Calling your leads the optimal number of times is critical to your sales success. 70-90% of deals are won on the seventh call, yet 80% of salespeople give up on the third call. The metric for tracking this is lead penetration. A strong lead penetration rate will yield a higher contact rate, which in turn will lead to more sales.
Lead penetration is the number of calls made per lead in a given period of time relative to your target.
Lead penetration rate = (Number of calls / target call number) x 100
Sales managers should monitor the daily penetration rate for each lead.
Hitting the call target ensures that you obtain full value from acquired or purchased leads. It’s worth repeating; 70-90% of deals are won on the seventh call, yet 80% of salespeople give up on the third call. It is wise to add this metric to the reports you look at daily.
Setting and Hitting Penetration Targets
Ideally, an agent should call 100% of all new leads at least once immediately. The criteria for a call target depends on three fundamental factors:
Time between calls
Number of new leads
Number of salespeople dialing
Knowing your lead volume, timing and calling capacity will allow you to set realistic targets.
How to Accomplish High Contact and Penetration Rates
Lead prioritization and lead sharing are critical. Using round-robin rules as the sole lead delivery method makes follow-up consistency impossible. There is no consistency with sales outreach (which impacts ROI) if internet leads are not worked the same way across your entire sales team.
With simplistic rules like round-robin, providers put a lot of faith in their salespeople to know precisely when they should call and how many times they should call each lead. And, inevitably, some salespeople will cherry-pick leads. Sophisticated prioritization solutions can help eliminate cherry-picking. This way, no internet lead is neglected; alternatively, managers can discern which sources get priority instead of leaving it to salespeople.
Shared Lead Pools
Internet leads are best shared, not owned by a single salesperson. By sharing leads, there is more focus on contacting the lead rather than appeasing salespeople. Providers can eliminate common pitfalls if internet leads reside in a dialing queue, where prioritization rules cater to available and hungry salespeople.
No CRM is smart enough to figure out which of your salespeople are on the phone, out to lunch, or currently speaking with another customer. If your marketing department assigns internet leads based on the simplistic rules outlined earlier, many of your leads probably won’t be contacted quickly or frequently enough. To make a material impact in ROI leads need to be contacted 8-10 times. To reach this contact target, the best solution is to allow competition for leads to drive your team’s success.
If salespeople cannot convert prospects, they should be recycled back into a queue where another salesperson can take a shot at them. Thus, if you have an underperforming salesperson, you’ll mitigate their negative impact on your team’s success. These rules are widely available in sophisticated lead management solutions, many of which will integrate with your existing CRM or back-office scheduling software.
Follow Up and Nurture
Finally, internet leads should be exhausted using a queue-based system for follow-up and outreach. Prospects that do not convert in 30 days should receive relevant content, like blog articles or newsletters delivered through email and text nurture campaigns.
The bottom line is this: high lead penetration is necessary for maximum ROI on leads. Setting targets and tracking them to maximize penetration should be part of every sales outreach program. Workable SaaS solutions exist for the sole purpose of deriving more value from internet leads and most play nicely with CRM systems and other back-office solutions.