Prospects. Interested parties. Opportunities. Your business depends on a constant flow of potential leads in various stages of the sales journey. But there’s one stage many wish didn’t exist: the closed lost lead.
You can’t close every deal. But do you ignore these failed prospects or use today’s technology to learn from them and advance your business? Here’s what you need to know about handling closed lost leads in the real estate, finance, and insurance industries.
What Are Closed Lost Leads?
The journey of a lead varies by industry. Some are short and sweet while others are drawn out and difficult for both involved parties. But the desired result is always the same: a closed deal.
Unfortunately, some sales are never meant to be. These leads get marked as closed lost. This means that the opportunity for a sale has stalled, been denied, or, to be blunt, died. But there’s hope!
Closed lost leads are common in today’s competitive markets. The number varies by industry but HubSpot says the average closing rate is just under 20%.
While improving your closing rate is important, taking time to learn from failure is necessary. How does your business handle a closed lost status?
The Downfalls of Traditional Closed Lost Handling Methods
The closed lost status is nothing new. Companies often turn to the following traditional methods when their closed lost list grows. But as you’ll quickly see, these tactics aren’t always effective.
Set sales initiatives
Who can bring back the most closed lost leads? It’s a dangerous game to play. Simply targeting everyone on the list with only the result of a sale in mind is going to come off as inauthentic (because it is).
This tactic could actually damage a relationship to the point of no return as it comes off as aggressive instead of empathetic.
Add to a general newsletter
Companies don’t want to lose contact with closed leads. But adding them to a general newsletter is passive aggressive. Sure, readers will be reminded of your brand. But they’ll also be receiving information they don’t need.
For example, let’s say a couple was denied funding at closing for a home purchase. The real estate company they were working with has marked them as closed lost. But they still send them their newsletter, which has tips about home maintenance and renovations. The couple feels the information is insensitive as they were upset about being unable to go through with their purchase.
This method can be like pouring salt on a wound and instead of keeping communication open, lead to it closing for good.
No plan at all
For some companies, ignoring their closed lost leads is the only plan on the table. Rather than focusing on the lost, they spend all their resources drumming up new leads. While there should always be new prospects entering your sales funnel, assuming all closed lost leads are lost forever can be a waste of resources already spent.
If your marketing and sales plan is simply a numbers game, meaning you’re looking for quantity of leads over quality of leads, this might work initially. But in the long run, nurturing leads, even if they seem to be fruitless, can be a smarter approach.
Yes, there are some closed lost situations that are permanent or not worth the effort of nurturing. But by ignoring all of them, you could be taking countless future closings off the table.
Does your company currently utilize any of the mentioned tactics for handling your closed lost list? If so, you should know that today’s technology has breathed new life and potential into closed lost leads.
CRM to the Rescue
Enter CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software. These systems allow companies to manage their relationships with prospects, leads, and clients while providing detailed data and information that can help speed up the sales process, increase revenue, and improve overall customer satisfaction and service.
One such software is SharpSpring, a marketing CRM that helps their clients make the most of all their leads, including closed lost.
Data acquisition for prevention
SharpSpring offers CRM services that enable you to organize leads, score their potential, and set reminders for opportunities.
Ideally, being able to categorize and accurately score leads will help to prevent closed lost statuses in the first place. But should a lead become closed lost, the acquired data from a CRM service can be used by a company to revamp their marketing and messages. Keeping track of why leads become closed lost can also help companies discover ways to reconnect and try again to close the deal.
Dynamic email for nurturing
SharpSpring allows users to create personalized emails that are relevant to the unique needs of their reader. This is done by swapping out phrases, images and offers to appeal as needed. Personalized emails increase click-through rates by about 14%.
So instead of sending your closed lost list generic information that could make them feel isolated and misunderstood, you can send personalized emails that help their unique situation. For example, the prementioned couple who was denied funding could receive emails on how to boost their credit and save for a bigger down payment.
Identify and track lost leads for closing
SharpSpring software allows you to identify and track visitors to your site, even if they don’t fill out any forms. But if a closed loss lead comes back to your website after declining or being unable to secure your services, you can regather and approach them with customized content and offers. Imagine the power of being able to restart the conversation at the most opportune moment.
Overall, companies see an average return on investment for CRM of $8.71 for every dollar spent. Does revisiting your closed lost list suddenly sound like an option?
Remember, simply ignoring closed lost leads isn’t helping anyone. But by finding a unique way to approach this group, you’ll be giving both them and your business a second chance.