It’s commonly known that a lead has highest chances of converting if there is a follow up in the first five minutes after the lead came in. In fact, the odds of contacting a lead if called in five minutes versus 30 minutes drops 100 times. Despite this, only 7% of companies responded in the first five minutes after a lead form submission. And more than half didn’t respond within five business days.
This is just one example of how the sales process can break due to a misstep by the necessary human element of the sales process. Another all too frequent example is salespeople simply forgetting about leads. I invite you to open the leads section of your CRM and count how many leads are sitting in the “Working” stage but haven’t been touched in weeks.
That’s right, there’s a whole pool of dormant leads in limbo because your salespeople tried to work them a bit but then gave up and moved onto the next lead.
You can’t blame it on the marketing team—their job of generating the lead is done. It’s possible there could be a capacity issue here, with your salespeople getting more leads than they can reasonably follow up on. But it’s more likely there are too many manual steps in your lead status management process. Too often, your salespeople are drowning in data entry tasks, having to update lead status for hundreds of leads.
So how can you get the status updates you need to have reliable CRM data while freeing up your salespeople to sell? The solution is automation.
At People.ai, we’ve seen many companies implement the following strategy with a great deal of success—and we use it internally ourselves:
- First, you need to make sure all of the sales activity gets reliably logged to every lead in CRM. Don’t rely on a manual process here. Of course, we use People.ai for this purpose
- Make sure your activity data, logged in your CRM on these leads, has appropriate metadata such as whether it is a cold email or not, whether it is inbound or outbound, etc.
- Let’s assume you have four lead statuses:
- Contacted (we tried reaching to them)
- Working (they responded to us)
- Converted (converted into account or opportunity)
Once you have all sales activity logged in your CRM automatically in real time, you can automate the following lead status updates:
- When only outbound activity by your reps is present on the lead, switch status to Contacted
- When both inbound and outbound activity is present, switch status to Working
- If no inbound activity has been detected over the past XX days (we use 45), move the lead to Recycled.
By adopting these three simple lead status rules, your lead status data will always be squeaky clean and your reps will no longer be drowning in leads. To find out how People.ai can make this dream a sales operation reality, sign up for a demo.