Do you ever feel that if you could just get more leads, your sales problems would be solved? We have a solution – recycle!
It may seem counterintuitive; aren't more leads always better? Not exactly. Having fewer, stronger leads can often be more fruitful than putting time into leads that end up being dead ends.
Using the three principles of recycling, we're going to break down how you can apply a quality over quantity method to lead generation.
This first step might sound ridiculous, but is actually most important. How could reducing your numbers yield more leads?
The key to this first step is to think about where you put your time. Is your time being spent wisely in going after so many leads? Would you rather have a small number of highly qualified leads or a large number of unqualified leads?
Take some time to clearly identify your lead qualification criteria, and then (if possible) develop a lead scoring process.
Start by targeting and building your ideal customer profile (e.g. annual revenue, size, location, industry). Then, move on to scoring your lead targets based on a criteria you've developed. Feel free to score your leads on as many criteria as you like, but we recommend starting with 5-7 and going from there. Next, take a look at your ideal customer profile and start setting up scores for each criterion.
Here's an example: maybe your perfect customer is a financial services firm with 10-20 employees located in your same state. If the firm uses Salesforce.com, has three or more open positions, and the VP of Sales recently downloaded a white paper from your website, that lead is probably sales ready.
So by rather than chasing every possible option, work to quickly disqualify leads that are not worth the time. And if this task feels too daunting or confusing to start, then start by creating a qualifying criteria. This will ultimately give you more bandwidth and energy to spend on the best leads.
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Have you ever identified your top lead sources? What about your top referral sources? Not just where you got the most leads, but where you got the best leads, the ones that turned into great clients.
One simple but powerful exercise is to map lead sources two levels back. For example, if you met Donna as a referral from Patrick, where did you first meet Patrick? If you met Jon at a specific networking event, where did you first hear of that event?
This exercise will give you multiple lead sources to reuse, and you may identify some lead sources that were more valuable than you’d previously realized.
Also, if you know that LinkedIn has generated a lot of unique connections for you, but you don't have the time to filter through each connection, consider watching this video on LinkedIn Lead Generation from CFS. It will show you how to download your contacts into a spreadsheet.
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And lastly, recycle! This is not the same as the “reuse” step. It's where you finally take action!
We often give up on leads too early, and some leads get disqualified because they were not sales ready. Others might have chosen a competitor and now regret that decision. Do you ever go back and contact these leads again?
Last year, businesses were dealing the volatility of the pandemic. Many were unable to commit to new partnerships. Many had to make difficult decisions, or pivot their business entirely. (It's likely your business had to do the same!) Over a year later, changes have been made, new relationships have formed, and values have shifted.
So perhaps now, after you've clarified what exactly it is you're looking for, it's the perfect time to dip back into your network and reconnect with folks to find out where they are and how they are doing.
Look through your history of archived and disqualified leads, as well as lost opportunities. Set a goal to contact at least 5 of these leads every week – that’s just one a day. You never know when they might be ready to work with you!
If you’re ever trying to get more leads, just remember the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
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