Director, Content Marketing
It’s the end of the quarter, the end of the month, Friday afternoon. Your sales quota deadline is looming.
Dread mounts as each tick of the second hand brings the end of the day closer. You can already feel your sales manager breathing down your neck as they ask, “Why did you miss your goal?” You loathe yet another conversation about why you didn’t hit quota again — and your sales career hangs in the balance.
It sounds dramatic, but many salespeople feel this sense of doom on the regular. But sales quota deadlines don’t have to be a horror scene. Salespeople just need one thing on their side: quality leads. And lots of them.
To quell the stress and smash your sales ceiling, here are a few tips to get more leads to fuel sales success:
Pursue quality vs. quantity
When considering leads, there are different schools of thought around quality. Are fewer, more qualified leads better? Or is the sheer volume of leads more important? The reality is, the mountain of leads you get through email marketing, cold calls, coupon redemptions or purchased lists doesn’t necessarily translate into a ton of sales, if you aren’t lead scoring and filtering leads for quality. Take the dismal results from cold calls: on average, only 2% of cold calls are successful.
If you’re a salesperson strapped for time (isn’t everyone these days?), consider spending the majority of your time following up with quality leads. There are different ways to qualify leads, but in general, keep in mind that warm leads are always superior to cold leads. For example, leads gathered through networking, referrals, common connections, trade show meet-and-greets, social media listening and form fills are already primed with positive brand exposure under their belt.
With a low rate of only about 4% of website visitors arriving at your site ready to buy, a lot of work still needs to go into turning quality leads into sales. Which is why working with qualified leads and prospects, who are less likely to be shopping around and more likely to be serious about considering your company, can save you a ton of time and effort.
Dust off old leads
Just because you haven’t touched base with someone in a year doesn’t mean a lead is dead. It’s just a little dusty. To get more leads to help hit your sales quota, why not visit your attic of “dead ends,” brush them off, and try again? A lot can change in a year or even in six months. Your contact may now be ready for your solution or be in a better position to buy than they were last time you were in touch.
Of course, leads can become stale or obsolete if the individual has changed roles or moved companies — but there’s always a chance that they may need your solution in their new role, too. Take the time to do a little research and check up on that contact before reaching out. If that contact has moved to another company, even better! Then you can reconnect with them at that new company and make a new connection with their replacement at their previous company.
When reaching out to an old lead, be persistent (but not obnoxious) — and make sure you nail your follow-up correspondence. Detailed sales notes are key in jogging your memory about your message history, where you left off and reasons why they passed on the opportunity last time. Mentioning details from the last time you were in communication will make the lead feel important and demonstrate that you really listened. A CRM system that automatically catalogs contact information and communication history is a huge help here. When you’re leaping from call to call all day, the last thing you have time for is taking copious notes on each interaction. Saving time on data entry gives salespeople more time to … sell!
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Prospect for future client gold
Consider putting in serious legwork at the beginning of your next sales cycle to generate more quality leads and prospects. Prospects are one step higher than leads on the qualified scale. Leads are potential customers who have shown an interest in your business, while a prospect aligns with your sales buyer’s persona, is interested in your business and has the power to make purchasing decisions.
Sales prospecting and targeted selling are by no means quick wins, but you’re much more likely to close a deal with a prospect than a run-of-the-mill lead. Hyperpersonalization is one secret to helping prospects feel valued. In marketing, AI-fueled hyper personalization is leading to a consumer-centric era where customers (and in this case, prospective customers) expect companies to quickly understand their pain points and offer the best solutions to fix them.
According to Deloitte, hyper personalization can boost sales by 10%. While you may not have the resources to hyper personalize all of your marketing outreach, once a contact becomes a qualified prospect in your sales pipeline, it’s critical to put in the time to learn as much as you can about them: how did they find you, what asset did they fill out a form for, what posts do they engage with on social media? This background research will ensure that you bring up the most relevant offerings for their specific situation.
Don’t fear failure
Two defining qualities of salespeople are their persistence and resilience. Bouncing back from “Thanks, but no thanks” and “Not at this time,” not to mention ghosting, is essential to excel at the selling game. With quality leads coming in and a solid sales process in place, one missed sales quota won’t make or break your sales career — and you’ll have a chance to redeem yourself for the next sales period. A treasure trove of qualified leads will make your job that much easier the next month, and the month after that.
And finally, make sure you have the best tools in your toolbox to help you be as efficient as possible and automate tasks that take time away from selling. CRM can handle many of the manual tasks that may be wasting your time, like logging sales calls, tracking email communication, and sending follow-ups. Selling is a demanding job after all, and you need all the time and energy to keep closing more opportunities.
Want to give CRM a try? We built Copper CRM with the end user in mind, making it simple for sales reps to work where they want, how they want, and skip all the manual data entry. Try Copper free for 14 days, no credit card needed.