Archive for the ‘Lead Management’ Category

Lead Conversion Best Practices, Pt. 2

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Following up from last week’s post, below are 2 remaining key practices that every lead buyer should follow in order to improve their conversions.

III. Earn the Consumer’s Trust

Consumers are going to do business with someone they trust.  There are 4 key components to earning a consumer’s trust:

  • Qualify the customer’s needs
  • Identify the “implications” for those needs
  • Listen for buying signals
  • Obtain the consumer’s commitment

1) Qualify the Consumer’s Needs

In this step you need to ask open ended questions to learn the reason for their inquiry.  Use both financial and emotional qualifiers to pinpoint the reason they completed an online inquiry.  It is likely that there may be some sort of “pain” point behind the inquiry.  If you don’t identify that “pain” point then one of your competitors will.  As a result, they are more likely to get the consumer’s business.  Below is an example of open-ended qualifying questions:

  • “What is it about your current mortgage that caused you to inquire?”
  • “Have you found a house that you are looking to buy that you need the loan for”
  • “Is there a pressing financial need that is behind your inquiry to refinance?”

If you can identify 2-3 solid qualifiers, or examples of “pain,” from the open-ended question process, then it’s safe to move to step 2.

2) Identify the “Implications” for the Needs

This is arguably the most important step of the process because if you can find an emotional response to the needs, the consumer will be able to literally “feel” how your solution will help them.  Some examples of “Implication” questions would be:

  • “What might happen if you don’t resolve the situation?”
  • “How has the financial strain of your current situation affected your stress level?”

Once you have identified the “Implications” of the consumer’s needs, then you may move on to step 3.

3) Listen for Buying Signals

At this point, the consumer will likely begin asking you questions that show their level of interest.  This is because you have earned their trust, identified their needs and identified the emotional and financial impact those needs have on them.  So at this point, the consumer needs you to solve their problem.  Examples of buying signals include:

  • “So, I could achieve this monthly payment and get the cash out of my house that I need?”
  • “What is the application process like with your company?”
  • “What are your fees and closing costs?”
  • “How soon can I get the money?”

4) Obtain the Consumer’s Commitment

There are several keys to gaining commitment.  Undoubtedly any commitment that includes a monetary component is best.  But if that is not possible, get the consumer to commit to receive your “official packet,” whatever that might be.

IV. Recycle Older Leads

Many of your consumers will fall out of the process for various reasons.  Maybe they had a change of heart, or maybe they were overwhelmed by the calls from multiple companies.  However, many of these consumers are still in the market for a product or service several weeks after their initial inquiry, but by then most of your competitors have already thrown that consumer to the floor.

Set up a process to call any consumer that says they are not interested (or any consumer for whom you have left unreturned messages) at 30 days from the point they were removed from the initial call cycle.  Introduce yourself and let them know that they should contact you if they are still in the market for the product they requested.  Repeat this process at day 45, 60 and 90.  LeadPoint has several clients for whom this is one of their more profitable sources of business.

We hope these 4 steps will prove valuable and are confident that if you loyally follow them you will see measurable improvements in your conversions rates and ROI over time.

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Lead Conversion Best Practices

Monday, October 10th, 2011

We have discussed lead conversion best practices in the past, but given their importance they bare repeating.  There are 4 key practices that every lead buyer should faithfully follow in order to improve their conversion rates.

    #1: Be the first to Contact the Consumer
    #2: Be Diligent and Methodical with Your Follow-Up
    #3: Earn the Consumer’s Trust
    #4: Recycle Older Leads

Today we will cover points 1 & 2 and follow up with 3 & 4 in a subsequent post.

Practice #1:  Be the First to Contact the Consumer

While this may seem obvious, you might be surprised by how much of an impact it has.  If your lead provider does not deliver real-time leads, you are already at a disadvantage.  LeadPoint has a call center where we interact with consumers that we have matched with buyers in our network.  Invariably, the number one consumer complaint is that the consumer was not contacted by all of the buyers with whom they were matched.

Thus, not only are buyers not calling on the leads as soon as they are received, many buyers’ sales representatives are not even calling on the leads at all.  Time-to-contact is the key component to success with data leads.  While it is not likely that you will get the deal on the initial call, you need to attempt to be the very first company that the consumer speaks with.

Consumers want to entertain other offers, but being the first to speak to the consumer will help you succeed in Practice #3 (Earn the Consumer’s Trust) and you will become the benchmark against which all other conversations will be measured.  However, being the first to contact is only one piece of the pie. 

Exclusive Leads: You Should Still Call The Consumer Immediately

Even if you purchase an exclusive lead from LeadPoint you may not be the only company competing for the consumers’ business. After submitting their inquiry with a LeadPoint partner, consumers may continue to pursue other inquieries over the Internet.

Practice #2:  Be Diligent and Methodical with your Follow-Up

Upon receiving the lead, you should do all of the following:

Immediately contact the consumer at all available phone numbers. 

“Preferred” call times (a field that some leads include) are great for follow up, but if you adhere to them for the initial contact then you will be left in the dust.

If you don’t have the means to set up an auto-generated email response to the lead, then have a standard introductory letter that you fire off to the consumer manually, immediately upon receiving the lead.

If the consumer is not contacted on the initial call, then call a minimum of 3 more times per day during the first day (4 calls total), and during the subsequent 3 days thereafter until the consumer is contacted.  Leave a message, however, only on the last call of the day.

Perform the above processes consistently and religiously!

Bonus Tip – Call on weekends!

Consumers are more likely to answer their phone.  They are likely to have all the necessary documentation in front of them.  And they generally have more freedom to speak than they might while at work.

To be continued….

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The benefits of leveraging a lead platform in the UK

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Justin Reese, Director of Marketing for LeadPoint UK, writes in an article for iMedia Connection on the benefits of using a lead platform along with other lead gen trends within the UK.

The upcoming publication of the IAB’s Online Lead Generation Buyers Guide is a watershed moment for the fledgling UK online lead generation industry and will give advertisers a handy reference guide to help get their lead generation campaigns off the ground. The guide covers everything a prospective lead buyer needs to know right now, but what does the future hold for online lead generation in the UK?  The market is growing and evolving at breakneck speed with new developments occurring on an almost monthly basis.  The following are a few of the central trends.

The platform play

You buy leads, you supply leads but how do you manage multiple campaigns across multiple verticals simultaneously? Easy — you need an online lead generation platform.

Whether you are a lead buyer, a lead seller or an agency, the increasing need for transparency, efficiency and tracking are making the lead generation platform an increasingly attractive proposition. From digital insertion orders, real-time reporting or just the ability to manage multiple suppliers and buyers in one place, a platform can add real value to all the stakeholders in the lead generation value chain.

By making the whole lead generation process more efficient a platform has the potential to deliver huge cost savings. Imagine a life insurance company buying 1,000 leads per week for £40 per lead from 20 suppliers. With these volumes there will always be an element of duplication as consumers fill in multiple forms online. Most advertisers end up paying for everything, which means paying for the same lead more than once. Even with a duplication rate as low as 5 per cent that’s still over £2,000 wasted per week, which is over £100,000 per year. Loading these 20 suppliers into a platform that can de-dupe in real-time can be very cost effective so it’s no wonder that many advertisers see these types of platforms as the future of online lead generation.

The Americans are coming

They invented it, they perfected it and they even have LeadsCon, an annual conference in Las Vegas dedicated to it, but up until now American involvement in the UK online lead generation industry has been limited. In many verticals, they have been more casual observers rather than major players. But over the last year or so, there has been an increasing interest from the American lead gen companies in bringing their knowledge and experience over to the UK market and showing us a few tricks. From increasingly sophisticated methods that generate leads from social media sites to the use of online video to help improve form conversions, expect to see more of these types of developments make their way across the Atlantic along with a few of the companies that perfected them.

If you thought data leads were good…

For high value verticals like financial services, many advertisers buy leads to put into a call centre to try to convert into a sale over the phone. Even if you work with the best suppliers in the world with the best technology, there will always be some degree of wastage — perhaps the consumer just doesn’t pick up the phone or they didn’t read clearly enough that somebody would call them if they submitted their details so were just looking for an online quote.

Either way, it can cost a significant sum to process these types of leads. For many of these high value lead products there is an increasing demand to buy voice leads as well as or instead of data leads where you pay a premium but have a guaranteed contact.

Up until now, this market has been filled by call centres cold calling old data and then hot-keying interested consumers through to the advertiser’s own call centre. The downside is that often the consumers are pushed through without really having much interest in the product and the end results are more contacts but also more wastage. And finally, the next big thing in terms of voice leads is where the consumer is initiating the contact — i.e., they are responding to marketing and instead of filling in a form to be contacted, they dial a number and their call is then routed to the relevant advertiser with each valid call paid for on a cost per call basis. Again, this is big business in the US — expect to see this execution making waves on this side of the pond over the coming months.

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