The world has witnessed a lot of changes over the decades. Your 80s or 90s self wouldn’t have thought about the possibilities of smartphones, social media, and Netflix. But here you are and technology continues to redefine modern living. The way businesses run their affairs has also evolved over the years. In pursuit of efficiency and profitability, most businesses use programs to manage back-office tasks and analyze data and maximize the Internet to open markets and boost sales prospecting. You can now tap on a prospect in any location without breaking the bank.
How to make the most of tech innovations and old-school sales prospecting methods to boost your business? Know the basics in leads generation, how to increase your average conversion rate, and the available prospecting tools in the market today. Check out this guide.
Know your leads
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A lead or prospect, if you do not know already, is anybody who expressed interest in your product or service. Neophyte salespersons are typically required to jot down at least 100 leads from their natural network and prospecting activities. The ultimate goal is to convert every lead into a customer.
It is important to be able to identify the leads you should be investing in. Who among the first 100 names in your list should you be focusing on? High funnel or early stage leads are those who will buy in more than 3 months and are still comparing products and services from various providers. Mid-funnel or duplicate leads are often ignored because they send repetitive questions. These leads have strong interest in your offering as they are clarifying, albeit repetitively, important points. Low funnel or late stage leads are those that state buying in 3 months or earlier. These are also referred to as hot leads who typically convert 30 days after inquiry.
In the lead generation phase, focus on low funnel leads but do not neglect high funnel leads who will soon be your customers.
Do not miss any sales opportunity
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It is a rule of thumb in sales to talk to at least 10 persons in a day, convert 5 into leads, and two into customers. The 10-5-2 rule is used in insurance, real estate, auto, and other industries. The 5 leads in this formula may be further classified into high, mid, and low funnel leads as discussed above. A common problem among salespeople is the failure to nurture high funnel leads.
A study by Autodeal shows that 16% of high funnel leads claimed to be still interested or still-in-the-market for an automobile even after 9 months. Opportunities are being missed, according to the top auto marketplace. “The only way to solve it is through increased cooperation between your sales and marketing teams to nurture all levels of your lead funnel.”
Nurture your goldmine: your database
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How to nurture high funnel or early stage leads and eventually convert them into customers? First, make sure that you keep a database of all your leads, in various stages, including the date you last interacted with them. This will guide you on the best time to update your leads. You can use a Customer Relationship Management system that can keep your database and track the entire sales process from prospecting to after-sales. SalesForce is one of the top-rated CRMs in the market. You can also try Zoho and SuiteCRM. Make it a habit to access and update your CRM every day. Remember that selling does not take a holiday!
Despite the availability of CRM systems, including free services, many salespeople still go for the traditional journal-and-pen method. According to studies, writing by hand activates multiple regions of the brain associated with processing and remembering. Perhaps you can come up with a prospecting plan as you update your notes.
Stay within the radar
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Out of sight, out of mind. In the case of sales prospecting, remember that the Internet makes it easier for your leads to compare and contrast products and services. They can make well-informed buying decisions without needing to visit every showroom. Stay in their minds by keeping them in the loop.
When should you re-engage high funnel leads? That depends on the last time you interacted with a prospect. AutoDeal suggests a simple communication with those that inquired more than three months ago. You may ask if they are still in the market for a new vehicle. If you are re-engaging those you have spoken more recently, you can update them with your latest inventory or sales offer.
During the leads generation phase or the period when you are gathering names, ask your prospect on the best time and channel to interact. Not everyone is comfortable taking your calls at 9 a.m. or taking calls at all. Perhaps a message via Viber is more welcome.
Make the most of social media
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Social media is an unprecedented tech innovation. It changed the way businesses operate and people communicate. It essentially leveled the playing field by giving small-scale enterprises access to marketing channels exclusive to cash-rich corporations.
Take advantage of social media by posting quality marketing materials to entice your network to do business with you. If you are selling vehicles, your content does not always have to be product-driven. You can post non-promotional content still related to your offerings such as road safety, vacation destinations or even road trip playlists — anything that will remind people about driving and car ownership.
How well you devise and execute your prospecting plan will help determine your success in sales. Make the most of tech tools in gathering leads, keeping your prospects in the loop, and converting them into customers. Sales agents using AutoDeal have auto sales conversion rates ranging from 0.1% to up to 33%. The platform, which started in 2014, introduces novel ways of connecting prospective vehicle buyers with dealerships. Its Test-Drive scheduling service offers buyers a more convenient and less stressful method of finding the right vehicle.