In a perfect world, everyone who connects on your website or fills in a lead capture form will become a client. In a perfect world, the question about how to nurture sales leads doesn’t even arise.
But the world isn’t perfect, and your leads aren’t either. Unless you’re the greatest sales person that ever lived, you’ll have far more leads that don’t become clients than ones that do.
But what to do with all those unconverted leads?
Sadly, many companies just let them fade away. There are lots of ways to develop sales leads, but they all have one thing in common. They require a lot of cost or energy to generate. And it’s a HUGE waste to just let them go without a fight. With just a bit more effort some of those now ‘tepid’ leads can be heated up again.
Trust me, your boss will love you when you increase your average revenue per lead. Improvements in marketing ROI go straight to the bottom line.
The key to effectively nurture sales leads is to establish yourself as the top-of-mind provider for your solution.
Despite what they might think, most companies don’t have a formal sales process. In fact, only 27% of companies employ a structured sales process that’s rigorously followed by everyone on the team.
Without a formal sales process your leads are being treated differently by every sales rep. And they probably aren’t trying to maximize the long term potential of every lead.
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A reasonable sales process assumes that some leads are not immediate buyers. There is a built in assumption that some leads are immediate buyers, and others will convert later. A sales process has built-in steps to nurture sales leads who might be future buyers so they don’t get forgotten.
Here are some ways you can stay in continuous contact with you leads until they decide to convert.
When it’s clear a prospect won’t become a client anytime soon, ask them why not.
Asking for honest feedback is really hard. It’s tempting to use the opportunity to try and convince them to become a client. Instead, just listen to what they have to say. You may discover they love your solution, but the timing isn’t right. Or they might tell you why they believe your solution isn’t a good fit for their needs. You may even uncover that they ARE a buyer, but ultimately went with a different firm.
Regardless of what they share, the feedback is invaluable. It’ll help you improve your solution. And you’ll learn so much about your customers that your approach to sales will improve.
Best of all, people like to feel listened to. They’ll appreciate your efforts to listen without trying to convince them to buy. That builds ‘karma’ that brings people back when circumstances change.
There’s nothing more powerful than listening.
When you understand ‘why’ someone didn’t convert, you are in a position to help them better in the future. I once gave product feedback to a company and they changed their UX within 3 days of my suggestion. I was impressed, and more than happy to buy from them.
There’s nothing more powerful than listening. Make a point of finding out why they didn’t convert at this time. And when things change, keep them informed.
Your website probably has a blog. And you probably spend significant time or money creating high quality content for your blog.
But here’s the thing. Your old leads probably aren’t reading your blog content. Which is a shame because new articles are an incredible way to remind them you exist. You want to be top-of-mind when they decide to spend money on a solution you can provide.
👋 Connect on Social: You probably share your blog articles on social media. So connect with your leads. They’ll see your new content, and hopefully share it, too.
📧 Opt-in Email: You probably share content on an email list, so add your leads. It only takes 30 seconds and could lead to future business.
❓ Ask For a Quote: The hardest thing about nurturing leads is coming up with genuine reasons to connect. Use your content to reconnect with old leads. You can ask for a quote for your article or ask for advice in areas where they specialize.
👍 Support THEIR Content: Make an effort to read their articles. You can comment on their blogs and support them on social media. Most writers get little or NO feedback on their articles. When you make a consistent effort to engage, they’ll remember your support.
🚀 Share Milestones: Be sure to share the major milestones your firm achieves. Milestones are important on many levels. But they’re also a wonderful way to remind your leads what you do, and how you can help them. Milestones and improvements also demonstrate you are on a positive trajectory, which is what companies are looking for in a partner.
🎂 Happy Birthday: When is your lead’s birthday? It’s probably on their social media profile so take a moment to check and stick it on you calendar. When their birthday rolls take 5 minutes to call and wish them a happy birthday. Do you think anyone else is doing that? I seriously doubt it, and your efforts will get noticed.
Don’t make the call about business – make it about them.
If you want to nurture sales leads using #socialmedia, here are some ways that Sales Higher recommends:
👋Connect on Social
❓Ask For A Quote
👍Support THEIR Content
🎂Wish a Happy Birthday
Most modern sales processes are consultative. The sales person learns about the client’s requirements and applies that information to solving their problem.
During the course of a fact-find, sales people may learn extraordinary amounts of information about the client and their business. So use that information to add strategic value over time.
Start by summarizing important clients notes into bullet points. Then develop action items around each point.
For example, if a client mentioned they have trouble filling a certain role, search your contacts to see if you know anyone suitable. Sometimes you can add incredible value to another organization simply by matching people or resources that wouldn’t otherwise connect.
Put these action items on your calendar and execute. It’s a bit of work, but your prospects will love you for it. And if they don’t become clients themselves, they’ll refer business that does convert.
Set tasks & reminders, so you never forget to follow up with leads & customers!
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The biggest risk for any company is being forgotten. Developing fresh leads is an expensive, time consuming process so it’s important to get the most possible value out of every opportunity.
Look for ways to continually nurture sales leads. But don’t make your contacts all about you! Your efforts to connect should focus on adding value to their situation. The more you help them, the better they’ll remember you when the time comes to make a purchase in your niche. 😉