Bucketing Leads For Maximum Success: Outbound Sales: No Fluff
Outbound Sales: No Fluff is a great book written by two millennial business development professionals who've actually sold something this decade. In Chapter Six, they discuss the leads bucketing system that they use to make efficient use of their prospecting time. It's easy to waste a lot of time on the wrong prospecting activities, and this system helps avoid that.
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1. Bucket #1 = Uncontacted Leads
This bucket includes leads that you haven't spoken with, both cold outbound leads and unresearched inbound leads.
Activities: Define and stick to the Swim Lane (your very specific target prospect. Too many people in BD are too general and want to help everyone with their product/service. Stick to your swim lane). Remove accounts outside Swim Lane. Starting the process of contacting leads in the swim lane. Going through validation and verification of leads so we can move on to the next bucket. Performing additional research or preparation.
2. Bucket #2 = Contacted Leads
Leads that were researched in bucket #1 and they have already had a contact attempt (a call attempt, email, social) and are validated (you can confirm that the phone number, email, social media channel reaches the prospect).
This bucket should never fall below 100 leads, so you never have too few leads to contact.
Activities: Calling regularly (perhaps multiple times a day if your other buckets aren't full yet), documenting everything, and validating or disconfirming contact information.
3. Bucket #3 = Engaged with but no meeting scheduled
Prospects that meet any of the following criteria:
1) Spoke with them in the past, but couldn't schedule a meeting in the past
2) Engaged heavily with them over email, phone, or social but couldn't schedule a meeting
3) Inbound lead/referral and in our swim lane
4) Once a deal in the pipeline but failed to close
Activity: Continue outreach via phone/email/social to schedule a meeting
4. Bucket #4: Scheduled leads
This bucket consists of leads that have been scheduled. This is where all the real money happens in your pipeline.
Activities: Monitor show rates. Confirm appointments and continue to confirm appointments. Call to confirm appointment. Confirming any appointments one or more weeks out, and you're going to do that the week of the appointment. Confirm any appointments within 12-24 hours via email. If they haven't confirmed yet, you need to get that confirmation. You don't want your Account Executive to be waiting in an empty ZOOM meeting. If they cancel or no-show, they get moved back to bucket #3 until appointment is rescheduled. If they do this repeatedly, they get kicked out of your pipeline.