Source: www.score.org, by Rieva Lesonsky
Sometimes the sales process seems like an endless rollercoaster. You find a good lead, get your hopes up, wait for a response, only to be rejected. It doesn’t always end that way, but it’s hard to stay positive when you never know how many leads will turn into real sales. Here are 5 steps to help you increase the percentage of leads you close and give your business a boost.
First, do you know your sales leads-to-close ratio? Take a specific period of time, say six months. Calculate the number of leads and closed sales during that six months. Then divide the number of leads by the number of closed sales. Turn that number into a percentage out of 100 to estimate just how many leads you need to close a sale. Once you know your ratio, you can have a realistic view of how many leads it will take to make the sales you desire.
Acting quickly on leads is key to turning them into sales. Develop a system for following up on all leads within a set time. If you have a support staff, have sales assistants help by making initial follow-ups to gather information so salespeople can respond in more depth.
Use technology to your advantage. Invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce.com. CRM makes sure you don’t drop the ball on leads by keeping track of every step in the sales process. You can also set up automated responses such as replies to email inquiries that let prospects know you got the message and when you’ll follow up.
Create accountability by making sure your sales team knows who is responsible for following up on what types of leads, such as online inquiries, emails or phone calls. Track their follow-up and see where roadblocks occur.
Figure out what sources give you the most leads, and then which give you the most leads that convert to sales. Try to pinpoint why that is and put more of your money and effort into the sources that get the best results. Your CRM system can help with this task.