If you are attracting new sales leads, that’s great; it means your content marketing efforts are starting to pay off. Here, I will share some things to think about before those leads start rolling in. Chances are, if you don’t have a solid plan in place to start, you might fumble when trying to convert those leads. This blog will cover some of the do's and don’ts for qualifying and converting inbound marketing leads.
When preparing for inbound leads, one of the most important things is developing a plan. If you’ve never implemented an inbound marketing strategy before, you may not have a plan in place for fielding inbound leads, or you may not have a plan to handle a volume of leads. Before getting started, take time to review your organization, its sales team, and how you plan to distribute your new leads. Also, make sure marketing and sales agree on what a good lead looks like, as well as the sales team’s approach to reviewing the opportunity to ensure it’s a fit for your business. Be aware that the plan may change with time, especially if your organization grows. But, having a good understanding of how things work will help your team stay aligned; and make sure you are taking advantage of all of your hard work.
Have you ever contacted a business because you wanted a product or service, and no one answers the phone or replies to an online inquiry? Talk about frustrating. I’ve personally even had companies reply to my inquiry days later. In today’s digital age, our expectations of immediate gratification when making a purchase is almost a standard. Consumers or future clients won’t tolerate a lack of interest on your part. Most view this as offensive and will likely take their business elsewhere. A survey by CRM Daily found that half of the companies who started using inbound marketing saw a 25% increase in ROI. Inbound marketing had 30 times the lead conversion rate of outbound marketing. In addition, a survey conducted by Velocify indicates that if you respond to an inquiry within the first minute, your odds of converting that lead increase by 391%. Inbound approaches are highly effective, but only if you plan to convert those leads in a timely manner. The faster the response, the better chances of converting those leads into a new customer.
If you are new to inbound marketing, you need to look at your new leads a little bit differently. The biggest difference is that inbound leads are typically more educated about your product or service because they have been exposed to your content. This is where the sales team has to take a different approach. When working with an inbound lead, active listening is even more important. With an inbound lead, it’s important to understand what they are particularly interested in, but more importantly, why they need it. Once you find the why, you can better position yourself, as well as tailor the appropriate product or service to fit their need. This helps increase your ability to close. Plus, it provides customers with an experience that hopefully translates into repeated business.
The ideal inbound marketing approach is attracting sales-ready leads and converting them. Sounds simple. However, it’s absolutely vital to remember that these sales leads may think they know what they need, but without your help, as a guide (salesperson) they maybe are missing out on other values. If you are focusing on active listening as I mentioned above, you will want to make sure you aren’t just providing what the client or customer thinks they need but uncovering the why. This will help your team provide more value to your clients by suggesting other services and products that they might not realize are important or have a need for. In my experience, I talk to a lot of people who think they need social media, or SEO when in reality, they need a new website first. Without this in-depth discussion and unbiased approach to the conversation, you can miss out on the true chance to help and to add value to your new clients, whatever way that may be.
Inbound lead conversion is an essential part of the inbound marketing process. It is often is overlooked because of the focus on attracting leads. Take the time to develop a plan including your marketing management and sales management. Then, communicate this valuable information and expectations to your team members. This is the best way to make sure you aren’t losing great opportunities. Take the time to plan for this approach. The reward will be a better return on your inbound marketing program. Need help? Contact us, that's why we are here!