Your Sales Team Will Convert More Leads When They Follow These 8 Rules


Did you know that in a study of over 600,000 people who replied to outbound emails, only 54% of leads generated from outbound emails come after the first email? It is only after you have sent 4 that you pick up 97% of your leads. If you don’t persistently follow up, you might be leaving half of your leads on the table.

So it should come as no surprise that to succeed at turning those leads into customers, you can’t simply send a pitch and wait for the lead to get back to you about making a purchase. See, once you get a warm lead from your outbound campaign or any other source, you have somebody who wants to learn more. That is it. You have not closed the sale yet.

To convert your lead into a customer, persistence is everything. Your lead is still only part of the way through the buying cycle and it is up to you to usher them to the point that you can close. To do this you need to convince them that you solve a problem that they have while addressing any concerns that they might harbor.

It is not news that taking a lead from being interested in your product to being ready to sell to is hard work that involves multiple touch points. What can be unclear is what your objectives should be. After all, If you haven’t gotten a response in a while, it might seem like a good idea to cut your losses and move on to your next lead. But believe me when I say it isn’t. To clear up these kinds of misgivings, we created these 8 rules of sales persistence for anyone involved in sales development.

8 rules of sales persistence for converting more leads

  1. Reply to every message (excluding people who are not interested – you don’t want to take up any more of your time or theirs). Even a short answer is a win.

Your goal is to start a dialogue. You can’t do that if your lead is the only one involved in the conversation so it doesn’t matter how inconsequential the response is. Your answer could lead to a more interested response in the future.


  1. Never stop sending follow-ups because you don’t know how many it will take to convert somebody who has shown interest before.

You might get a lead who was enthusiastic about your product initially only to take another six touches before they respond again. A lead who goes silent isn’t guaranteed to get back to you but a lead you stop contacting is guaranteed to stay silent.


  1. Make hay while the sun shines. Once you get a message, reply ASAP (preferably call immediately), while the lead is still new and interested. If you wait a few hours or days, they might forget you exist.

The odds of qualifying a lead drops 6 times if you respond more than an hour after receiving the lead. There are  few good reasons why you might lose a lead but “I took too long to reply” isn’t one of them.


  1. Your follow-ups will be frequent in the beginning (a reply to an email, a break for 1-2 days and a follow-up, 2-3 days and another follow-up and so on), but with time, they will become less frequent.

Pay more attention to and follow up more frequently with your more invested leads. But don’t give up unless you get a clear yes or no answer.


  1. Don’t bury your reply in a long list of follow-ups.
    • If a lead doesn’t reply to 2-3 follow-ups, write another follow-up as a reply to his or her positive message, not as a reply to your 3rd follow-up.
    • If you do it this way, he or she sees their positive response right below your first follow-up, not a long series of follow-ups he didn’t answer.
    • Take note: if one of the follow-ups was an extensive answer to a question, send a new follow-up as a reply to this message (the follow-up with that answer).

Email technicalities aside, the basic point stands. Make each touch fresh and visible so that it has a chance to be read.


  1. If a lead has any questions or doubts, you have to address EACH of them, clearly and completely, even if some of your answers are negative.

 A negative answer is simply an opportunity for you to persuade your lead that this is not a disqualifying concern.


  1. If you addressed a doubt and the lead does not reply, this means you haven’t actually resolved their doubt. In the next follow-ups, you need to address it again, this time even more thoroughly.

You won’t be able to move forward unless your lead is absolutely convinced that all of their lingering concerns have been address.


  1. Have your team keep track of the way that they answer questions and address doubts. That way, the next time a lead asks that question or expresses that doubt, the SDR will know how to respond.

This last rule is simple a way of making persistence easier. By building a knowledge base of answers that have been successfully used before, each team member will be able to respond more quickly and it will be easier to onboard new people.


These rules can be equally helpful for a new member of your team as they are for a team member who wants qualify more leads. By making it clear what their objectives should be, they will better understand where to focus their energies and convert more leads in the process.


About the Author: Greg Pietruszynski is the CEO & Co-founder of Growbots, and is the author of The Art of Customer Acquisition, a complete guide to acquiring more customers through outbound sales.

Published on October 12, 2017
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