The Ventas Group

sales for small businesses

Sales Processes that Convert Inbound B2B Leads

Defined sales processes are even more important in generating sales for small businesses because resources are so often limited. Having a sales process for inbound leads will help you leverage the people and time that you have available to you.


Many small B2B businesses begin with no sales team other than the business owner, usually relying 100% on their personal network to generate warm leads. 


At some point you’ll likely begin marketing or some other activity that generates additional inquiries, or inbound leads. 


What do you do with these inbound leads and warm referrals from your network? If you have a defined process you’ll convert more leads into actual clients, even if you’re pulled in twenty directions at once.


How to Increase B2B Sales With an Inbound Sales Process


  1. Set up inbound inquiry forms or capture mechanisms with built-in qualifying questions.
  2. Review inbound inquiries or referrals within one hour if possible, but always within one business day. (Hint: you can delegate this)
  3. Determine if the lead needs further qualifying via email.
  4. Invite qualified leads to have a conversation.
  5. Hold a discovery call and be prepared for it to become a sales call.
  6. With the prospective client, determine if he/she is ready for a proposal (do NOT agree to prepare a proposal simply to end the sales call!) or should be diverted into a nurture process.
  7. If you prepare a proposal, set the proposal review meeting during your sales call.


Prepare your proposal and send it off. Track the details somewhere, and yes, an Excel spreadsheet can work just as well as a fancy CRM.


  1. During the proposal review meeting, address any questions or objections your prospect may have. If you’ve done Steps 5 – 7 well, there shouldn’t be too many questions or objections.
  2. Ask for the business.


If, for some reason you don’t close the prospect at this point, agree on a time to follow up with the prospect and schedule it. 


You’ll want to follow up until the prospect indicates he/she is no longer interested and/or is a better candidate for your nurture process. You’d be amazed at how long some sales cycles can take – I’ve heard of a contract being signed from a referral that had occurred three years prior!


Stay Tuned Next Week – sales processes for outbound sales.

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