Lost leads surveys, effective CRM strategy keys to success

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Today's companies have a variety of tools at their fingertips to determine customer leads and qualified prospects, including list buying and building, Web research and old school cold calling.

But what can you do about tapping into those unqualified prospects, or lost leads, that will help you to determine why you failed to convert a prospect into a customer in the first place?

A lost leads survey, in combination with a good CRM strategy, achieves four things to elevate your business revenue and market share. It captures lost leads and narrows the criteria for the future, produces more qualified prospects, enhances the effectiveness of both the sales and service process, and allows for smarter prospecting and a more intelligent marketing approach.  

Designed to gather information from those customers that have chosen not to buy into your product or service, a lost leads survey poses questions to determine why and where in the process you lost the opportunity to convert the person or business from a prospect into a customer. It also enables sales teams to profile lost leads to determine if they are a part of your target audience to begin with. If they are not, the sales team learns how to identify them so valuable sales efforts are not wasted.

This provides a tailored approach to smart prospecting. Spending more time determining why the lead was lost will further develop intelligent prospect criteria. This allows both the sales and service efforts to have a viable chance for success. In addition, it provides companies with the ability to hone their sales and marketing approach to better reflect this information, resulting in the increased capture of closeable leads.

The survey can also be designed to determine at what point in the service process the customer turned from happy to potentially unsatisfied. The lost leads survey married with a CRM database allows for elevated customer satisfaction. If a specific portion of the service process is not meeting the needs and desires of the customer, then the information gathered and shared among service team members (both locally and potentially nationwide) allows the service teams to alter and enhance their customer service approach to alleviate customer concerns.

In this connection, the lost leads survey can be a shared approach for a multitude of different geographic locations operating with the same service and customer base. It also allows the service team to dictate what may have been at issue in the service portion of the relationship to address future customer concerns.

To garner substantial results from a lost leads survey, it's important to remember to offer an incentive to these individuals for their participation. Monetary awards or giveaways are typically the most successful. Additionally, because sales, service and marketing teams are very often traveling or operating from different geographic locations, it is vastly beneficial that the lost leads survey be solicited via e-mail and that the survey is done online. Another key is a Web-based CRM database; this ensures that all information is fully accessible at all process points and to all teams.

Overall, it's smarter sales, service and marketing that allows for greater closure rates, superior service, intelligent marketing and an enhanced customer experience.

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