So you’ve spent a small fortune on Google ads, you’re sending mass mailings every week and you’ve got e-books coming out of your ears. But is anyone actually responding to your inbound leads and qualifying them for the sales team?
It’s a strange phenomenon that less effort is placed on qualifying leads than it is on gaining them. It makes no sense, as when someone willingly interacts with your brand, that’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – when all of your marketing efforts are finally paying off.
Imagine if all of these potential customers were queuing outside your building clutching company literature. The queue would stretch from reception, down the street, around the corner and back again. Each of the prospects would be waiting to ask a question, but no-one would be attending to them. Before too long, they’d drift away or get enticed by a competitor.
This is happening across the UK, which is kind of ironic when so much time is being spent on getting the prospects there in the first place. So if you improve one thing today, let it be this. Get your workflow organised and respond efficiency to every single inbound lead you receive.
Create a clear process
When a lead drops into an inbox, everyone involved should already know their roles and expectations. There’s a whole array of different software available to manage the entire inbound process, but often this hasn’t been configured properly or planned from the outset.
Take some time to design a process which works for the various teams involved and assign clear responsibilities. For example, how many times should the team call a prospect before moving on to the next? What information needs to be gathered in order to qualify someone and how does this differ for each type of enquiry?
At Xcel Sales, we’ve discovered that many companies just simply aren’t aware of the vast number of inbound leads that are going unanswered. Often this is due to a lack of transparency within the process, but you can’t improve something that you can’t track.
As a minimum, you need to know:
- Number of leads by type.
- % which are responded to.
- Length of time to respond.
- % which are qualified.
- % which are converted into customers.
Once you’re reporting on the above, you’ll soon make some eye-watering discoveries. For example, let’s say that each customer has a lifetime value of £2000 and your conversion rate from initial enquiry to sale is 5%. If you receive 1500 enquiries a month, but you’re only responding to 10% of them, you’re missing out on £1.62 million each year.
A solid process should automatically assign new enquiries to a particular team or individual to make sure that nothing slips through the net. You might decide to send everything to one team, or perhaps opt to involve different people for specific enquiry types. Either way, speed is very much of the essence.
Coming back to the queue outside your building, you need to be the first to respond to each individual. People won’t wait forever, as they’ve got plenty of things to do and the competition is only a click away. A report by InsideSales.com recently discovered that 35%-50% of prospects choose the first vendor that replies to them.
Personalise each call
Picking up the phone quickly is a good start, but clearly you can’t just enter into a standard pitch for all and sundry. Before a conversation has begun, research should be carried out on each prospect to make sure that every question can be answered. If they’ve downloaded a specific eBook, the discussion should focus on the topic covered. Maybe some further reading could also be recommended and sent to them during the call.
The greater the level of personalisation, the more helpful a sales team becomes, which is the quickest way to build credibility.
Make it about them, not you
No-one wants to be sold to, but everyone respects helpful advice. If the specific requirements of each customer are understood, suggestions can be tailored accordingly. With this in mind, everyone on the front line should thoroughly understand the subject they’re discussing.
When a team are properly trained in the nuances of a product or service, they can genuinely add some value to a customer’s day.
But whatever you do, just do something
There’s a metaphorical queue standing outside your building right now. Are you sending someone to talk to them or waiting until they switch to a competitor?
If you want to get the most out of your inbound marketing, please contact us now where our in-house team will fully qualify leads for your sales team. Call Xcel Sales today on 0118 402 1440.