Closing Leads with Effective Process

Your leads convert to customers at some point along your story arc. At this point maximizing the chance of that conversion is important.

You need to measure how long a lead takes to get through the funnel, and how often leads fall out of the funnel. You can then refine the way you do business, a term some refer to as conversion rate optimization.

A certain percentage of people fall out during every stage of your funnel and don’t progress to the next stage. As a business owner, you want to be prepared for this inevitability and try to recapture as many of those people as possible. Sometimes it’s an automated action (such as an email is sent); sometimes it’s a manual process (such as a salesperson calls the potential lead to find out whether he’d be interested later).

Determining what is automated
versus manual

It’s important to pay attention to the percentage of leads who drop out of each stage.
Determining what is automated versus manual
Some communication should be personal. Automatically setting up a CRM activity for your salesperson to call a lead may be appropriate if you’re selling a high-value product or service. Some CRM activities are activated when the lead or client completes a task. For example, signing a contract, providing you with an asset you need to build something, or coordinating something with another vendor. You then want to create CRM activities that build on each other, so that when one activity is completed, it triggers a workflow, which can then set more activities.
Testing different methods of closing
You can set campaign IDs or tag contacts with workflows, which makes for an easy way to test different methods of closing deals. If you can separate different populations of your clients by these campaigns, tags, or groups, you can compare
close rates.

The ability to measure your success

Looking at different sales techniques and strategies is important in identifying the skill and dedication of your sales staff, as well as the effectiveness of different strategies. Different campaigns may drive different quality traffic, or different demographics that close better with different tactics.
The ability to measure your success and identify why you’re successful (or not) is the beauty of Complete CRM. Learn from your mistakes, adapt your marketing strategies and sales processes, and improve.
Measuring real success of closing
Success with different workflows may seem obvious. Higher close rate percentages usually mean your sales processes are improving. There is more to it, though. When comparing different sales processes, be sure to account for factors that could cause you to come to the wrong conclusion. These factors could be seasonal, dependent on the salesperson, or the quality of incoming leads. It’s wise to react slowly.
You may also want to consider the amount of time it takes to close a lead. If different sales processes are dragging out the sales process, it may be affecting the efficiency of your sales staff.
My company decided to modify our sales process to require people who wanted to test drive software to get a live demo first. We then compared what our funnels looked like with each method and found the demo weeded out the non-serious leads and reduced the number of workflows activated.

Using Opportunities versus Consumer Sales Funnels

When a sale is closed, you want to record that sale within your CRM. Generally speaking, sales are tracked in one of two methods: as an opportunity (used for tracking fewer, higher-value items) or as an automated funnel (used for tracking large numbers of conversions). Selling to the business (B2B) with opportunities are a way to track complex sales, usually business-to-business
Consumer sales funnels can track similar progressions without the details typically found with opportunities because opportunities are separate objects attached to contacts or companies, you can store more information about the sale. Usually, this information takes the form of these data fields:
Title and description
General descriptor fields for easy recall.
Products and/or services
What you’re selling in this opportunity
Proposal due date
The date when the potential customer requires a
proposal due for the effort you will perform
Close date
The date when you will find out if you won or lost the deal.
Many opportunities go through various phases from initial conversation to requirements review to proposal submission and review to final disposition (winning or losing the deal).
How you found out about the opportunity.
A subjective assessment for the quality of the opportunity. Usually
this assessment is correlated to the size of the opportunity, relationship with
the potential client, and ability to meet the requirement.
Chance to close
The percentage chance you will win the deal. Use this
number in forecasting.
Fulfillment dates
The dates you will be working on the opportunity. You can build automation around opportunities, so when leads move from phase to phase, a workflow can be activated, which helps you streamline your sales