What do your website visitors want to accomplish? Are they equally important to you? Keep in mind that 96% of first-time visitors are not yet ready to commit to a purchase, and 63% of people requesting information about your business or company will not purchase for at least three months.
We know how it goes. A prospect expresses interest in your business by filling out a form on your website or opting in through some other medium. After a while, they drop off in engagement, falling into line with your inactive leads.
A savvy sales manager will strategize for the long term. If you want to guide your leads towards conversion effectively, make sure they are nurtured along the entirety of their journey and re-engaged along the way. Old leads shouldn’t be left on the table, as they also fall into this category.
Train your teams to effectively re-target and re-engage old leads. If you don’t do it, your competitors will.
Where the old leads are & why they get lost
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.
It may take up to a year for a user to pass through the awareness stage to consideration and eventually make a purchase. Some will fall off and go dark either because they’ve been too busy to respond or weren’t ready to continue their buyer’s journey the last time you connected. The good news is if your lead goes cold, you can nurture them back.
First, the response time on the first pass plays a vital role here. A report by HBR says that within 2,200 American companies, salespeople were seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a decision-maker if they contacted the lead within the first hour. Meanwhile, over 30% of customers expect a response to their query within an hour.
In the modern world of sales, you should focus on improving response time to a customer.
Second, it is often the mere lack of persistence that results in lead inactivity. According to MarketingDonut, 44 percent of salespeople give up after one rejection. If you gave up after your first one or a few calls, it’s time to find the right way to reignite the conversation with your leads.
Several other reasons why your leads can go dark:
- Irrelevant content
- Bad targeting
- Ineffective prioritization
- The lead was accidentally misplaced and forgotten
What can you do today to reconnect and stay in touch with your leads? Avoid losing them in the first place. The following sales strategies can help your team effectively re-engage old leads, regardless of the stage of the sales funnel.
1. Use social media to re-enable your old leads
The power of social media. People rarely answer their phones nowadays and delete 48% of the emails they receive every day. We prefer personal contact on social media.
A direct one-on-one chat is sometimes the best option to get your old leads to reconsider your offering. That’s why effective social selling helps sales reps meet their sales quota 50% more often.
Study the demographics of your old leads. Older generations prefer Facebook, while small businesses and SMEs favor LinkedIn. Millennials will usually reply via direct messages on Twitter.
2. Test your timing & experiment with channels
In many cases, outreach efforts meet with no success because your leads are not on the platform you used, don’t use it anymore, or simply the timing was wrong. You want to give your sales team the best chance to get a response by using the right tools.
Test these things with some trial and error, changing around the times that you post to specific platforms.
3. Keep it short & help your old leads solve their issues
Make your point clear. Use short, witty emails with smart subject lines to establish a sense of urgency your sales staff has about helping old leads solve their problems. Re-engagement takes effort, and you don’t want to talk in circles or turn them off of what you are offering by taking too long to make your point.
It’s a good idea to do your prep work before you start sending emails. Go through your old conversations for insight so you can inject a personal touch and clearly understand what pain points you need to address. If you took notes in your CRM, take advantage of them!
4. Organize your lead data in a CRM & automate your re-engagement process
Hold all your leads in a Customer relationship management (CRM) system. Keeping your lead data clean and organized is crucial in following the leads that weren’t ready to move forward at your last point of contact. CRM also helps salespeople optimize their daily schedules and prioritize tasks to ensure no lead is ignored or forgotten.
A sales enablement tool integrated to your CRM will give you an upper hand by automating email sequences and helping your reps outreach x10 more leads. It will start, pause or stop sequences to your cold leads automatically, detect replies, analyze what content resonated better, and allow your team to re-engage more leads faster and more effectively.
5. Revisit your old conversations and past interactions with old leads
Focus your current conversations with old leads on anything valuable from your past interactions. Your sales team has spoken with the leads before, and they should be able to review your old notes. Try to find something that will make re-engagement more personable for every old lead. Make them feel important, and welcome them back.
Use sales enablement tools to easily design email threads that address your previous interactions with an old lead. This can help you re-establish the connection, build trust, reignite awareness about your products or services, and keep them interested until it is time to make a purchase.
6. Re-engage your old lead by offering them free valuable content
Your old leads might engage more if they get something new and valuable for them. On the other hand, old and boring content will annoy them and make them hit the unsubscribe button.
A free ebook, webinar, case study, or something that displays your offering’s value is essential in reigniting interest in your products of services:
- You provide them with proof of the value you can provide
- You can measure their interaction to frame the next interaction
- You build trust and brand awareness
- You continue to keep them interested and engaged
7. Start anew with a meaningful & insightful conversation
Once your old leads engage, it’s time for an exploratory talk. This type of engagement is vital for your future conversion. Don’t make your leads wait. Ask them questions about what has changed since the last time you spoke, what problems they are facing, what tools or products they are using right now and whether they are happy with them.
Focus on asking where you went right or wrong. Consider including a priority list of reasons as to why they may have abandoned your funnel. If you keep the options simple and few, and finish with a call to action, you will improve the chances to keep the conversation going.
Your team has worked hard to approach and re-engage the lead. Gain insight into the problems, pain points, objectives, or demographics of the old leads so that future outreach can be personalized. After all, nothing is so full of victory as patience. Even if you cannot welcome your old lead back, they may refer you to others interested in your product or service.