5 lead handling steps to conversion success: turn more third-party leads into new customer sales A proactive approach to lead handling and lead nurturing can have a drastic impact on lead-to-sale conversions, removing frustration and maximising your commercial performance. Last month, we won Best Lead Generation Campaign alongside clients Mindshare, GTB and Ford at the Performance Marketing Awards. Drawing upon the success of that campaign and our 17-year heritage in the industry, we’ve compiled five steps that can help you and your sales to get the most out of the leads you buy – whether it’s from TLA or another third-party company. 1. Provide context Not all leads are generated equally. If you’re working with a reputable lead generation partner that goes to great lengths to ensure quality, communicating how these leads are different to the sales staff that receive them can have a huge impact. By providing the context behind the lead – where it originated from, how it has been qualified, what information the consumer provided, what opt-in procedures were used and more – sales staff understand the quality of the opportunity they have. That ultimately means they can dedicate the appropriate time and energy towards engaging the consumer and converting the sale. There are a number of ways this communication can be done, from presentations to brochures to videos. It will be down to you and your lead generation partner to discuss and agree on what works for you and the sales teams you need to engage. 2. Be quick Leads cool quickly. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that qualification rates drop by as much as 400% when consumers are contacted after 10 minutes of submitting an enquiry compared to 5 minutes. Now imagine if they haven’t been contacted for more than 24 hours. The impact of response time on conversions cannot be underestimated. Our in-house team contacts consumers who have made an enquiry as soon as they’re received. If they are qualified as a lead and distributed to your CRM, we recommend that they are contacted at the earliest possible moment to ensure the lead stays hot. 3. Be persistent The same Harvard study also concluded that by attempting to contact a consumer six times, contact rates increase by 70%. A qualified lead puts your sales teams in the driving seat to engage and convert a new customer. By allowing a lead to spoil, your sales teams could effectively be handing over the impetus to a competitor. A qualified lead for us is someone who has arrived by way of an inbound enquiry and has double opted in to be contacted by our client’s team. In short, they’re expecting the call. So, if for some reason they can’t answer straight away, be persistent and keep trying! 4. Remain adaptable Most third-party leads are consumers who enquire as part of their research and comparison journey – a journey they remain in right up until the purchase takes place. While they may have expressed a clear interest in one particular product or service, it’s important to acknowledge that they could still making up their mind and remain open to different options. It therefore makes sense for your sales team to do the same. They could arrive one of your products but now want to discuss other options you provide. Or perhaps they’ve had their head turned by one of your competitors. By staying open to different possibilities, your sales teams give themselves the greatest scope for providing what they want and need. Lead nurturing doesn’t end until the sale is complete. 5. Repeat and clarify Don’t assume that because the script used as part of the qualification process has covered the key features or benefits of your product or service that the consumer doesn’t want more before committing to a purchase. We go to great lengths to make sure the information shared with a consumer is understood, but it never hurts for sales teams to repeat and reinforce the message when first contact is made. Likewise, there is only so much information a consumer wants to hear or is able to take in on a qualification call or via a digital qualification.Having opted in to be contacted by your sales team, that consumer is now primed for more granular detail about what you can offer that others can’t. In our experience, following these five steps can help you and your sales teams to get more out of the leads you buy and maximise your potential for conversion. If you’d like more information on any of the above, drop us a line and we’ll arrange a follow-up call.