In my previous post, Adopting Good Lead Follow-Up Best Practices, we discussed the importance of reaching out to a lead within 5 minutes since a delayed response is money lost. Only 26.1% of leads are followed-up within 5 minutes and the remaining 73.9% are left to wander around your website and then on to flirting with your competitor.
So, what does lead follow-up look like in your organization and how can you speed up the sales enablement process for your team? Let’s look at some tried and tested techniques to decrease lead response time.
- CRM Email Automation Response
A friendly and instant thank you email reply from your CRM platform will buy you some time with a prospect while you qualify the lead and hand them off to the sales team. Here is a simple yet effective intro: “Hi there! Thank you for your interest in our services! We are here to answer any questions you may have about xyz. You will be contacted directly by a xyz company representative shortly.”
- Lead Management
Dealing with an influx of leads can be overwhelming without an effective lead management and follow-up process. An automatic lead distribution system provides a pre-defined work flow which automatically assigns leads to your sales team based on location and product interests. A more personalized approach such as a live Lead Concierge monitors incoming leads and adds a personal nurturing touch to your prospects. Either choice can provide the desired effect of giving you an organized lead management process based on your company size and sales cycle.
- Marketing Lead Qualification
Marketing qualification allows you to verify and capture a prospect’s data in your CRM system. To obtain complete records be ready to do data research which can be as quick as 60 seconds with the right tools. Whether you use a free tool like LinkedIn or GetEmail.io or a paid tool like ZoomInfo or Crunchbase, have one at your fingertips ready to help you do the research! If the prospect is a match for your business, the next step is to rate the lead as cold, warm, or hot based on their level of interest, buying power, and lead scoring (more about lead scoring coming in a future blog post). If the lead is valid—careful not to entertain competitors or solicitors—reach out immediately.
Remember, if a prospect has reached out to you, they have a need you can satisfy. They have chosen you to engage with and most likely are ready to buy. Should you not be making every effort to speak with them immediately?
We have already established that reaching out within the first 5 minutes increases the lead qualification 21x compared to responding 30 minutes or later according to a Harvard Business Review study, “The Short Life of Online Sales Leads”.
Using this process, you still have 3-4 minutes to spare! Let’s use this time left wisely by sending out a customized on-line sales lead response. Here is a simple yet very effective one to use: Hello Mary Smith, I am your personal XYZ Company concierge and I am here to put you in touch with the right people to get you the information you requested. Your representative’s name and contact information is below. They will be reaching out soon or feel free to call/text them directly. We love our customers and look forward to helping you with xyz.”
There. You have responded within 5 minutes. Would you say this process leaves the prospect with the feeling of, “Wow. They are really interested in me and my needs?” Or maybe, “Look how fast they responded, I am important to them!” For sure!