Transform your business

Getting the most from your sales leads

Consider it a failure on your part if the customer has to chase you up, advises Steve Mark

Research has shown that a high proportion of sales leads are never followed up. During a trial they responded to adverts placed and tracked an alarmingly low response rate from advertisers.
Firstly it could be that the business owner hasn't planned his campaign and has been overwhelmed by the response and is therefore deluged with enquiries that they cannot fulfill. Or secondly they simply don't have the systems in place to track enquiries and follow them up.

Or maybe they just can't be bothered, in which case they've maybe saved the respondent a whole load of hassle, because if they can't be bothered to follow up sales leads there's a good chance they're not managing their business effectively.
Managing your sales leads is the lifeblood of any business large or small. Managing enquiries and making sure you respond in a timely and polite fashion can mean the difference between success and failure. Here we highlight a number of tips to help you manage your enquiries and convert them to sales.
1) Respond now, before it's too late. Getting back to a customer within an hour of an enquiry coming in shows the customer that you mean business and more importantly you want their business.
2) Don't leave it more than 24 hours. If you can't respond within the hour, you must reply within 24 hours of the enquiry coming in. Beyond this you run the risk of the customer going elsewhere.
3) Remember, the faster you respond, the higher the conversion rate. The faster you reply to an enquiry the more chance you have of converting the lead.
4) Make sure you follow up on all sales enquiries after the initial response. Usually we employ a seven step response with all our enquiries. Here's how we track and follow up leads....
i) Initial reply within 1-6 hours.
ii) Follow up phone call within 24 hours
iii) Follow up email within 48 hours
iv) Second call after 4 days
v) Second follow up email after 7 days
vi) Final phone call after 10 days
vii) Final email after 14 days
If the customer has not converted after seven enquiries, leave it and move on to the next. The seven steps are just a guide, no point in upsetting a customer if they have made it clear they would not welcome any further calls on the enquiry.
5) Keep a log of all enquiries so none get missed. As soon as a new enquiry comes through, print it off and make notes each time you call or email the customer.
6) Keep their details on file for the future. As long as the customer has agreed to it, place their email address on your newsletter database so they can be kept informed of future offers.

Consider it a failure on your part or the systems that you have in place if the customer has to chase you up for the quote.