Following up on leads has always been a key to high ROI for sales and marketing. Part of the reason is that rapid follow-up results in a better quality of leads that quickly diminishes after a few hours. However, following up on leads has never been a simple task and with the growing numbers of online channels to create new leads, it is becoming more complex. It is evident that digital marketing is becoming more dominant and in some demographics marketing is almost exclusively digital. Many Millennials stream media instead of watching on their television, and even when they do, commercials are skipped when shows are recorded.
What is the Best Way to Respond to In-Person and Digital Leads?
One of the biggest problems in both in-person and digital marketing is that after the customer converts, they never receive a follow-up. Even if a follow-up does occur, it is days later.
If you are asking yourself why your sales numbers are less than a co-worker's or why your team is so far behind another team, the most likely reason is lack of follow-up. 65 percent of all companies do not have a process to nurture leads. And it is the commitment to follow up leads that can be the dividing factor between success and failure. Part of the reason for lack of follow-up is that sales teams may not be trained on how to handle follow-up communications including texts, emails and phone calls.
Turning the Corner on Follow Up
If you and your team want to change your success rate when following up by phone, these tips can help:
- Follow up as soon as possible. If you can get back to them within 30 minutes, do it.
- Be consistent with calling
- Leave a message
- Call when your in-store traffic is lightest
- Don't second guess, call all of your leads
- Offer reasons why the buyer should return or contact you
- Designate a specific time each day for outbound calls
- Present a positive, upbeat attitude
- Offer alternatives
- Ask for referrals
There are several studies that show that the first responder is often the person who gets the business. Use every tool you have to reach your lead as soon as you can after they contact you.
Digital Follow Up
Some fast facts for online and text leads include:
- Texting back a lead in five minutes your chance for a conversion goes up 300 times.
- Average response time to an online lead is 44 hours.
- 65 percent of companies do not nurture leads
- Only 25 percent of sales reps make two attempts to contact a lead
- 80 percent of transactions require 5 to 12 follow ups to be successful
Change your company sales culture by committing to follow up all leads. Additionally, training staff how and when to follow up leads will make a big dent in the lack of follow-ups. This training should include examples of how to return a lead within a short period of time, and using alternative methods. Including methods of scheduling and implementing effective follow-up techniques over a long-term period will go a long way toward improving your ROI.
Relationship building and consistent follow-up contacts will result in better-qualified leads and higher rate of sales. The results will in turn show your team that follow-up is worth their time and effort.