For Best practices pertaining to Aged Leads and the Hot List program, click here.
Understand the prospect-vendor relationship – How are leads generated?
One of the first keys to success with leads is having an open minded, positive, and relationship-driven approach to each prospect. This starts with understanding that these prospects, for the most part, are NOT filling out a form on a web site. They also are not calling us and “Requesting” a quote. The most important thing you can know before starting any lead campaign is that if your introduction to the call includes anything close to “I’m calling about the SEO quote you requested”, it will kill the conversation before it starts.
Our prospects have a long relationship with Web Leads, in the sense that they are recipients of our highly informative newsletters. We are guiding them on ways to increase their digital presence and success. Eventually we section off our most engaged prospects and ask them directly: “Are you open to speaking with a consultant about increasing your results?” Prospects who respond positively are moved through our lead verification process before being sent to you.
Utilize a CRM and Report Results to us.
All leads need to be received by a CRM, or a program that helps you to manage your prospects (by taking notes, scheduling appointments, and tracking performance). Additionally, our lead advisors can receive your reports and help to increase performance, by implementing procedure, suggestions, and tactics. We encourage all clients to send us your CRM or lead management reports, so that we can help you gain more clients!
Utilize Call Recording / tracking.
When you are making calls to leads, or receiving call-backs, it is essential to measure statistics such as call length, call quality, the callback rate, closing percentage, etc.
Utilize a Call Center or “Opener” to Schedule Appointments.
We recommend having a system that supports the various stages of a sales cycle. Because these business owners are busy doing their jobs, making first contact is often times the most difficult step. By focusing on the opening stage of the sales cycle, you can dramatically increase your contact rate, which leads to a better closing rate.
Phone calls (timing and number of attempts)
You or your sales agents should call every lead within 30 minutes (maximum) of the form being emailed to you. If the individual is not reached on the first call, try them 3-4 more times (within the same hour) until they are reached. If you still don’t reach them, send a very short / sweet email, attempting to schedule a call time:
“Hello , I wanted to speak regarding your website and how we may be able to generate you more revenue by marketing it or helping you to rebuild certain portions. When are you available today / tomorrow, to discuss briefly?”
Follow up phone calls
The prospect should then be called 2-3 times per day every day thereafter, until contact has been made and the prospect has been “pitched” by you or your sales agent.
See our 5 Tips to Leaving Voicemails
It’s common practice to sign up for an email marketing service. This way, every lead you get from us gets loaded into a chain of pre-written “follow up” type messages, that come from your company. This enables you to not let any lead slip through the cracks. Often times, leads that you might not reach in the first few days, will respond (Weeks later even) to one of your “follow up” messages. *Email Templates Provided to all new clients.
Please keep close tabs with us as far as how you’re doing with the leads. MOST of our clients who sign up for leads experience problems with converting them, until we iron out a solid start-to-finish sales process. I’ve trained over 140 sales agents and worked with over 80 online marketing / web design companies, helping them to call, close and convert our leads at a higher clip. So if your sales agents come back and say “we can’t get in touch with these leads” or “these leads aren’t good”, please tell me immediately. Again, this is commonplace and it’s something I deal with on a regular basis, with many clients. Once the sales agents (or yourself) are clear on the exact process to follow and how to treat every lead, you should hit the same conversion numbers as our other clients (which is around 3%-15%).
When you or your sales agents contact the leads, you can say “Hi, I wanted to follow up because it looks like you might be open to having some marketing done on your site”. We take a very non-abrasive approach of sales, b/c it’s what most folks truly appreciate. Simply ask them questions about their business and get a feel for what they’re looking to accomplish. Then ask them if they know much about SEO, PPC or web design, give them a brief synopsis of why you’re “different than other companies” and how specifically you would approach their account. Then let them know you’ll be sending everything you discussed in an email, for them to review.
Follow up emails
From this point the prospect needs to be added to a weekly / bi-weekly email “drip”, which goes back to the point about “follow up” email messages. In addition, you should call the prospect every 3 days after sending the actual quote / proposal.
How to Handle Bad Leads
Bad Leads – Really?
We’ve all dealt with bad leads before. What a waste of time it is! When you call a number, only to hear that it has been disconnected. Or when you call and ask for “Bob” and are informed that there is no ‘Bob’ at this location”! The worst is when you actually speak with a prospect, whose information IS correct, who then tells you that they are not interested and have no idea why you are calling. It’s not just about the time spent in dealing with a prospect that is potentially a waste of time, but also the money spent, to obtain the lead. As frustrating as these scenarios may be, they are part of the advertising, lead generation, and marketing industries. We do our absolute best to reduce the “hurt” of bad leads with our clients, by 1) crediting for bad leads, 2) web-verifying all leads before sending, and 3) coaching our clients on how to better convert leads into sales.
How to Return Bad Leads
Yes, it’s true, you will undoubtedly receive some leads that are bad. We do our best to avoid sending you prospects with invalid information, but occasionally, these “slip through the crack”. This being said, you can relax, because you won’t be paying for any bad leads. We offer a credit system that is streamlined and easy. Simply log into your lead portal and click on the lead in question. Within each lead you will find an option to “Return Lead”. Please include a brief reason for return with each lead to allow for our Returns Team to reach out to the lead to see what may have gone wrong. After completing this process you will find that the lead is no longer listed on your account. If our team is able to validate the lead’s interest we may return the lead with updated information. We will verify the lead, try to find valid information or to contact the individual to confirm their request, and will either delete the lead or return it to you, with valid information.
Reasons Why Bad Leads Occur
Prospects may forget about their request. Remember most prospects have replied to our opt-in newsletters, mentioning that they would be open to getting a quote for web design or SEO services. Prospects may change their mind. In these cases, they often exaggerate, with claims such as “I never requested this” or “I have no idea why you’re calling”. The truth is, we have record of all prospects either emailing us or requesting information via one of our web forms. Reminding the prospect of this is usually a waste of time, as we recommend apologizing for the inconvenience to the prospect, and moving onto the next lead. This would be an example of a lead that can be returned to our team for a credit. Prospects may become overwhelmed. We inform all prospects that they will be contacted by several consultants. In some cases, a prospect may feel overwhelmed after being contacted by 4 companies. We never send a prospect’s information to more than 4 providers, for a request. In these cases, the prospect may receive 2-3 calls from each provider, and assume that they have been contacted by more than 4 companies. This is a frequent point of exaggeration or misperception, that we understand and attempt to minimize.