When Does A Lead Stop Being A Lead?
When I ask, “When does a lead stop being a lead?” to business owners, sales managers, consultants, why do I always get a different answer? After a long discovery process, I recognised that it’s actually the “perception" of what a lead is, that confuses most people. This is a problem because in reality, there is an opportunity cost each time we miss out.
The truth is, we all perceive a lead differently within our own business and industry. Businesses can often fall into a misconception and gradually begin managing and engaging with their leads ineffectively. They soon realise that they are receiving poor results, generating low return on investment, with slow and few new customer acquisitions.
Take for example, a lead can be a person that I have just exchanged my business card with at a networking event. This person can be:
A) Motivated but not interested in my product
B) Not motivated but interested in my product
C) Motivated and interested in my product
D) Not motivated and not interested in my product
Finding the problem
It is our responsibility to then follow up with our leads. It is up to us, to find out their purchasing timeframe, if they have one. I appreciate that building a rapport takes a long time and more than often our leads will require nurturing - taking the time to understand their circumstances, then their interests or problems before offering a solution.
Consider the following:
1. Are your leads motivated?
2. How can you motivate your leads?
3. Can this process be systemised?
With this in mind, when do leads stop being leads? Some typical responses are “when the lead is no longer interested” or “when we have just completed a sale with the lead”. This may be correct for some, however - just because a lead is not motivated right now, does this mean that they won’t be interested in us again in the future? Or does the lead stop doing business with us in the future after we just sold them one of our products?
A lead never stops being a lead
Personally, for me – a lead never stops being a lead. It’s very important to contrast and understand that there are in fact two types of leads, a motivated lead and a non-motivated lead. An example of a non-motivated lead can be, “when the lead is no longer interested” or “when we have just completed a sale with this lead”. Understanding that if we can engage with someone correctly, nurture and add value to them along the process, follow up in a correct and timely matter, more than often, we can convert non-motivated leads into highly motivated leads. Motivated leads are people who are ready to buy or certain to buy at some time in the future.
The question is, “if it takes so much effort just to convert one non-motivated lead into a motivated lead how can we possibly achieve this for all my leads when I am so busy!?” The simple answer here is leveraging of technology.
Technology is the solution
Dynamics CRM is a very simple and effective system which can help your business to manage its leads effectively. The system offers a high degree of flexibility which means that it can facilitate your business, regardless of how your leads are perceived within your industry. Dynamics CRM provides capability to easily understand information, to make better informed decisions and therefore, allows us to take the best actions. Charts and Dashboards will quickly identify how much potential revenue we forecast within the sales pipeline and the stage where each lead is at within the purchasing funnel.
In terms of marketing automation from within your CRM system, I would advise using a well-established Microsoft partner software. This is why, my personal choice is ClickDimensions because of its capabilities, ease of use and its ability to nest natively within your existing CRM system. The clear benefit of using an integrated application is that it prevents businesses from managing marketing activities outside their CRM customer database.
Now think about it, imagine having a full 360 degree insight of all your engagements and a single view of a customer? Can this help you to better manage your leads?
One key feature of ClickDimensions, is the new Campaign Automation. We can now easily create interactive automations which will be driven by the behaviour and the responses of our leads. Implementing a targeted approach can significantly help businesses increase sales, build company profiles within the industry and generate more interest in offerings.
We use technology to work hard for us - to simplify and automate how we can do better business with our customers by:
1. Effectively engaging and interacting with clients
2. Measuring and gauging success at each touch point with customers
3. Allowing users to become more selective, taking the right actions at the right time
This is why, a lead never stops being a lead because we can now leverage technology to help our businesses to proactively nurture our motivated and non-motivated leads and to turn numbers into sales. If technology can intelligently help us to build successful relationships, how many more leads can you convert into new or repeatable business?