Having a large volume of leads is something that every sales professional dreams of. CRM software has made it easier than ever to manage your prospect database, however making the most of every name that comes across your desk is essential. What, then, is the best way to follow up to keep a lead from going cold or, worse, going elsewhere?
Sales is a transactional business—customers get frustrated when they don’t get immediate response from an AE; AEs get frustrated when they don’t hear back from a customer. Having a mountain of interest is fantastic, but the mountain will collapse quickly if you don’t follow up in the right way.
You need a CRM for your leads, and a separate email outbound tool for your email. Optimally, they’ll integrate. At very least, you’ll need a tagging system to mark leads as hot, and ensure that nothing is getting lost in the cracks.
While we’re in a digital world, don’t be afraid to get physical. There are few better reminders than a post-it note with a date and time listed for you to follow-up. Having a physical file that tracks all of your customers by their name will help you quickly assess the past and potential future needs of your clients.
The timeframe for response will depend greatly on the product being sold. If this is the beginning of a transactional, long-term relationship then your immediate response is difficult. If it’s a one-off, or limited big-ticket sale, then you don’t have to jump immediately but can put together a more comprehensive response.
A CRM integrated with your phone system will help you automate tracking contacts with the customer, which will help you keep your schedule straight. There are paid plugins that can work in Salesforce or SAP that will help you accomplish this, like VTCall.
This should go without saying, but you need to keep on top of your list. Pick up the phone and make as many calls as you to keep climbing the mountain. If you’re falling behind, no amount of technology is going to help push you back to the top.
That said, if you’re struggling to keep up with email, there are great add-ons like Boomerang for Gmail and Outlook that can remind you by resending something that hasn’t been opened or responded to in whatever amount of time you set.
There are a few bespoke response companies that exist that can automate a physical response, like a thank-you postcard or email. Once a set of criteria has been met, a pre-populated plan is commenced that will help you keep leads warm even when you don’t have time for a personal, one-to-one connection. A phone call is best, of course, but this is a nice addition.
With many options available, modern account teams have plenty of ways to keep in touch and prevent a lead from going cold.
What are some ways you like to manage a large amount of leads? Share your experiences in the comments below.