Sales leaders often fall into the all-to-common trap of neglecting sales leads. Often unintentionally, sales professionals have the habit of focusing all their attention on larger or later stage deals. While not an inherently bad thing, this greater-focus usually comes at the expense of new leads, or leads just beginning to move through the sales cycle. By neglecting these “fresh” leads, your not only hurting your long-term pipeline, but you could also be hurting your company’s image. Even the best sales teams often make mistakes when it comes to properly handling leads. Regardless of industry, if your team is guilty of any of these simple mistakes, a loss of revenue can occur. Here are the 3 common mistakes your company could be making:
1. Responding Too Slow
Every day, eager buyers enter their information on your website eager for a call back. These same potential customers are often left waiting for hours or even days to get a response. Research shows that the average prospect waits over two days to hear back from a sales rep. Any guess as to what they’re doing in the meantime? That’s right, they’re browsing your competition. Your lead will browse anywhere from 2 to 5 competitor websites within the first 10 minutes. The longer you wait to respond, the lower the likelihood of making a sale. Responding to leads within minutes is absolutely crucial to improving sales performance. Industry research shows that lead response time is the number one driver of conversion. Your team can increase the chances of converting a lead into a sale by more than 60 percent just by responding quicker to your prospects.
2. Failure to Follow Up
The second mistake made by sales professionals is a failure to follow up with new leads. Before you question if this applies to your company, be aware that multiple studies have shown that nearly all companies are guilty of letting leads slip through the cracks. Even just one missed lead could potentially cost your company thousands of dollars in missed revenue. Ensure that your team has a system in place to respond to each new lead, hopefully within minutes of the initial inquiry.
3. Lack of Attempts
Stop worrying that repeated follow-up attempts will anger your potential customer. Studies continually show that sales reps are giving up way too soon when trying to make contact with new leads. In fact, most reps give up after just one or two contact attempts. In reality, it can take as many as six calls before contact is made with the potential customer. Keep in mind that most prospects will admire the persistence. Since this is most likely their first interaction with your company, this shows the prospect you truly care about their business.
These common mistakes are three of the biggest obstacles to increased sales performance. Consider ways to ensure proper lead response. Implement systems to ensure proper follow up on each new lead. By prioritizing sales leads in all stages, you’ll not only be able to increase revenue, you’ll also ensure a full pipeline for the future.