether a lead is hot? How successful is your sales team?
Let us know in the comments.
- Review your lead nurturing campaign.
- Ensure there are ways to measure the readiness of your leads.
- Contact leads when they are warmed.
Marketing Automation can streamline the lead process for your business. Find out more about how it can help your business here.