Obtaining new leads can be difficult in an age where companies rely heavily on technology as a funnel to reach a potential business. While tech can foster numerous growth opportunities, it also allows leads to disregard a sales pitch easily with the click of delete or ignore.
So, how can sales departments find a happy medium when they rely on virtual events, website forms, or another technology-based method for lead generation? Let’s get down to some common root causes of sales’ frustrations and identify solutions that will actually work (not just cause more headaches).
Lack of Leads
Even as technology makes it easier to find information, it can still be difficult to find tangible leads. Many companies and individuals don’t respond well to cold calls or visits anymore, and a growing number of potential clients are online-only.
One of the best ways to find new leads is through word-of-mouth marketing. A common business model for this is to incentivize loyal clients who bring on new business opportunities. Returning clients who enjoyed your services are more likely to yield a new positive lead than cold calling.
Advertising your product or service on social media can also increase your website traffic to reach new clients. These forms of advertisements rely on online ad algorithms that will push your ads to users that match your core audience’s characteristics.
Following Up on Leads
Make sure you have a follow-up plan in place that’s easy for all your employees to follow. Not following up on leads is one of the easiest ways you can lose out on potential clients. This is important for all lead generation methods, from leaving a voicemail or email outreach to contact form submissions and in-person networking. A follow-up can set you apart from the spam messages and let the potential client know that you care about their business.
Be sure the follow-up happens shortly after the initial visit with the prospective client, so they remember your company when it comes time to make a decision. A quick follow-up will also help them associate your business with good customer service.
Wasting Time on Irrelevant Leads
Spend some time researching potential leads before you make contact. Doing so will help you identify if a lead may or may not be worth pursuing. There’s no need to spend time reaching out to those who don’t have the capacity or demand for your services. However, it may be worth storing these leads in a database specially tagged not as irrelevant should the status or offerings change in the future.
If the lead is worth pursuing, initial research can help you better prepare to answer potential questions or market specific products or services based on the client’s needs. As such, taking a few extra minutes early in the process can save you time later on.
A series of irrelevant leads may also be a sign that your internal processes need to be updated. Ask your team for feedback on why they think leads are falling through and what you need to change to help them succeed.
Disconnected Phone Numbers
It is not unusual for a person filling out a web form to make a typo or just enter a bogus phone number on submission. Because of this, disconnected phone numbers are the culprit of many missed connections in the sales world.
There are services available to confirm phone numbers’ connection status via an application programming interface (API), helping businesses avoid this issue during the lead-gathering process.
Implementing an API for phone validation on any of your website’s lead generation forms (contact, demo request, asset downloads, etc.) can prevent your team from wasting time calling inactive numbers. It works by validating phone numbers provided on any sort of form in real-time before it is submitted.
If the information is incorrect, the user will receive an error message prompting them to review their answers again, giving them a second chance to fix any typos or mistakes. This is imperative because when a form is submitted with inaccurate contact information, that lead is lost. Forms are not submitted if the phone number is faulty.
Unanswered Email Follow-ups
If your team is using template follow-up and first-contact emails, this may be why you’re not getting a response back. These emails can appear as or be tagged as spam rather than legitimate inquiries, regardless if you’ve made contact with the individual previously.
Be sure to make personalized messages for each client and a potential client. Personalized messaging shows sincerity and fosters genuine connections. Additionally, remind your staff that it’s essential to follow up more than once.
Low Referral Rates
As mentioned above, word-of-mouth marketing is a great way to bring in new business. If you suffer from low referral rates, it may be from negative online reviews or low customer satisfaction. Be sure to check in with past or current clients to ensure they’re satisfied with your service or product.
If you experience unsatisfied customers consistently, you may need to evaluate your approach and plan to pivot. What are some innovative ways you can keep your clients happy? Do you need to improve your product? Do your client-facing teams need updated customer service training? Remember, if your client loves your product or service, word-of-mouth marketing will come naturally.
Low Staff Morale
Does your staff get drained after a series of rejections? As mentioned previously, disconnected phone numbers can be a significant issue for sales teams, especially if they’re commission-based. These repetitive problems can cause low morale among staff. Morale can especially get low if they miss out on incentives fellow staff members receive due to missing quotas or other metrics.
Make sure all your staff feels appreciated and rewarded. Consider offering training or mentorship programs to all staff, particularly those new or in a slump, and could benefit from some extra motivation.
Increasing Your Team’s Sales
As robocalls and spam emails make it harder to decipher legitimate inquiries from scams, set your team up for success. Talk through what’s keeping them from closing the sale and how you can help solve the problem. Make sure your team feels heard and work together to find the solutions that work best for your business.