A recent MIT study focused on the effect response times had on connecting with online leads. If you think that following up within even 30 minutes is sufficient, think again. The odds of reaching a lead if it was called in 30 minutes versus 5 minutes drop 100 times! Wow!
- How much money are you are spending on online advertising and how much you have to pay for each lead even if you never connect with it (pay-per-click campaigns, search engine optimization for your website, e-mail campaigns, etc.)?
- What it could be worth to you to beat your competitors to every lead?
- What even a small increase in your close rate could do for your bottom line?
Of course the challenge is how to accomplish timely follow-up calls seven days a week, 24-hours a day. Can your salespeople really stayed glued to their email? Are they never on the phone, in an appointment, on the road, etc.? It may be time for you to consider outsourcing.
Follow-up calls, initial qualifying questions and appointment scheduling do not have to be done by your own salespeople. A call center experienced in online lead response can help you get the jump you need on your competition and eliminate the burden of having to staff 24×7 yourself.
Connecting an outsourced call center to your leads is as simple as copying them on your emailed web forms. A really good call center has the technology to direct those leads into a custom account where they will ring just like a call and be “answered” by having an immediate outbound call made.
Your account should allow for customized:
- Qualifying questions
- Appointment scheduling
You should also be able to build rules into your account about which of your salespeople each lead will be assigned to. Will it be based on the:
- Location of the prospect?
- Type of service they requested?
- Day or time they want an appointment?
Once each call is complete you may also need to customize how and when salespeople will get the results.
- Do salespeople need immediate feedback via email, text or phone?
- Will your Sales Manager need reporting for your weekly sales meeting?
- Does your Marketing Manager need a monthly report to track and compare the effectiveness of different online marketing initiatives?
Obviously, experience and technology matter when you are choosing which vendor to partner with. This article is intended to help you think through important processes, ask good questions and realize how much slow response times are already costing you!
This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.