Category: Lead Response
In many organizations, marketing tends to be strategic with quantifiable goals and measureable outcomes, while selling tends to be more organic with a focus on closed deals. This laser attention given to successful sales outcomes has little concern with the path taken. Results matter, and management often overlooks the means to get there.
“Companies would be well served to take a more strategic approach to their sales process, especially in the area of lead response,” says Adam Berkson. He is president of LiveVoice, an omnichannel 24/7 customer support company, which prides itself with its highly successful lead response service. Too often a singular focus on signed contracts means that the tactics used to reach that goal receive little attention. “That’s why we need to consider lead response as the essential link between marketing and sales.”
Lead response, which seeks to intentionally develop buyer relationships throughout the entire sales funnel, is the key to increased sales. According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at a 33 percent lower cost. “Once companies realize that lead generation provides greater results and decreases expenses, it becomes a compelling initiative,” confirms Berkson.
He recommends adding these three key lead response elements into a holistic sales strategy for increased results.
LEAD RESPONSE BENEFITS FROM AUTOMATION
As determined by Gartner Research, companies that automate lead management see a 10 percent or greater increase in revenue in six to nine months. First streamline the path from lead submission to salesperson notification. “Automate to eliminate manual processes and speed the flow of information,” recommends Berkson.
Another smart automation move is an autoresponder series of emails to familiarize prospects with the organization and its products. “All content marketing platforms provide for a sophisticated autoresponder sequence when new email addresses are added,” says Mike Novak, chief technology officer at TeleServices Direct, a worldwide provider of outsource call center services. “Unfortunately, too many organizations underutilize autoresponders or even fail to set them up.”
LEAD RESPONSE QUALIFIES FIRST
Not every lead is a good lead, and not every lead needs to immediately go to the sales department. Gleanster Research suggests that only one quarter (25 percent) of leads are actually legitimate and should advance to sales. “That’s why lead qualification is so critical,” adds Berkson. “Send the quality leads to sales, eliminate the distractions, and place the rest into a lead nurturing strategy.”
LEAD RESPONSE MOVES WITH INTENTION
The critical need in all of this is to strive to be fast in responding and be the first to respond. Just as the early bird gets the worm, the first responder gets the sales. “Study after study confirms that prospects expect a quick reaction, and they consistently reward the organization that responds first,” Berkson says. His company has set a new industry standard in lead response rates, aiming to reach out to every lead within sixty seconds. While a next-business-day response became same-day response and then moved to one hour and then five minutes, Berkson knows that a one-minute response time produces the best results.
LiveVoice understands how important every call is to your business. Contact them about customizing their flexible, premium phone support service so you can turn opportunity into profit.
Peter DeHaan, PhD, is a freelance writer, call center authority, and publisher of Connections Magazine, which covers the call center industry.