Companies spend heavily on lead generation in terms of money and time. 74% of them spend more than $50 per lead generated, with 5% spending more than $1000. It takes 7 to 13+ touches before customers convert into sales-ready leads, 84 days to convert a lead into opportunity, and 18 days to convert opportunities into deals. So, what could be more maddening when a lead slips out of your hands?
Given the resources you have invested in lead management and relationship building, you should never give up on the lost leads. Optimism is a key attribute of selling, so put it to the maximum use to pick up from the customer left off.
Here are 6 effective techniques you can win back the lost leads and pull them back into the sales funnel.
1. Analyze and Resolve the Reasons of Losing Leads
Root-cause analysis is the first step to determine why the leads left you. Try to seek answers to the following questions and act upon accordingly:
- Why type of lead did you lose – hot, warm or cold?
If it is hot or warm lead, there are still chances of striking when the iron is hot. A follow-up call to the customers may reveal what made them lose the interest, and you can take prompt pro-active/corrective action to address the issue. As far as cold leads are concerned, you shouldn’t stop pursuing them until you the deal is cancelled entirety with no scope of further discussion.
- Did the customer postpone the decision to a further date, but you failed to follow-up?
There is nothing inappropriate about giving a quick apology to the customer. Leave your ego or hesitation aside, make that follow-up call now.
- Did the customer get a better price-value deal from your competitor? Or, is there a product-solution misfit with respect to the customer’s business requirements?
In the former case, you can drive a hard bargain with the customer, offer a better deal than the competitor, and increase the chances of conversion. However, if the lead has gone astray because your solution does not have required features or the customer can’t afford it, then this is definitely a genuine reason. If there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, at least take this reason as the feedback so as to improve upon your product features or make it more affordable.
- Is your response time slow?
Lead response time can make or break sales. A research study indicates that the odds of the lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after the lead was submitted. Another study reveals that the average first response time of B2B companies to their leads is 42 hours. Today, customers expect a quick turnaround time, and every minute delayed is the lost opportunity to convert the lead. A simple and short response such as “Thank you for contacting us, we will revert to you within 24-48 hours” can give a solid impression about your responsiveness to the customers.
- Did customer fail to understand your product?
This could happen when either the customer did not get sufficient information on the product from your website, brochures, emails, etc.; or there was something amiss in the product demo during the sales pitch. To prevent this happening again, ensure that all your product information sources are comprehensive and up-to-date, and train the sales teams to do a recap of the discussion during meetings to ensure that customers have understood the product well.
Having CRM software will make the root-cause analysis easy by giving all data and information at your fingertips.
2. Use Retargeting
It’s quite possible the customers have visited your website to browse through your products or services, only to forget about it later. A retargeting campaign can help you to bring these leads back. Retargeting works by tracking website visitors and displaying your retargeting ads on other websites or their social media accounts. It acts like a soft sell, a gentle reminder for customers to move to the next step of your sales funnel. According to a research, 70% of website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are more likely to convert on your website. This clearly shows how powerful tool retargeting is.
3. Give Your Leads a Limited-time Offer
Limited-time offer is a psychological trigger that creates a sense of urgency among your leads. A simple discount coupon with a validity period, or a message such as ‘offer only till the stock lasts’ or ‘only 24 hours left to get a free trial’ give the leads to make a quick decision, mostly in your favour, because they don’t want to miss this deal. The principle of scarcity will narrow down their choices and get them act fast to avoid the loss. You can use comprehensive and feature-rich eCommerce software to automate these offers easily to save time and efforts.
4. Use Multi-channel and Multi-device Marketing
Today, customers are present on multiple touchpoints – emails, social media, website, mobile handsets, desktops and many more. It would be a poor marketing strategy to focus only one or two channels and devices. In order to makes sure that your message reaches every stagnant lead at every stage of the buying cycle, you have to device a multi-channel and multi-device strategy. Leverage your CRM software and eCommerce software efficiently to generate highly targeted leads through email marketing campaigns, PPC advertising, social retargeting, Facebook remarketing, SMS advertising, tradeshows, etc.
5. Change Contact Timing and Mode
Don’t you get bugged when a credit card or insurance company calls you on weekends or at odd hours in the evening to sell their product? Do you open every email that pops up in your mailbox on Monday mornings, Friday evenings or on holidays? It is the same case with your customers. You may be contacting them on the wrong time! Try connecting with lost leads at different times; you never know when they might respond.
It may be also possible that one lead is active on emails, while the other one prefers LinkedIn networking. Try to switch between various modes of contacts such as emails, phone calls, text messages, voice mails or social media platforms, albeit without irritating them. Between change of contact timings and mode, a few leads are bound to bounce back into the sales funnel.
6. Set up a Drip Marketing Campaign
A drip campaign is a well-focused lead nurturing program aimed at both new lead generation as well as making old leads re-enter the pipeline. It a process usually executed through email marketing, through which pre-written, auto-generated messages are dripped (sent) repeatedly to leads over a period of the predetermined time interval. There are various types of eCommerce software, which when integrated with CRM software, can trigger dripping messages automatically. Drip campaigns create high visibility and familiarity with your brand with repeated exposure, thereby nurturing their trust.
Not all lost leads can be won back, but a majority can be re-engaged. All you have to is to make conscious efforts to bring them back.