Leads are people who have expressed some interest in your offering. Successful marketing campaigns attract interest in your offering, which generates new leads. Naturally, leads can come from various channels. A lead could be someone who calls you after seeing your listing in a marketplace like Yelp, or emails you based on a recommendation from a friend or colleague. They could be someone who noticed your marketing campaign and then filled out a form on your website to get additional information about your offering. They could be someone you met on social media, or someone who gave you their business card at a trade show.
As you generate leads, you'll want to determine if they're sufficiently interested in your offering—a process known as lead qualification.
Depending on a lead's interest, you may try to make a sale, or continue nurturing them with the information they need to become sales-ready. After all, the speed at which your sales team converts leads into deals significantly impacts your business. To determine interest, you'll need smart tools to manage a lead's activity, tools that then prioritize qualified leads for your sales people to follow up with. Meanwhile, your marketing or internal sales teams can nurture leads until they're qualified.
Sell to prospects
The process of turning qualified leads into customers varies across industries and individual businesses. Many sales processes involve sending informative emails about your offering, sharing documents, scheduling meetings, generating quotes, negotiating terms, signing sales orders, and more. The hallmarks of a good sales process are efficiency and reliability; or, in other words, a sales process that works well over and over again. If you can find tools that are pre-made for your business vertical, most of your sales process will be accounted for. If your sales process is unique, you'll need easily customizable tools to fit your business.
An efficient sales process is just the beginning of driving productivity.
Sales tools improve productivity across every channel where sales conversions happen, whether through phone calls, email, social media, chat, or in face-to-face meetings outside the office. Since sales processes are repeatable, smart tools boost sales people's productivity and make their jobs easier by automating repetitive and tedious tasks. Automation frees sales people to focus on building trust and relationships with potential customers to convert more leads to deals. And since sales tools have built-in reporting, you'll be able to see how everything is performing. You can even offer additional incentives for your sales people by creating friendly competitions within your team and rewarding the winners.
If you've worked hard to win a customer, make sure you keep them. You won't keep customers because you sold to them; rather, you'll keep them because you met their needs and made them happy. In other words, closing a deal means creating a relationship. If you want to keep that customer, you must maintain your relationship with them.
Staying on top of customer requests, checking the status of customer projects, and regular communication with-in your team are great ways to maintain relationships with your customers. If you want to show you really care, send customers holiday wishes or survey their experience after the sale.
Staying in touch with them, even when there isn't a deal to be made, can go a long way to cementing your relationship and retaining them as a customer.Start a 30-day free trial