There’s this long-held view within digital marketing circles that leads online are always tracked, always followed up on and always dispositioned. After all, there’s a digital trail and a record of the action taken, right? It’s not like you just met a prospect at a trade show, got their business card, and then forgot to call them, or worse, forgot the substance of the discussion. Well, despite the fact that digital marketing has become somewhat of a science, that simply doesn’t mean leads aren’t wasted.
According to some estimates, upwards of 71% of internet leads are wasted, which is astonishing when you think about how much effort goes into creating a digital brand. Companies are constantly producing content, continually engaging their audience through social media and always looking to find some way to improve their digital brand. Yet, despite all their efforts, companies let leads pass right through their fingertips. So, to help you avoid this outcome, here are five ways to make the most of your internet leads.
All it takes is a phone call so don’t wait.
1. Setting Response Time Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
You may not have all the answers, and may not be able to provide pricing just yet, but that’s no excuse for not immediately responding to incoming leads online. Define KPIs across your sales and marketing teams that clearly define what your company considers to be a reasonable response time. Speed of response wins out all the time and your customers will appreciate how quickly you respond.
2. Define Immediate Actions
Keep in mind that B2B customers appreciate immediate answers even if you don’t have a complete solution to offer when you initially contact them. You’re being proactive and responsive which is always appreciated by customers who are desperately looking for help.
Make sure your team outlines different actions for different incoming inquiries. If the requests are simple, then an email response or call confirming the requirement should be immediate. Automated responses work but are nowhere near as impactful as direct calls. If the customer’s requests are more elaborate, then a simple reply confirming what else is required should suffice.
3. Create a Digital Trail
The best way to ensure that leads aren’t squandered is to immediately create a digital trail. Directing the lead to the sales department as a whole ensures that everyone is made aware of the incoming request. Immediately dispositioning that lead is relatively easy within most customer relationship management (CRM) software. However, if that’s not possible, then entering the lead within an excel sheet is a possible solution. While not ideal, it is a way to keep track of incoming leads for those enterprises that still rely upon manual processes.
Your team must be on board and aware of your expectations.
4. Up-selling: Build a Customer-Centric Network
Getting back to your customer in a reasonable time is one thing, but maximizing that opportunity is something else entirely. Each lead gives your sales and marketing team a chance to build a larger network within the customer’s account. It’s the ultimate up-selling opportunity and a great way to increase sales. Don’t pass up the chance to inquire about other opportunities by bringing other customer contacts into the fold. The larger the contact network, the greater your chances are for sales.
5. Review and Assess
None of these steps work if you aren’t willing to review and assess your team’s progress, or lack thereof. Did your team respond to incoming requests on time? Were they able to generate finalized quotes within a reasonable time frame? Where customers generally happy with your speed of response? Were leads dispositioned in a fair and equitable manner so that no single salesperson hogged too many leads? Answering each of these questions will ensure that your company is never squandering your leads online, while also helping every team member become a proactive participant in closing sales.
It’s common for companies to think that leads online are much easier to manage and follow up on, but they aren’t. They require just as much time and effort as any lead generated at a trade show, conference or face-to-face visit. Your leads need to be nurtured and managed so that you’re never wasting those opportunities.