As a lead generation company, we often get questions about how we manage our sales cycle. If you’re looking for tips and tricks for improving your own strategy, here’s a peek at what sales cycle management looks like here at LeadSift.

For some background information, we heavily depend on our own system to generate outbound leads. Approximately 90 percent of our revenue and leads come from outbound methods, while inbound tactics generate about ten percent.

Every day, our system gives us a list of target accounts and contacts to pursue based on buying signals that it picked up in the previous 24 hours. We start out by crafting personalized emails for each lead, and we always include a call-to-action.

Our CTA is very specific. We ask to set up a meeting with a prospect so that we can show them some sample target accounts we have picked up based on how their prospects are talking to their customers.

Once we book a meeting, we update that contact in our CRM, tagging them as “Appointment Scheduled”. From there, we’ll have a 20 minute demo, during which we qualify them and ask them questions to further gauge their fit with LeadSift. Then, we’ll provide a brief overview of LeadSift and what we do, and dive into the demo and sample leads.

After displaying the leads, we will ask them directly: Is this the type of data that is relevant to you? Are you interested in accessing more of these types of leads?

We’ll get one of three responses to that question:

1: Yes, we are interested. I am the decision-maker (or I will talk to my superior who is the decision-maker), and I will get approval.

In this case, we put the lead into “Qualified to Buy,” rating it as hot, within our CRM.

2: Yes, we are interested. However, this is not the right time, so let’s keep talking and we might make a purchase down the road.

In this case, we put the lead into “Qualified to Buy” within our CRM, but not rated as hot.

3: No, we are not interested. We don’t have the budget, we are not the right kind of customer, industry or we don’t have the need right now.

In this case, the lead is categorized as “Not Fit.”

This exact same process is applied to our inbound leads, with the added caveat that we mandate a 10 minute maximum window from when a lead comes in to our first outreach. This speed ensures that no inbound lead goes stale before we get a chance to set up a demo.

For leads that are qualified to buy, we follow up with them over the next week or two, typically booking a meeting in the calendar. If they are ready to buy, we’ll prepare a contract. If not, we will set up a second demo with a different decision-maker.

Of course, sometimes leads – even hot, qualified to buy leads – don’t move any further for a variety of reasons. In this situation, we will categorize them as “Qualified to Buy Later,” and we will follow up with them intermittently, until we hear a definite “no”. We believe we actually do them a disservice if we stop contacting them prior to this, since they had at one point expressed interest.

With every follow-up, we make sure to provide real value to our prospects. This could be additional sample data, a white paper, blog post, testimonials, best practices, relevant case study or any number of other types of content.

Hopefully this insight into how we perform our sales cycle management here at LeadSift will help you refine your own process, and give you some new ideas to better generate and move leads down your funnel.