New enquiries and leads via digital methods are the lifeblood of new business and keeping a company running, but bringing in leads and nurturing them to the point where they become a customer is often the biggest challenge any organisation has. It can be difficult enough to bring the correct user through to filling in a form or making a phone call, but keeping that person engaged is where the real challenge begins.
Here, we look at important steps and advice on making that sequence as seamless as possible.
Align your marketing with sales
If there’s a strategy in place to bring a customer knocking on the door, make sure that your sales strategy is aligned with any messaging you have in your marketing. If a promotion is at the forefront of your email marketing, PPC, or online PR, make sure that whoever is dealing with the leads is aware of this fact. The marketing may focus on a specific USP of the business, so ensuring that the sales team is well-versed is important.
Qualify your lead
Before you start, make sure they should even be in the pipeline in the first place. This can be easily done by asking a few early qualifying questions, making the potential customer aware of your prices, exactly what it is you offer, how will they use the service you provide. This can be done either over the phone or, if they have come in via filling out a form, use some mandatory fields which are crucial to know. For example, if a work email is needed rather than their personal one, make sure it is asked for!
Talk to your leads, and quickly
It may be an obvious point, but establishing a quick dialogue is critical to keeping someone interested. If they fill in a form, they should receive an automatic response signalling that the business has been notified of their interest, thanking them, and someone will follow up in at most 24 hours. Inside Sales report that a lead is 100x more likely to respond if contact within five minutes. The longer time goes on between someone getting in touch and someone getting back to them, intent and interest will wane, and they may even forget they filled in a form all that time ago. Whether it is by phone or by email, be sure to get in touch ASAP.
Segment by intent
Regardless of the product or service that a business provides, people will be at different points in the buying cycle. They may have researched and read all the reviews they possibly can, or they may still be at the information gathering stage. Wherever they may be, it’s as important to ensure those at the start of the process are receiving the right care and attention to help move them along the pipeline, as it is to pick off the low hanging fruit of those at the end of the buying cycle.
Establish points of contact
Who in a sales team will be working on new leads? Is there a process for which user should go to which person in the sales team? If not someone in sales, who in the wider team will be responsible for making sure a lead is followed up with? Making sure that these questions are answered before any leads come in will ease any anxiety of not knowing what is happening once someone first gets in touch with a business.
Establish a process and monitor the pipeline
There will be multiple touchpoints along the pipeline that are important to act on. Once these are established, a business needs a dashboard, a CRM, a live Google sheet; something for everyone with a stake to monitor and update. Even with this in place, to measure results, internal meetings and phone calls should happen on a regular basis to improve your sales efficiency and performance.
Setting up the above points should ensure that a business gives the potential customer as many opportunities as possible to make the plunge and allow for your marketing to flourish. Particularly in digital, having each person singing from the same hymn sheet is going to make attribution a lot easier when analysing performance.
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