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How to Respond to Your Sales Leads and Close Deals Faster

how to respond to a sales lead

Table of Contents

Congratulations on the successful execution of your marketing efforts! You've generated some excellent results and are now packed with new leads. Great!

Now comes the crucial part – converting those leads into actual sales.

Strategic follow-ups are critical to your success here. You want to strike the right balance – not losing touch with potential customers while avoiding overwhelming them with too many follow-ups.

Here's a fascinating insight: Research shows that around 80% of sales leads require at least five follow-ups after the first contact before they make a decision. 

Surprisingly, only 8% of salespeople actually follow through with that many attempts.

Yes, you read that right – it takes a minimum of five consistent follow-ups after the initial sales contact to get a customer on board!

Let's look at some intriguing statistics:

12 proven tips on how to respond to leads

The table clearly shows that 92% of salespeople give up after four "no's," while only 8% of salespeople push through and ask for the order a fifth time.

Guess what? That 8% of persistent salespeople are the ones who end up with 80% of the sales. It turns out 80% of prospects say "no" four times before finally saying "yes."

We know five follow-up attempts might seem like a lot, but fear not! To give you a hand, here are our 12 best practices to effectively respond to sales leads – and gradually convert them into loyal customers.

1. Respond Promptly

Turning your prospects into sales starts with prompt follow-up! Quick response time is crucial in securing a lead's interest and building trust. So, here's the first best practice for you – be prompt!

How quickly should you respond to a lead? Well, send a fast revert via a thank-you or welcome email or a phone call within 12-24 hours after receiving a new lead. 

respond promptly to sales leads

It demonstrates that you are completely dedicated to customer service and that too, 24x7!

To respond quickly, check out these expert tips:

  • Set up automatic email notifications
  • Use a lead management system
  • Dedicate specific time slots in your day for following up

Remember, being the first to respond increases your chances of closing the sale. Thus, make it a priority to get back to your leads as soon as possible.

2. Categorize Your Leads

Not all leads are created equal, and their status in the sales funnel can vary. Hence, to tailor your approach accordingly, sort your leads into at least three categories: Hot, Warm, and Cold. Note that this segmentation is a part of the lead-scoring process. 

Lead scoring ranks leads based on their level of interest, engagement, and potential to convert into customers. Here’s how:

how to respond to a lead

  • Hot Leads: They have shown a high level of interest in your product or service and are likely to convert quickly. 
  • Warm Leads: Warm leads have shown some level of interest in your product or service but may need more nurturing before they are ready to convert. 
  • Cold Leads: They have yet shown little to no interest in your product or service. They may be new to your brand and have not engaged with any of your content. Or, they may have shown some initial interest but have not followed up with any action.

Lead scoring helps you personalize your messaging and prioritize your follow-up efforts. Here’s how:

  • For hot leads, you may want to offer a more direct and sales-oriented approach. Examples: offering a demo or consultation. 
  • However, you may want to focus on providing more value and building a relationship with warm leads. Examples: sending them educational content or offering a free trial. 
  • Finally, you may want to build awareness and generate interest for cold leads. Examples: offering a lead magnet or a special promotion.

3. Personalize Your Response

Imagine receiving a generic, impersonal email from a salesperson. Chances are, it would end up in the trash. 

But now, imagine receiving a personalized message that addresses your specific needs and concerns. It would grab your attention, right? That's the power of personalization!

Adding a personal touch to your follow-up responses increases the chances of engaging your leads. Also, you increase your likelihood of building a lasting relationship with them. 

Now, how do you write an email to a sales lead that’s customized as per their preferences? Here are our tactics:

  • Try adding their names in your emails
  • Reference previous conversations
  • Curate your message to their unique situation
  • Refer to pages they visited on your website
  • Craft a custom response to an online inquiry instead of relying on pre-written responses

These small details significantly impact you and set you apart from the rest.

4. Qualify the Lead

You want to focus on the leads most likely to become customers, not waste time on those that won't.

One way to do this is by using lead scoring. It assigns point values to specific consumer behaviors. Therefore, it helps you identify the hottest leads.

But even before that, you can start qualifying leads by asking the right questions. Find out the following information:

  • What are their requirements and goals?
  • What are their challenges? 
  • How can you help?

When your answers are ready, you can determine whether they're a good fit for your product or service. Plus, you can gauge if they're ready to move forward with your solutions.

Sample Lead Scoring Table

Lead Scoring Criteria Point Value
Website Visit 5
Email Open 10
Email Click 15
Downloaded Resource 20
Webinar Attendance 25
Requested Demo 30
Social Media Engagement 5
Job Title (Decision-Maker) 20
Company Size (Ideal Fit) 15
Budget Availability 10

Sample Score Thresholds

Lead Score Range Lead Qualification
0-25 Not Qualified (NQ)
26-50 Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
51-75 Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
76-90 Opportunity
91 and above Customer

By assigning points to each lead scoring criteria, you can gauge the level of engagement and interest displayed by a lead. Based on the accumulated score, you can then classify leads as MQLs, SQLs, opportunities, or customers. It will enable your team to prioritize and tailor their approach accordingly.

5. Keep Your Leads Engaged With Valuable Content

Always make every interaction with your prospects count by giving them something valuable. 

You can achieve this by:

  • Writing helpful blog posts
  • Creating infographics
  • Sharing statistics and success stories
  • Offering helpful guides

Remember that your leads won't become customers overnight. So, the key is to nurture their interest and slowly "warm" them up. 

Therefore, be persistent and consistent. For instance, rather than going headfirst for the big sale, focus on smaller milestones – like having them download a guide or visit a blog post.

6. Be Available on Different Channels

You never know which method of communication your leads prefer. As such, make sure you're ready for all of them. 

Don't reach out on every platform all at once. Instead, focus on one channel at a time. However, be proactive:

  • Respond quickly on social media
  • Return phone calls on time
  • Check your email inbox regularly

how to respond to leads

Here are a few ways you can connect:

  • Email: Emails are a great way to offer value and let leads read and respond conveniently. But with so many emails, you should follow up more than once. Plus, you should use attention-grabbing subject lines while offering helpful content.
  • Phone: Phone conversations are an excellent opportunity to show your expertise and genuine interest in helping your prospects. To make a good impression, ensure your voicemail message is on point. Remember, you may need to call more than once.
  • Text Message: It is a good option for leads you have already communicated with. Respond to your previous conversations with them. In addition, tailor your follow-up texts to their specific needs.

7. Build a Connection

Establishing a relationship based on trust and rapport can increase your chances of turning your leads into loyal patrons. 

It helps build rapport and creates a sense of loyalty. Hence, it can lead to repeat purchases and referrals.

Here are some ways to build a connection:

  • Personalize Your Approach - Customize your communication based on the lead's interests and behaviors.
  • Ask Questions - Engage in a two-way conversation by asking questions and listening to the lead's responses.
  • Be Human - Be yourself and let your personality shine through in your interactions.
  • Offer Value - Provide the lead with helpful information or resources to guide them.
  • Follow Up Regularly - Stay in touch with your lead to keep the connection strong and top of mind.

8. Listen to the Lead's Needs

how quickly should you respond to a lead

When it comes to selling, you don't want to sound like a robot. You cannot simply recite a script and attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole. 

Instead, take a more human approach and listen to the potential client's wants and needs. 

By comprehending their requirements, you can:

  • Tailor your approach
  • Provide better solutions
  • Make the lead feel heard and understood

Here are a few ways to get in tune with the lead's needs:

  • Ask Open-ended Questions - Find out what the lead is looking for and their goals. How? By posing queries and encouraging them to share more information.
  • Listen Actively - Pay close attention to what the lead is saying. Also, use non-verbal cues to show you're engaged.
  • Show Empathy - Put yourself in their shoes and understand their perspective. It will enable you to build rapport and earn their trust.
  • Look for Patterns - Study their behavior, preferences, and past interactions to understand their needs better.
  • Offer Customized Solutions - Use the information gathered to suggest solutions that align with the lead's needs and preferences.

9. Offer a Solution

How do you handle sales leads – so that they convert fast? Well, offer them proper solutions. 

Giving a solution per your lead's needs will help them move through the sales funnel and ultimately convert into buying customers.

Additionally, by providing a solution, you demonstrate the following to your prospects:

  • Your understanding of their pain points
  • Your expertise to help them solve their problems

Here's a simple example to illustrate the same: 

Let's say one of your leads expresses frustration with their current marketing strategy. So, you can offer a solution by proposing a comprehensive marketing plan. Ensure to include the following elements in your blueprint:

  • Social media advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Email campaigns

Now, a comprehensive solution like the one mentioned above showcases how you can quickly identify and address your lead's specific needs and provide value to their business.

10. Follow Up Consistently

A lead will not convert into a customer on the first touchpoint. That’s why it's crucial to keep your brand top of mind for them. Consistent follow-up ensures the same and demonstrates that you're invested in their requirements.

Here are some strategies you can use to follow up with your leads:

  • Schedule Automatic Follow-up: Use tools like Mailchimp for email automation or HubSpot for CRM software to schedule follow-up emails at specific intervals. 
  • Personalize Your Approach: Instead of using a generic message, tailor your follow-up to the lead's specific needs and interests. Show that you've taken the time to understand their situation and have a solution in mind.
  • Offer Value: Your follow-up should aim to provide value to the lead, not just sell your product or service. You can share relevant articles and blog posts. You can even offer a free consultation to help them solve their problem.

10. Keep Your CRM Up to Date

Keep your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) up to date

Keeping your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) up to date is crucial for the success of your business. 

A CRM is like a digital Rolodex that keeps track of all your interactions with your customers and prospects. Therefore, the information must be accurate and current. 

By doing so, you will achieve the following goals:

  • Have all the relevant information you need to make informed decisions
  • Keep track of your leads
  • Ultimately, close more deals

To keep your CRM up to date, you can follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Set aside time each day to input new information and update existing ones. 
  • Create reminders to follow up with leads and customers so you don’t miss out on opportunities. 
  • Automate some of the processes, such as lead capture, lead scoring, and email marketing. It will help save time and reduce the risk of errors. 
  • Ensure a clear and organized system for storing and categorizing information to find what you need when you need it quickly.

12. Continuously Evaluate and Improve Your Process

It's critical to conduct ongoing assessments and improvements to your process for responding to sales leads. Only then you can stay a step ahead of your competition and reach your sales goals. 

To ensure the above, focus on following these steps:

  • Gauge your current approach's effectiveness
  • Identify gaps and improvement areas
  • Implement changes that will drive better results 

You can additionally check out the below tips to continuously enhance your approach:

  • Gathering and analyzing customer feedback
  • Regularly reviewing your team's performance
  • Pinpointing areas for employee training
  • Staying up-to-date on industry best practices

Stay Top-of-Mind with Your Sales Leads

Maintaining a consistent presence in front of your potential customers is vital without being intrusive. Your objective should be to be there for them when they are ready to make a purchase rather than trying to force a sale. 

This approach demonstrates reliability and shows your leads that they are valued and respected. So, do you want to gain more insights on how to revert to your sales leads effectively? You can consult our experts at Revnew!

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