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How to Effectively Target Old B2B Sales Leads

By Evan Lamolinara | 05/12/2019 | 9:43 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

Time is of the essence when contacting material handling leads. According to a report Targetby Vendasta, the chance of working a sales cycle and getting to a sale reduces by 391% after just one minute of securing a lead. As a result, you'll generate more sales by contacting leads immediately -- or within 60 seconds, at least -- after securing their information. Even if it's been days, weeks or months, though, you can still target material handling leads. Old leads require a bit more work to convert, but with the right approach, you can turn them into customers for your material handling company.

Validate Information

Before attempting to contact an old material handling lead, you should validate their information. Even it was originally entered correctly, the information may no longer be valid. Maybe the contact left the company, or possibly a company merger or acquisition. One of the quickest and most effective ways is to use SalesLeads’ Sales & Marketing Intelligence database. Because of our focus in the material handling industry, you’ll be able to search and validate the old contact name, or uncover who had taken their place with the same or similar title along with phone number and email address.

If you discover any invalid leads, remove them from your database so that they don't impede your sales efforts.

Investigate Past Correspondences

If a material handling lead is old, it means either you or someone from your material handling company's sales team failed to convert him or her into a customer at some point in the buying cycle. Therefore, you should investigate your material handling company's past correspondences with the lead to determine what happened. While scouring over past correspondences, pay attention to the date on which your material handling company first made contact with the lead, as well as the most recent date of contact. By reviewing these correspondences, you can learn more about the lead's needs. The opportunity may be lost because the order or purchase has been made, or the prospect may have pushed the purchase out a few months or even until the next budget year. Two of these three scenarios are still opportunities to get yourself back into the sales cycle with the distribution center, manufacturing or warehouse prospect.

Prepare Counters for Sales Objections

After going over past correspondences with the old lead, you should know why he or she objected your material handling company's offer the first time around. To convert the old lead into a customer, you must prepare counters for his or her sales objection. Otherwise, the process will repeat, with the lead objecting your sales offer.

Common reasons for material handling sales objections include the following:

  • Price too high
  • The lead was only interested in researching your material handling company's product or service at the time
  • Selected a different material handling company from which to purchase
  • The lead doesn't have the authority to make purchases
  • Not willing to enter into a contract
  • The lead was busy performing other activities at the time

Research the Lead

Before contacting the lead (again), research him or her to learn as much information about them and their professional needs as possible. Social media alone can reveal a wealth of information about leads. Just head over to the main social media networks -- LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter -- to see if the lead has a profile. If so, check out their profile while taking note of information like their job position, date of employment, phone number and email address.

Getting Ready to Contact the Old or New Contacts

You’re now armed with information, you’re ready to devise a strategy of what to say when you make the call to the plant, warehouse or distribution center manager. According to Steve Martin, no… not the comedian, for the Harvard Business Review, he conducted a study on why sales people lose a sale. Here’s a quick recap that can help you devise your strategy.

  1. If you are concerned that your product or service is not the best known…and why you lost, think again. 63% said they would select a fairly well-known brand with 85% of the functionality at 80% of the cost. However, only 5% would select a relatively unknown brand with 75% of the functionality at 60% of the cost of the best-known brand.
  2. Study participants were asked to respond to different pricing scenarios, and their responses were analyzed to categorize their pricing tendency. The results confirmed that manufacturing is a price conscious industry.
  3. The study asked about personality of the sales person. If all 3 sales people sold a similar product, price and benefits, who would you buy from: a professional, friendly or charismatic salesperson? Manufacturing chose the professional salesperson. An individual who knows their product inside and out, and not necessarily the person you want to be your new BFF.

Offer a Discount or Promotion

You can often encourage old leads to purchase your material handling company's product or service by offering them a discount or special promotion. Since the lead has already engaged with your company, he or she may disregard any future sales messages that you send. Including the words "discount" or "promotion" in your sales messages, however, will entice the lead to reengage with your material handling company, increasing your chance of converting the lead into a customer.

Create a Calling Schedule

When you're ready to begin an old lead, you should create a calling schedule. It's unlikely that you'll reach the lead during your first calling attempt. According to one report, it now takes the average material handling sales rep eight calling attempts to reach leads. Some leads require even more attempts to reach. So, create a calling schedule that specifies when exactly you intend to call the prospect. Research shows that the best time of day to call material handling leads is between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. as well as 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.

Keep Emails Short

If you're going to target an old lead using email, remember to keep your messages short. There's nothing wrong with writing lengthy blog posts, white papers and other forms of media, but emails typically perform best when they are short. According to HubSpot, emails with just 50 to 125 words generate the highest response rates. If you keep your emails around this length, you'll have a better chance of getting the lead to open them.

Know When to Stop

There's nothing wrong with pursuing old leads, but you should know when to stop. If a lead is obviously not interested in purchasing your material handling company's product or service, continuing to contact him or her with your sales messages will only consume valuable time and resources that could be used on nurturing other leads into customers. So, if an old lead is adamant about not purchasing your product or service, cut your losses and move on to another sales lead.

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara is president of SalesLeads, Inc., a company that has been around for over 60 years, generating high quality sales leads dedicated to the sales & marketing professionals in the industrial marketplace. Mr. Lamolinara, an entrepreneur and competitor, purchased the legacy company in 2014. Since then, he's redeveloped its core software delivery platform and grew the company over 400%. Evan graduated from Mount Union College with B.A. Business Management and honed his competitive skills as a 3-year letterman on the College football team.



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