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How to incentivize lead follow-up by sales

Besides reporting from your CRM system, here are some ideas to encourage lead follow-up and reporting back on follow-up activity and results from your company’s salespeople, reps, resellers or distributors:

A “mystery lead” program

Follow-up the mystery lead, get an incentive!  Randomly select a lead in every sales territory each month and designate it as the “mystery lead.”  Then tell sales that if they report back on that specific lead they earn a prize or incentive.

What’s hot right now for incentives?

Common incentives are gift cards or pre-loaded credit cards, a night at a resort hotel, dinner at a top restaurant, or the latest electronic gadget. You can get creative and have fun with it too. One of my clients gives away a free house cleaning or a car detailing.

The value of the incentive is dependent on how much you are willing to spend to close the loop on lead follow-up. It also depends on the value your salespeople put on the time required to do the necessary paperwork, and how many potential winners there may be.

I recommend that every salesperson have a chance to win for a lead followed up in their territory every month, rather than pulling only one salesperson’s name out of a pool of potential winners.

Points for follow-up program

Your salespeople, reps, dealers or distributors earn a certain number of points for every lead they report back on.  You can give additional points for ongoing status reports and bonus points for reports on leads that resulted in closed sales. Then these points can be redeemed for merchandise such as logo-wear, desk accessories, iPods, digital picture frmaes or even laptops or a smart phones.   One client even includes housecleaning services and car detailing in the list of things their resellers can choose from.

Tie lead follow reporting to the size of their paycheck.

This approach works well for some companies. If they report back on the lead before the sale closes, closing the loop, they get a higher commission on that sale (the carrot).  Or if they don’t report back on 80% of the leads they were given within a 90 day period, they don’t qualify for their quarterly bonus (the stick).

So whether you do it yourself by querying the CRM system,  or use a carrot or stick approach to getting feedback on lead follow-up results from the folks in sales, you can get more of the information you need to determine how best to target your lead generation investments and resources for the maximum bang for your buck.

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