Four Ways to Convert Your Warm Leads to Sales-Ready Status
For large companies with effective inbound marketing strategies, finding leads is not that difficult. Plenty of prospects are willing to “raise their hand” and show a cursory interest.
However, turning those hand-raisers into sales-ready leads is a lot harder, especially with big-ticket items. Identifying which leads are qualified to influence purchasing decisions, ready to speak to a subject matter expert, and serious about buying soon is a long, laborious process. All the leads in the world won’t matter much without taking the time and effort to properly follow up, vet, and nurture them.
That’s where partnering with an outside lead gen and appointment-setting firm like VSA can help. While cold calling remains a very effective strategy for generating leads (especially with COVID-19 still limiting face-to-face meetings), we are also involved in a growing number of warm calling campaigns for our clients. In these cases, the goal is simple: Take your inbound leads and turn them into sales-ready leads.
The goal may be simple, but the process of moving a prospect from Point A to Point B or C is anything but. You’ve got to be proactive enough to engage the leads in a timely manner, perceptive enough to know which leads are legitimate, persistent enough to not give up after a couple of setbacks, and persuasive enough to ultimately land the appointment.
Here are four of the ways we’ve been able to accomplish this:
1. Identifying the actual decision makers
Just because somebody shows an interest in a product or service doesn’t mean they’re involved in the purchasing process. Part of our job is identifying the members of a company’s buying team, and then narrowing the pursuit even further to the actual decision makers.
When reaching out to one large corporation on a client’s behalf, we started with a list of more than 70 different contacts in various offices around the country, with various titles. By calling those 70-some names, our Business Development Representatives (BDRs) were eventually able to whittle the list down to five or six decision makers.
With each call we made, we learned more about the buying process at this company, gathering knowledge that benefitted our client moving forward.
2. Following up on leads in a timely fashion
Imagine this scenario: You put together a webinar you’re particularly proud of, promoted it heavily on social media, and attracted far more participants than anticipated. Suddenly, you’ve got a slew of new prospects … and no conceivable way to engage with all of them.
Sure, you could send out an email blast or share a follow-up post on LinkedIn, but that’s impersonal and doesn’t offer any immediate insight into the people who attended the webinar. You’d much rather call each of them before too much time passes, but your company doesn’t have the bandwidth to get it done.
We do. Within a short time after the event, VSA can call everybody who participated, gauging their level of interest, learning their decision-making qualifications, answering any questions they might have, and, ideally, setting appointments for the hottest ones with your sales team. We can engage in similar campaigns before the webinar, reminding registrants of the event and acquiring relevant data about them.
Many of our clients schedule their campaigns with VSA directly around these types of events, utilizing our services three or four times a year to correspond with times when the leads are freshest and there is a sense of urgency to contact them all.
3. Calling existing customers
Not all warm calling campaigns involve contacting prospects. Sometimes, we call our clients’ existing customers to share news of special offers, conduct market research, inform them of upcoming product releases, and follow up on conferences they attended, among other reasons. We have even done campaigns to our clients’ past customers, enabling them to rekindle some very profitable relationships. Having calls made to existing and past customer contacts is a valuable way for our clients to connect with their customers on a personal level and enable the generation of additional revenue.
Just as significantly, it helps our clients learn what marketing strategies might resonate with untapped leads. We’re able to discover what promotions and products most excite existing customers, then pass that information onto to our client to be used as part of future calling campaigns.
4. Holding genuine conversations
The quickest and most effective way to engage with a warm lead is over the phone. Over the course of a few minutes, you can learn more than any other type of non-calling campaign: Do they have a legitimate need for your offerings? What about your webinar most impressed them? Are they in a position to buy now, and if not now, when? Are they the person you should be talking with, or is somebody else more involved in the buying process?
The call can also make the prospect feel special—you took the time to call them. These calls are not about hard sells, but rather back-and-forth conversations.
Even if you don’t schedule an appointment, it’s important to keep the relationship alive and thriving, especially if the prospect’s interest seems serious. Just because they don’t commit to a meeting right away doesn’t mean they won’t in the future, and VSA is skilled at advancing these conversations to the next level.
Many of the companies VSA works with have a similar dilemma: They’ve got the leads, but they’ve got no way to personally reach out to them all. The fear of losing the leads to competitors, or wasting time chasing after the wrong leads, is real.
VSA doesn’t allow that to happen. Whether we’re calling prospects for the first time, following up on previous conversations, or touching base with existing customers, our BDRs know how to build and nurture relationships. We can identify which warm leads are potentially good fits for your company, then make sure they don’t get away.
No matter where you are in the lead generation process, VSA can be your true collaborative partner. We’ll work with you to develop a program that best fits your current needs. Just give us a call.