Having more leads than you can handle sounds like a great position to be in, doesn’t it? Surely, more leads mean more revenue? But actually, having too many leads in the pipeline could actually be a serious red flag for your lead management process.
Here’s why. It takes a lot of dedicated time, effort and skill to qualify a lead and close a sale. Converting opportunities into revenue is no easy feat. Depending on the industry, research has found that B2B sales close ratios can be as low as 15%.
If you spread the focus of your sales team across a large volume of leads, their efforts will be less effective. Part of the reason for this is that many of these leads will be timewasters, to use a blunt description. They’ll fit into one of the following categories:
- No buying intent
- Not in the correct role to make purchasing decisions
- In an irrelevant industry
- A poor fit with your target buyer persona
- Have objections that require dedicated one-on-one time to overcome.
How to sort the wheat from the chaff
Think of your lead management process in similar terms to the initial marketing campaign. Trying to reach absolutely everyone is like shooting in the dark. For starters, it’s not a good use of your resources. Without a focused, personalised, and targeted approach, you won’t be able to engage the people actually interested in buying your product.
Lead management is just the same. You need to identify the quality leads, and focus your attention on moving those prospects into your sales pipeline. For everyone else, you’d only be wasting your time.
So, how do you put ‘quality over quantity’ into practice? Here are some practical tips to help you prioritise and manage sales leads:
- Develop target buyer personas. If you don’t already have this, make it a priority. Knowing exactly who you’re targeting makes it much easier to filter out ‘timewaster’ leads.
- Implement an Account-Based Marketing approach. This brings together your marketing and sales teams to target best-fit accounts for your company. Using your combined expertise, you can find and focus on high-value accounts that fit your target buyer personas and are likely to deliver the best ROI.
- Focus on the data that matters. One of the things that can go wrong in the lead management process is gathering far too much data, and not knowing what to do with it. This information overload can lead to a long and unmanageable list of unsuitable, unqualified contacts. Concentrate on what matters – such as signals of buyer intent and the characteristics of your buyer personas – and ignore the rest.
- Keep your one key goal in mind. It’s easy to lose sight of the main aim of lead generation sometimes. But let this primary goal drive your decisions – you want to sell to prospects ready to buy the product or service you sell. It really is that simple. If a prospect doesn’t meet these criteria and isn’t likely to in the future, they aren’t worth spending time on.
Lastly, consider making use of expert lead management solutions. Outsourcing could save you an enormous amount of time and effort, and allow your sales team to focus on what they do best.
Get in touch with our specialist lead generation team here at IT Focus to find out more.