For Best practices pertaining to Aged / Shared Leads programs, 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 info/ quote you requested”, it will kill the conversation before it starts.
How to intro the call. 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 the quality of their business by connecting them with consultants in various fields (digital marketing, web design, call centers, medical billing services, and VoIP service just to name a few).
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. They will expect to speak with a trained consultant and not a pushy sales person (although you will need to be aggressive in the sense of following up with several phone calls in some cases, just to reach a prospect).
Be prepared to stand out.
- Provide us with Case studies and/or client testimonials
- Examples of your previous work.
- Links to your review platforms (i.e. LinkedIn, Google, Yelp, etc) which we can show your clients
These can make a HUGE difference in your chances of 1) having a good rapport with the lead and 2) ultimately getting the sale.
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.
Script / How to Introduce the call:
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 some help with <service(s) in which the prospects is interested>”.
We take a very consultative and 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 the services in which they are interested, what their past experience has been like, and 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.
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 <service requested> and how we may be able to help. 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. many of our clients who sign up for leads experience some roadblocks or hurdles with converting them, until we iron out a solid start-to-finish sales process.
We’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%).
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 impact of bad leads with our clients, by web-verifying all leads before sending and coaching our clients on how to better convert leads into sales.
How to Deal with Bad Leads
Yes, it’s true, you will undoubtedly receive some leads that are less than optimal. 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. When this happens, it’sh helpful for us to know about it. Sometimes prospects change their mind, are confused, or are simply busy and claim to not remember the original communication with our agents.
Please include a brief reason as to why the lead wasn’t optimal to enable our Returns Team to reach out to the lead to see what may have gone wrong. 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 contact the individual to confirm their request.
Reasons Why Bad Leads Occur
- Prospects may forget about their reply, quote submission, request, or email to our team. Remember most prospects have replied to our opt-in newsletters, mentioning that they would be open to getting a quote for your service.
- 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.
Talk to us.
We require all clients to make themselves available for at least a short monthly sync up call to ensure you’re getting a great ROI, to determine any campaign related changes that could be used to improve results, and to discuss any challenges your sales team is experiencing. Without this, we are only getting one side of the picture and your results may be hindered.