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8 Things You Need To Know About Responding To Inbound Leads
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Try these essential inbound sales lead management tips to get the attention of your prospects effectively.

RELATED: The Inbound vs. Outbound Process For Lead Response — What You Need To Know

In this article:

  1. An Introduction to Inbound Leads
    1. Respond to High Priority Inbound Leads in Under 5 Minutes
    2. Find the Balance Between Speed and Score
    3. Don’t Ever Reach out and Start a Conversation with This Line: “May I Help You”?
    4. People Who Download Your Content Will Most Likely Never Read It
    5. Prospects Rarely Want to Talk to a Salesperson
    6. Prospects Are Impressed with Hustle
    7. If You’re Going to Reach Out, Do It Immediately and Don’t Wait for a Couple of Days
    8. Account-Based Sales Don’t Have to Equal a Slow Response

Sales Lead Management | Tips to Get Your Prospects

Sales Lead Management Definition: Sales lead management is a set of practices, systems, and methodologies that help generate prospective customers in businesses. This practice, system, or methodology operates through different types of sales programs and campaigns.

An Introduction to Inbound Leads

working girls discussing | Things You Need To Know About Responding To Inbound Leads

Discussing inbound leads with coworkers

Responding to inbound leads shouldn’t be rocket science; however, in some cases, the sales lead management process is difficult to implement. I was mind-blown a few months ago when I saw there was actually a debate online on whether you should respond to inbound leads immediately or give them a few days.

Now, I know that a prospect needs time to get familiar with your company and your content before jumping into a sales conversation. However, all the data we have gathered from analyzing lead responses from over 4,000 companies prove otherwise.

You can download the “Response Audit” study if you don’t believe me – or check out this bite-sized infographic to summarize lead response management practices – and how companies are performing today.

I’ll give you a hint – it’s not pretty.

1. Respond to High Priority Inbound Leads in Under 5 Minutes

If someone comes to your website and fills out a form or asks for a demo, you need to answer them immediately. There is good data to back up this information: if you respond in under 5 minutes to your sales lead, you’re 100 times more likely to contact them and 21 times more likely to get them into your pipeline.

2. Find the Balance Between Speed and Score

I was consulting with a company in New York at one point. They received about 10 leads per person per month, and they were struggling for a pipeline.

They took every lead seriously by responding quickly to them. When it comes to another company in Los Angeles, they had 35,000 inbound free trials a month.

They could not possibly respond to all of them, so they only responded to leads with a predictive score of A or B. The big question is – what does your data say?

3. Don’t Ever Reach out and Start a Conversation with This Line: “May I Help You”?

Man answering the phone | Things You Need To Know About Responding To Inbound Leads

Responding to leads creatively

You need to be different than anyone else in getting your sales leads. Go to a challenging model of teaching, tailor, and take control.

The reason I personally download online content is that I have a problem. If you’re an expert, solving the problem with that content, I want you to tell me what I’m supposed to do.

I love the consultative approach to selling because it shows you care about your prospect and solve their problems – not just talk about your product.

4. People Who Download Your Content Will Most Likely Never Read It

People sometimes act like it’s a big deal if you contact them and they didn’t have the chance to read your content yet. News flash: people don’t read your content anyway.

Even if you give them a couple of days, they generally won’t read it, and they won’t wait for you with detailed questions about it.

RELATED: 5 Prospecting Myths Debunked

5. Prospects Rarely Want to Talk to a Salesperson

When someone downloads an eBook or white paper, they don’t want to talk to anyone yet – that’s a common misbelief.

Are prospects ever dying to talk to a salesperson? Are you suggesting they will want to talk to you “later”?

I don’t believe that.

Prospects want to talk to a salesperson when they call in or when they request to be contacted. Besides that, they are not anxiously waiting for salespeople to bother them.

Sales is about helping people – making them understand that they need you when they don’t think they do.

6. Prospects Are Impressed with Hustle

Group of professionals | Things You Need To Know About Responding To Inbound Leads

I’ve been in the research game for sales management for a while now. One thing that stands out to me as the most common qualitative answer to people responding quickly to leads is “Wow.”

Sure, there will be people who will be bothered – but they are in the loud minority. Sales is not about making every single person happy; it’s about doing what brings results in the long term.

7. If You’re Going to Reach Out, Do It Immediately and Don’t Wait for a Couple of Days

Some advocates are waiting multiple days to contact their qualified leads, without really accounting for a prospect’s short attention span. All the data we have say the longer you wait, the less chance you have to get in touch with a person – and the lower the chance to get them into your pipeline.

I know it feels nicer to wait until the prospect is ready, but data on lead management solution say it’s the wrong approach.

8. Account-Based Sales Don’t Have to Equal a Slow Response

A lot of people believe that with account-based sales (ABS), you should send leads to account executives and then let them follow up when they can as part of their overall strategy. But, that doesn’t apply to any situation in a sales lead management system.

You need to know what your data say and act accordingly. I’ve now seen multiple companies get rid of their inbound response teams just to replace them in 6-12 months when the numbers went south.

Last but not least, you should know that the average market responds to inbound leads in about 38 hours.

If you thought you’re being different by responding quickly – you’re not.

Marketing teams should do what’s best for your customers and respond quickly to your leads.

 

To learn more about responding to inbound leads, watch this video from our VP, Gabe Larsen:

With these tips for sales lead management, generating your leads will be more effective. Just remember to always respond in less than five minutes to increase the chances of successfully getting them. Apply these lead generation tips now and see results in no time.

What other sales lead management tips can you add to the ones mentioned above? Share them in the comments section.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 1, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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