Are you on communication overload? E-mails, texts, calls, voice mail, lead generation platforms, marketing campaigns, and more. Do the following situations sound familiar?
- Leads are falling through the cracks
- You are wasting time with unqualified prospects
- Your competitors are responding to inquiries faster than you are
- You are totally stressed out
You need an inbound lead response strategy that does not require you to be on-call 24×7 checking half-a-dozen different communication tools.
- Ideally, all of your sales leads should flow into one centralized place so they can be recognized as urgent.
- The source of each lead should be tracked.
- Every lead should get an immediate live response. According to a recent MIT study, after 5 minutes, your likelihood of ever reaching a prospect drops off a cliff.
- Leads should be qualified and prioritized.
- Qualified leads should immediately get into the hands of salespeople.
- You need a system of accountability and clear, trackable, follow-up steps.
The Two Most Important Elements to Improve Your Inbound Lead Response
Leverage Strengths via Division of Labor
The initial screening of a lead does not have to be done by a salesperson. It can actually be more effective to have it done by administrative personnel or outsourced. If you take the time to create a short, well thought out screening process, non-salespeople can be more objective because they don’t have any skin in the game.
Salespeople can be less than stellar at this stage in the sales process. They are not systematic, they are wildly optimistic and they don’t do a good job of documenting. They are also often unavailable (ex. at sales appointments, on the phone, etc.). A salesperson is at their best, and most cost effective, when they are talking with pre-qualified leads at a time that has been pre-scheduled by someone else.
Track and analyze leads on a consistent basis
I recently had an entrepreneur admit to me that he is always running after something new. He is quick to jump into the latest marketing ideas, but not good at creating consistent sales processes or analyzing the results. He is spending a lot of money but doesn’t really know what is paying off.
The sales process is very much like panning for gold. You start an enormous pile of gravel that requires a consistent process to filter out the small flecks of gold. It simply isn’t practical to expect a salesperson to have enough hours in the day to do all of the sifting and tracking themselves.
How are you going to provide your salespeople with the sales support they need to capture and track leads 24×7, qualify them and schedule qualified leads for phone or in-person follow-ups?
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.