How to Make the Most of Online Sales Leads

The emergence of the Internet changed the way that many sales management teams operated, as they had to adjust their business models to the new technology that could affect correspondence between representatives and customers.

Online sales leads can play a significant role in obtaining new business and securing leads. While some representatives may prefer phone correspondence, it is important for these individuals to use the available technology to meet the growing demands of the modern customer.

The responses to online inquiries can vary among customers, and it is in this variance that sales professionals can begin to determine the true nature of the potential business. Prospective clients that offer a large amount of information will often be more qualified, according to Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

While some prospects tend to just check off boxes when they fill out online forms, the more involved and prepared companies will enter information in an effort to move the sale along. This type of identification can allow a business to filter out potential clients that are not as interested in entering the sales process, the executive noted.

Though this type of interaction may work within the consultative or business-to-business environment, the online retail space is a completely different animal, according to Riddleberger.

Once the potential customers are separated from the rest of the pack, it is important for sales management teams to use an autoresponder setup that contacts the prospect right away, using a personalized message, noted the executive.

“A lot of companies make the mistake of sending out a complete history of the company, or something long and overwhelming,” said Riddleberger. “A short, personal email is much more effective.”

It is also important to treat these leads as though they are not yet on board with the company, as identifying these potential customers as guaranteed business is a way that a representative can send the wrong signals, according to

Sales management teams need to teach their employees that just because someone has contacted the company does not mean that they are sold yet. An individual who is holding a t-shirt in a retail store may be turned off by an associate asking if they want their product wrapped, as the closing of the sale is not yet done, the business website reported.