How Sales Managers Can Achieve Higher Close Rates on Inbound Leads

Is your sales team actively closing on the leads that come in from your website? Mark Roberge (VP of Sales at HubSpot) will discuss how to build a scalable, repeatable sales process today at the Sales Strategies in a Social & Mobile World Conference in Santa Monica — here are a few ways sales managers can start exercising some lead management best practices to achieve higher revenues and more closed deals.

Start tracking data and performance indicators. There are some basic statistics that you can probably track with your CRM system’s built-in reporting, such as which leads were actually worked on by a sales representative, which leads became viable sales opportunities, and which leads closed and became customers.

Collect your data in a spreadsheet. Look at what common traits exist among leads that closed and those that did not. Examine the size of the company (either in dollars or number of employees), the budget for this particular challenge, the challenge that brought the lead to you, and the responsiveness of the lead to outbound communications. This will inform how you should assign leads among your reps. For example, give small business leads to reps who have a track record of excelling with those leads.

Manage the leads by rep. Some sales reps would rather churn through a large volume of leads of questionable quality, but the idea of a good inbound marketing and lead- management strategy is to pass along higher-quality leads to each rep (which might mean lower volume). Show specific examples to each salesperson to support this culture change – remind them of their historical success with this type of lead, for example. If they’re just not excited, offer to run a competition between the reps who do want the leads and the ones who do not and see whose performance wins over the next sales period. Reps will find that those who no longer need to filter through junk leads will win more often.

Once you’ve determined what those crucial data points are for your business, make sure that you collect that data early and often. Communicate with marketing to make sure website forms ask for useful data, and build a system for funneling this info into your CRM system automatically so that as new leads come into the system they are assigned to the best rep. It will be easier to focus your further training and skill development as well, once you know which particular skills and problems best position your salespeople for success down the line.

This is a guest post by Brian Whalley, a marketing manager at HubSpot. HubSpot is an inbound marketing and lead management software company based in Cambridge, MA.

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