A new year is upon us, and that means it’s the perfect time to reflect on the growth of your sales business. If you’re like most sales professionals, there’s at least one thing you’d like to improve about your business going forward. My pick? Managing sales leads.
If your sales productivity isn’t where it needs to be, better managing your sales leads is one way to make a huge difference. There’s a number of ways you can attack this challenge, but here are seven of my favorites that will help make 2016 your best business year ever.
1. Streamline Your Sales Pipeline
This year, commit to improving your sales productivity by streamlining your sales pipeline. Like a real pipeline, your sales process needs regular maintenance and, ever so often, a more comprehensive upgrade as well.
Some experts estimate that the typical sales office drops the ball on a significant number of leads working their way through the pipeline. Think how much revenue could be gained if you were to fix the weak spots in your pipeline! Take a hard look at your pipeline.
Has the new team member you brought on this summer got access to everything she needs? Does your recent website update integrate well with your database? What’s the procedure for when a lead shows interest but isn’t ready to close?
There’s always something that can be improved when it comes to your pipeline.
2. Finesse Your CRM Setup
Remember last month when we talked about CRMs? I hope you’ve given a modern, robust CRM upgrade some thought — especially if your business is still dependent on static spreadsheets.
It’s 2016 now! So take advantage of some of the latest time-saving and business-growing features, like mobile integration, marketing integration, and industry-specific tools. Whatever tools you choose to work with, make sure you’re able to note every interaction with your prospects, sales leads, and current clients. The more you are able to track the more confidence you’ll be able to inspire in your customer interactions.
3. Work on Tracking More Data Points
In the same vein, commit to tracking more data points about your customer interactions and sales touches this year. Note what competitors are courting them, what their sales objections are, the types of products or services they’re looking for, and so on.
But don’t just stop there. Where are your leads coming from? Where are your marketing efforts paying for themselves and where are they costing you? Knowledge isn’t just power — it’s profit when it comes to informing these types of business decisions.
4. Make Time to Analyze Your Tracking Data
It’s possible of course that you’re already tracking some or all of these data points, but what’s happening to all that data? If you notice patterns — say, an uptick in quote requests from customers of Company XYZ — make the time to learn why that’s happening. You’ll probably learn something that will improve your business.
Your website, marketing, and CRM tools are also collecting a whole host of analytics. If you’re intent on upping your sales productivity this year, commit to diving deeper with one of these aspects of your business. Good questions to ask yourself include:
- How are prospects finding us?
- What marketing efforts are performing the best? The worst?
- What marketing or lead-nurturing activities are turning leads into customers?
- How well are we managing leads and customers once they’re in our sales funnel?
You might be surprised by some of the answers you find.
5. Lower Your Leads’ Time to First Contact
Whatever kind of leads you’re working with, from client referrals to website quote requests to aged leads, contacting your lead in a timely manner is one of the biggest productivity improvements you can make.
Make it your goal this year to contact every one of your new leads within 48 hours. Studies show contacting leads quickly leads to much higher closing rates. That certainly makes it a goal worth achieving.
However, it may not be a particularly easy task to cross off your list. Tips number one and two above can help get you there. If you’ve worked out the issues in your sales pipeline and fine-tuned your CRM setup, lowering your time to first contact should become a much more doable goal.
6. Commit to Learning More About Your Prospects
As I said before, data can be a great friend to your business, but what about really knowing your prospects? There are two reasons you should focus more on getting to know your prospects:
- To nurture relationships with your sales prospects
- To make yourself more engaged in the sale
It’s well-known that understanding your prospect’s personal details, sales motivations, and point of view will help you provide service and products that better fit his needs, leading to more sales for you. But don’t underestimate how much the same info can energize you to help your prospect find the perfect solution.
7. Add Aged Leads to Your Pipeline
Lastly, a new year is the perfect time to try something new. While we’re all creatures of habit, we’re also smart enough to recognize we have some of our biggest growth when we step out of our comfort zone. If your business typically runs on referrals, outbound marketing, or purchasing fresh leads, 2016 may be the year to add in aged leads.
As part of a new sales strategy or in combination with your existing lead supply, aged leads can take your sales productivity to the next level. These leads can offer your business both a better value than other cold-calling strategies and the security of a steady supply of high-quality leads.
If you’re tired of your lead supply tapering off, the expense of fresh leads, or the tedium of your lead strategy, aged leads offer something new in 2016. Visit The Aged Lead Store to browse thousands of high-quality aged leads that will boost your sales productivity this year.