In this day of instant messaging, nurturing leads is all about being swift and relevant.
Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first, according to InsideSales.com. Yet, roughly half of all inbound sales leads – from websites, social media and other marketing activities that bring in visitors – are never followed up.
One hour is the new rule of thumb for companies to respond since many customers move fast on making a buying decision.
A Harvard Business Review article found that many companies only retrieved leads from their databases once a day and that others wasted time due to rules for distributing sales leads among sales reps.
Some companies use awkward or outdated approaches, like sending an email that says, “We want to touch base with you.” Instead, consider opening your response with something like, “In our previous conversation you mentioned how important it was to …” Or, “I was thinking about your concern and I’ve found some information that might help.”
Halloo’s content management tools can help you respond to customers queries and inbound leads based on personalized customer service information about past calls, purchases, and service agreements.
Here are some other ways to polish up your follow-ups:
- Make sure all inbound sales leads are entered into your content management system and adopt a precise schedule and action for each follow-up.
- Measure how long it took to respond to the lead, what percent of them are converted into qualified prospects and what percent are converted into customers.
- It’s important to be swift, but don’t rush or pressure customers into a decision. Your response is about meeting the customers’ needs, not meeting your sales quotas.
- Auto responder and live chat are better for some businesses than others. They can backfire if they aren’t personalized and reflect the customer’s experience.
- Providing a phone number and encouraging customers to call makes your business appear much more approachable.
This guest post is by Caren Burmeister. Caren is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.