Leads, leads, and more leads.
If your business is flooded with new leads, that’s a great problem to have. But it’s also a real challenge for your Business Development team. If marketing is doing their job well and generating a constant flow of new leads, BDRs may be overwhelmed and have trouble calling every lead.
That’s why it’s so important to know which leads must be called right away, and which can wait until tomorrow. It’s up to you as a BDR manager to train your team to sort and prioritize leads effectively, leading to the highest possible conversion rate for calls to meetings booked.
There are many different ways to sort your leads – whether you’re targeting the newest leads first or only call the leads that closely fit your ideal buyer profile. Here’s how to create a lead prioritization workflow that works for your BDR team.
Call Net New Leads
For BDR teams that have opted to split into inbound and outbound, getting to the newest inbound leads quickly should be your first priority. Inbound leads have effectively raised their hands and shown they are interested in learning more about your product. This means that these leads are objectively more engaged and more open to a call from your reps. In fact, industry research shows that if you call an inbound lead within 15 minutes of engagement with your content, the conversion rate is significantly higher. This is because leads are probably still at their desk, the piece of content is fresh on their mind and they remember clearly why they were interested in learning more about your company in the first place.
As a bonus, calling someone within such a short window of time makes every BDR seem especially conscientious and diligent about not just their job tasks, but also potential customers. If you call within 15 minutes, the prospect will be amazed that your sales team can work so quickly and efficiently. However, dialing quickly doesn’t mean reps should ignore pre-call research.
A sales tool like InsideSales can help speed up the research process by pulling in all the background information reps need, along with the lead contact information. This allows reps to make calls fast, while still having all of the relevant information on-hand to engage prospects effectively. With the right strategy in place, BDRs will be able to call inbound leads quickly after they engage with your content, and – hopefully – book that meeting.
Call Specific Buyer Profiles
Another option is to prioritize leads according to your company’s ideal buyer profile. To do this, you must thoroughly analyze your existing customer base and find your company’s sweet spot for buyers. Maybe your company sells most effectively to VPs of Operations at 500-person companies in a specific industry, or maybe your target is a Marketing Manager at an SMB. Whatever the profile, you can instruct your team to focus on leads that have a specific title, or who are at a company of a certain size or in your industry, according to what works best historically. Over time, the best BDRs are able to easily identify these types of patterns, and this makes them great at their job. But your newest reps will need help in understanding the demographics of your ideal buyer.
Prioritize by Time
While calling new leads that fit your ideal buyer profile produces great results, BDRs can’t always get to every single lead within 15 minutes. Once you go through the newest leads first, you should have your team prioritize by the time of day and the timezone of each lead. For example, the best time to call VPs or CEOs is in the early morning or at the end of the day. This is because for VP level and up, they’re often in meetings in the middle of the day, and it’s tough to catch them at their desks. However, generally the best time to dial any lead is actually between 10 am and 4 pm.
Of course, when applying this data to your leads, you have to remember what time zone the lead is actually in. This means if your company is based on the East Coast, but many of your leads are on the West Coast, you should shift your team’s hours accordingly. You may want to have a group of reps that work strictly on West Coast time in order to maximize their ability to reach prospects each day.
Blackbox Lead Score
Lead scoring offers your team a combination of everything, using machine learning algorithms. Companies like Lattice Engines, Infer and FlipTop combine data like account industry, role, market data, physical location, and more to identify trends in buying behaviors over time. This helps your team decide which of the leads will convert at the optimal rate, and simplifies the lead prioritization process. Lead scoring is ideal for your newest reps, since they don’t yet understand which leads are ideal buyers of your product.
However, lead scoring has a tough time with data that doesn’t fit into your company’s usual patterns. You have to be careful that your solution doesn’t give a terrible lead score to a CEO who could be a great buyer, but has a company in a country that you haven’t sold to before. Despite that drawback, lead scoring is the simplest way to help reps prioritize their time. They can simply start at the top of the list and work their way down to the bottom.
Only you know what works the best for your team of BDRs, but you must be aware of the options. Do research into your buyers, prioritize new leads, and examine the options for lead scoring. With the right process for lead prioritization, your team will be able to book more meetings and close more deals than ever before.