You’ve switched to inbound marketing and sales, and lead generation is off the charts. Great news, right? Except for when you see the sales numbers… You’re still missing your targets and your sales people are struggling to convert leads into paying customers.
What gives? Inbound makes lead generation easier, sure, but it’s not foolproof. In fact, many sales teams make plenty of mistakes when they follow up with an inbound sales lead.
1. You’re Not Qualifying Leads
Inbound marketing and sales takes some of the guesswork out of lead generation. Your sales team doesn’t need to spend as much time researching leads, and many of the leads generated are hot (or at least warm); the customer’s already interested in your product or brand.
Plenty of people think this means every single lead will automatically turn into a sale, which is hardly the case. You need to know more about each lead—such as the person’s position in a company and how much power the lead wields. Knowing more about the company will help too; if the firm has just implemented a solution very similar to the product you offer, chances are the lead’s not looking to buy again so soon.
2. You’re Not Researching
You might think qualifying a lead is the same as researching a lead, but inbound can provide a lot of data about an inbound sales lead. You can track customers when they visit your website and determine which products they’re interested in. Which pages do they come back to over and over again? How often do they visit your site?
Implementing inbound sales doesn’t equate to the end of researching! It just means a better focus for the research you conduct.
3. You’re Not Personalizing
Are your sales reps still sending out form emails and template notes? Are all of your leads getting the same message? That’s a huge mistake, especially when you have the information, tools, and content you need to send better sales emails. Bad sales emails will cost you customers.
You should be personalizing your pitch and message to an inbound sales lead. Different customers will be at different stages of the sales cycle, and they’ll also have different concerns. Giving them a generic pitch doesn’t consider their pain points or their interests.
Instead, personalize the message for your leads. If you can address their concerns right off the bat, they’re going to be more interested in what you have to say—and what you can offer.
4. Too Much, Too Soon
You might be excited by an inbound sales lead, with good reason. The customer’s already interested. You’ve done your research, and you’ve personalized the message. This should be a done deal, right?
Over-eagerness is a problem many sales reps run into when they deal with inbound sales leads. They want to jump right in to product demonstrations and presentations. Why’s this a mistake? In most cases, it’s too much, too soon. A potential customer might find you pushy or feel overwhelmed.
And, if you haven’t properly qualified your leads, you might be wasting your breath: They’re interested, but they’re not in a position to make purchase decisions any time soon.
5. You Don’t Nurture Leads
Not every inbound sales lead is going to turn into a sale. Some people aren’t in a position to make the purchase decisions, and others simply aren’t at that stage of the buyer’s journey. These are the leads you have to nurture.
Many people see inbound lead generation as a quick fix, but a huge part of inbound’s success is actually its focus on relationships. The leads who hit your website today might read blog posts or download whitepapers, but they’re not ready to buy yet. Don’t ignore them, but don’t expect to close quick sales here either.
Instead, follow up and keep following up as the lead moves through the sales cycle. It’s a long haul, but you’ll reap the rewards in the end.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.