We often hear the line "we want more leads" although, upon closer inspection, the number of leads is not the problem, it's what happens to the leads once they're generated.
Think qualified leads like calls, enquiries or bookings that need to be converted to a sale - not just your standard website visitors or clicks.
A business will engage an agency or hire someone in house to execute a successful lead-generation strategy. Although, they fall short when it comes to proper structure and resources to manage and actually convert these leads.
This deficit can take the shape of many different elements (some which could totally fly under the radar); website problems, poor or no customer service, poor or no lead nurture or follow-up, the team stretched thin or not appropriately trained, lack of supporting software and systems, and the list goes on.
From our perspective, along with generating leads we will always give recommendation and are available for hire to consult on the topic of a lead nurture/converting strategy, but it's down to the quality of your internal systems and the integrity of the team to follow through.
So, I am imploring you to ask this question internally - 'but then what?' - and then also following up with a few more questions. These can be used as guiding questions for your business whether you need to audit the current procedure, or to make sure you've got the right foundations before embarking on a lead generation strategy.
Each of these are relevant after a lead is captured - so we are assuming everything before that is working smoothly.
WHERE DO YOUR LEADS GO, AND WHO RECEIVES THEM?
Make sure you have the software to collect, store and distribute your leads. There is no use if they are just filtering into a spreadsheet that no one looks at, or, entering into a list on your email marketing software with nothing happening beyond that.
HOW DO YOUR LEADS BECOME A SALE?
Be clear on your end goals and what you want your lead to end up doing.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO GET THEM TO CONVERT?
Understand what the process needs to be to get to the above-identified goal. Sometimes this is simply calling them back, other times it's going out to give them a quote, which then requires four follow-ups and a bunch of lead nurturing emails. Every business is different, but every business should have a process.
WHO IS A PART OF THE SALES PROCESS, AND WHAT DOES THEIR ROLE ENTAIL?
Hire the right people and train where necessary. Ideally, once you understand the above two points, you should hire and up-skill your team where required.
DO YOU HAVE A CONVERSION TARGET, AND IS THIS IDENTIFIED FROM ACTUAL MONETARY INSIGHTS?
This gives business managers/owners and team members a guiding light. It shouldn't be used as a scare tactic but more of an indication of whether you need to try something new or try harder in general. A good place to start is identifying average sale price, looking at how many leads you have incoming, and working out how many of those you need to convert to get to your monthly/quarterly revenue targets.
IS THERE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REPEAT PURCHASE - NO MATTER HOW LONG THE LIFE CYCLE IS TO GET THERE?
Many times your existing customer base holds more potential for purchase but is also often overlooked. Keeping on top of this could be simply setting reminders to follow up on those who have purchased in an appropriate amount of time.
DO YOU FOLLOW UP ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION?
This provides two main benefits; first being you can damage control before it becomes an issue and second, it gives a chance to ask for reviews and recommendation, which ultimately feeds the lead cycle
At the end of the day, It is important to realise that an effective follow up will use some variations of all of these methods. Consider these sentiments and use common sense.
Remember, we are here to help.