One of the challenges of inside sales is dealing with an inbox box flooded with inbound leads. Usually, these leads come about because the Marketing Department sent out a promotional email at a targeted group of prospects.
The email sent out usually has teaser information and a link where someone can click to download a special report or some other information. But there’s a catch – before you can read the information, you must first attend a one-on-one or group webinar or agree to speak with a salesperson over the phone.
Sneaky? Maybe. Effective. That depends.
You see, there’s nothing wrong with receiving inbound leads. Far from it. The problem is distinguishing between good and bad ones.
How do you correctly set priorities before contacting inbound leads?
First, are the inbound leads decision-makers, influencers, or curiosity seekers?
Let’s face it – most decision-makers are not going to download reports because they’re too busy making decisions. That leaves just the influencers and curiosity seekers. So, your first task is to determine which one is which. You can do this quickly by doing research on LinkedIn or a company’s website.
Second, you need to determine what size company (e.g., revenue, employee number) is the best one to contact first.
Third, but be careful – the company size isn’t always the best determining factor. You also need to ensure if the lead works at a company or organization that would need what you are selling. Are they a good fit?
Fourth, some inbound leads will provide bogus email addresses or phone numbers. Others will leave a generic email address like Gmail in hopes that you can’t find out where he works. Clever, but rarely effective, because you can always check on LinkedIn. And, in some cases, the inbound lead may already be on your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) under the correct company name and email address. You need to look.
If that’s the case, should you waste your time in contacting them? Again, it depends. If you can tell through your research that the lead comes from a hot prospect company that you have been trying to reach for a while, do yourself a favor and use a lead generation tool to uncover the best phone number and email address. Sure, the lead may be surprised that you contacted him. But…he also may be impressed that you were persistent enough to find him.
What you want to avoid is chasing rabbits. But that, I mean you don’t want to waste so much time tracking down every single inbound lead, that you lose sight of targeting high priority ones first.
I know it’s overwhelming to receive a lot of inbound leads simultaneously. But you need to take your time, do your research and take a steady aim.
Better to bag one big rabbit, than no rabbits at all.