Finding qualified leads and having a system in place to nurture them is the key to generating steady business. And today, there are so many ways a lead can come across your business — both online and in the real world — that it’s critical you have the framework in place to field your leads, no matter where they come from.
Here are some tips for making sure you stay on top of every lead that comes your way!
1. Helm the Phones
In an increasingly digital world, a phone call may seem old-fashioned, but some leads prefer to reach out via telephone. Baby Boomers still have a strong preference for calling businesses with questions, and sometimes younger folks are looking for a quick answer from a real person at your business.
There are a couple of things for you to consider, then, when thinking about your call handling procedures. Be sure you have someone on the phones during business hours.
You also want to manage callers’ expectations while they’re waiting to speak to a live person. Silent holds make people think the call has been dropped. Create a hold message or voicemail recording that covers the basics about your business, such as hours and location, so that people calling with one of those questions don’t have to continue to hold for an answer.
Finally, training your team on call handling is important. Provide them with a script to handle the greeting, a list of your most common questions, and what to do when they field a question they can’t answer in order to ensure consistency of service.
2. Provide a Live Chat Option
Chat is becoming an increasingly popular way for consumers to interact with businesses. While chatbots can cover some basic questions, having the option to chat with a live person provides a standout user experience. It can help alleviate confusion and frustration amongst consumers looking for a quick answer to their questions.
3. Add Website Forms
Maybe a consumer happens upon your business online but isn’t quite ready to speak with someone from your team. They’d like to learn a bit more, but don’t want to make a deeper commitment.
That’s where website forms come in. Forms that allow leads to sign up for your newsletter or download an ebook give you the opportunity to collect valuable contact information for leads who aren’t yet ready for the hard sell.
Incorporate call-to-action buttons and web forms throughout your business’s site. But don’t go overboard “ limit yourself to one call to action per page, and — if possible — an offer that’s relevant to the specific content around it.
4. Adopt a Lead Management System
Once you begin hearing from leads — whether through online channels, a visit to your business location, or a phone call — you want to keep track of these people. That’s why a lead management system is critical.
Tracking your leads and understanding where your leads are coming from, how they’re engaging with your business, and information about their background and demographics can empower you to make smarter sales and marketing decisions. Plus, it means that no lead will ever fall through the cracks.
If someone has taken the time to reach out to your business, now is not the time to fall back and let them drift away. You want to stay top-of-mind with these consumers so that when they do decide to purchase, they opt to do business with you.
5. Get Your Team on the Same Page
It can be easy for leads to fall through the cracks when everyone in your business is on different pages. Instituting a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) between your departments helps get everyone on the same page and ensures that leads don’t fall through the cracks. An SLA outlines shared goals and expectations so that these teams spend less time squabbling over differences in opinion and more time nurturing those all-important leads.
Set actionable, measurable goals for employees. Be specific about the team’s procedure for reaching out to these leads. (Is it by phone or email? How quickly are they expected to reach out?)
The way your team cares for leads can make or break your business. You want to ensure seamless service and consistent outreach to keep your business top-of-mind with these consumers. When you establish guidelines for your team and institute a lead management system, you set your business up for success.