So You Got Some Sales Leads — Now What?
So you’re generating new sales leads? Great! But what are you doing next?
After all, that’s what really matters.
According to Gartner, 30% conversion rate is considered good — meaning for the most successful companies, 70% of leads generated never become sales. Now imagine that number for companies without the right post-lead generation approach.
Your sales success depends on your ability to not just earn new leads but keep them moving along the pipeline toward final sale. This requires active follow up, best-practice approaches, and smart alignment between your marketing and sales teams.
Let’s explore 6 next steps for engaging sales leads and converting them to paying customers.
- Lead scoring measures potential and helps sales reps prioritize those likely to convert.
- Successful lead nurturing results in more sales-ready leads at about a third of the cost.
- Automation is essential for executing a lead follow-up strategy at scale without sacrificing quality.
- Buyer expectations have been elevated by today’s fast paced environment — they expect fast follow-up and high levels of personalization.
6 Things to Do after You Generate New Leads
Score and prioritize your leads
It might seem logical to pursue your leads in the order at which they were generated, and with the exact same effort and approach. But this strategy is incomplete, failing to account for built-in likelihood of conversion. For example: Does the lead fit your ideal customer profile? Do they have high purchase readiness and intent?
Measuring these types of qualities with a lead scoring strategy is the best way to prioritize your leads and follow up with them appropriately. Lead scoring typically takes into account attributes that measure fit with your ICP as well as behavioral data that determines timing and likelihood of purchase.
The sample lead scoring criteria below demonstrates how companies measure these explicit and implicit attributes.
Follow up quickly
Timely follow up isn’t just nice for your sales leads — it’s expected. Today’s hyper-digital sales environment has created a need for companies to respond quickly without sacrificing the quality of their communication. Most industry research shows that follow up is expected within hours, if not minutes, of initial inquiry.
Automation (more on that later) is an essential piece to this puzzle, along with resource and workflow optimization to eliminate bottlenecks. The point: You must have processes in place for fast follow up, otherwise you risk losing sales leads to competitors before you even have a chance to engage them.
Execute a lead nurturing strategy
Lead nurturing is the process of cultivating leads that show high potential but aren’t ready to make a purchase at the time a lead is generated. Rather than unreadiness being a disqualifier for many of your leads, nurturing can be the thing that moves them from initial interest to full-on purchase intent.
In fact, companies that nurture leads successfully earn 50% more sales-ready leaders at only 33% of the cost.
Lead nurturing is best executed as a multi-channel strategy — email, phone calls, ad, and even in-person meetings are all ways to cultivate leads effectively.
That said, to execute at scale, lead nurturing campaigns have become a top choice for an initial strategy, with the other more manual tactics saved for the highest-potential leads.
Track your pipeline
Modern CRM systems and other sales management tools have made it easier to take a data-driven approach to tracking sales leads — something that’s important if you’re looking to increase your conversion rate.
You can track your pipeline at both a holistic and granular level. The former allows you to see your pipeline as a whole, identifying bottlenecks and places in the sales process where leads are delayed or likely to fall off. The latter allows you to track individual leads and drill down into other data points that may inform your strategy — like lead attributes, tactics, or even particular sales reps that make lead conversion more likely.
Frequent data reporting and discussion helps to make pipeline tracking an active part of your strategy and one that sales executives, managers, and reps can all use to improve results.
Personalize when you can
Personalization is another part of the sales experience that’s growing in importance for modern buyers. ITSMA research has found that buyers expect personalization to extend to every part of the sales experience — sellers should tailor it to their industry, location, organization, job position, and more.
Automation has made personalization more scalable than ever before, but that doesn’t mean traditional tactics like in-depth discovery calls or customized presentations are dead — they should still be implemented for your highest-potential prospects. Content is another way that companies are scaling personalization tactics and delivering high value to their buyers before they ever make a purchase.
Last but not least, sales and marketing automation are essential for executing a lead follow-up strategy at the speed and scale that modern inbound tactics require. It’s automation that allows your sales reps to move away from tedious work (like initial follow-up emails, report building, and answering FAQS) to focus on more strategic action and initiatives.
Invest in the right tools and processes to automate the end-to-end sales process and keep your buyers informed, all while your sales reps spend their time going after the opportunities most likely to drive business growth.
Revboss’s outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.