In a recent Forbes article, listed below, research suggests that less than 27% of all sales leads are ever followed up on and that 71% of web generated leads are wasted. Taking control of the lead process helps to increase the odds in your favor.
Everyone loves to participate in the look and feel of the web site, but after launch, the novelty fades and the more boring, but more valuable, ROI based work begins. Unfortunately, too often the budgets have been spent and internal emotional involvement is over, however, your web site is only now ready to begin working. With a few course corrections, it can begin to perform.
Here are some essential steps:
- Don't pass on the leads directly to the sales force - The leads go into the ether and your ability to properly qualify and measure the efforts that created the lead goes with them. Who knows where the lead follow up falls under the "to-do"? list of the sales rep and/or their ability to properly present the product or service? As you will see later, speed of follow up is everything and you can't afford a lag.
- Pre-qualifying leads through corporate - This allows for the leads to be qualified as "sales ready" not wasting sales reps time on bad leads (the worst sin and best way to desensitize a sales force toward your leads). Secondly, it allows for you to accurately determine lead origin to guide alteration of marketing and lead generation efforts.
Without corporate owning lead qualification, your view and analysis of your marketing effort is nebulous at
- Don't assign Lead follow up/qualification to the intern - Or to anyone else internally with a substantial set of existing responsibilities as it won't get done.
Buy these services outside if need be, but understand that this is the last crucial step in a number of
costly activities which have brought this lead to your threshold. From web site development to
optimization to content creation to e-blasts, etc. this has been a long and arduous journey. Don't cheap out
at the stage when you finally have an opportunity to communicate directly with a prospect.
- Lead follow up is an art - Realize that picking up a phone everyday (even if it is for a luke warm lead) means commitment, stamina and a lot of rejection and only certain people can do it. Be realistic in determining if you have those skill sets in-house and treasure them if you do. Otherwise, bring in professionals.
- Follow up IMMEDIATELY, speed of follow up is everything - What used to be 24 hours, is now less than 4 hours before viewers move on, forget your site and become deluged with a myriad of other messages. Again, as covered in the article,Â Why Companies Waste 71% of Internet Leads, research clearly shows that the success rates for connecting and conversion peaks at 5 minutes of visitor viewing and decreases quickly until almost negligible at 30 minutes. The bar for response has been raised no matter what we desire and we need to adapt.
- Trust, but verify - The best activity your inside sales person can do in their free time is to follow up on passed on leads to determine if sales indeed followed up on the lead and how well they answered the lead's questions. It allows for great quality control, can be the basis for training and insures that the cycle is completed.
The key is to start small, but start! Any of these steps that can be incorporated into your processes helps to increase your ROI and conversion rate.
If you'd like to chat about your specific situation or explore a beta test, call us at 616-634 3498 or e-mail me directly at email@example.com
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Don't Waste Web Site Leads