The most extensive survey on the topic, done by the Harvard Business Review found that companies who respond to leads within an hour of inquiry are seven times more likely to close the sale. They also found on average, nearly half of the reviewed companies took more than 24 hours to respond or did not respond at all.
This could be great news for your company. It means your competition might be taking more than 24 hours to respond and leaving you an opening. The bad news? Your firm most likely is taking too long to respond as well. But fret not, it can be fixed.
Once someone fills out an online form it means they are already in the consideration stage of the customer marketing journey. In more colloquial terms, they are a hot lead and very likely to be comparing different options before deciding. The finance industry is highly competitive and your firm is most likely not the only one they have contacted.
Most companies understand the importance of contacting leads as quickly as possible, so why don’t they do it?
Generally because they lack marketing automation systems or they are not set up correctly. Some of the most commonly used marketing automation systems solutions are: HubSpot, Pardot, and Infusionsoft. According to HubSpot´s website they offer marketing and sales software that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads and close customers.
Sounds great, right? So, let’s see what tools are needed to leverage marketing automation software such as HubSpot to make it possible to follow up with leads in 24 hours or less.
Automatic Email Follow-ups
If you inquire about an item at a store and nobody helps you will most likely walk out. It works exactly the same on the Internet.
Since we still can’t and probably don’t want to automate sales calls. We can rely on automated email follow-ups to connect with leads as soon as they enter into our pipeline.
You can even create different email sequences depending on what form was filled out in your website.
Remember, token emails without providing value will most likely hurt your prospecting efforts so set the perfect stage by sending educational and insightful content.
Marketing software offers the possibility to review every email sent. So if your prospect opened an email you can start off the call by asking if the email you sent was helpful. That feedback is invaluable.
Categorize Leads by Urgency
If you are a financial firm or brokerage you most likely offer more than one type of service. Therefore, your website most likely has more than one contact form.
This takes us to categorizing leads by urgency level.
You might want to respond differently by the type of info requested or action taken on your website. Say someone comes into your website to download a whitepaper, they are most likely not yet in a rush to get a problem solved. On the other hand, if someone requests a quote it means they are very close to a purchasing decision. And that most likely requires a much shorter response time.
Using today’s automation software, sorting leads by urgency enables your sales team to prioritize and address hot leads quickly and move onto not-so-urgent leads for the next day.
Another feature to consider is distributing hot leads to your most experienced sales reps to increase closing rates.
Make Phone Calls from Your CRM
For brokerage and financial firms that are required to record phone calls with clients or prospects, HubSpot offers a feature that allows brokers or sales reps to make and record calls through the HubSpot CRM.
The additional good news is that your sales reps won’t have to jump between their CRM and phone. This type of integration makes call tracking accurate and archives the audio file in the contact’s record.
Additionally, average follow-up times and average time spent on calls can be tracked, along with the relation between call duration and successful closes.
You can set up detailed reports on all of these metrics: the seamless transition from opening a lead to calling guarantees shorter lead follow-up times.
Phone Integration with HubSpot
Provide Sales Managers with Complete Oversight
Keeping track of who is doing what is equally important. Today’s tools also provide sales managers with insights into exactly how much each sales rep contributes to shortening response times and increases revenue.
Marketing automation software tracks all of these key performance metrics, helping sales managers quickly identify sales rep strengths and weaknesses. You will receive accurate information on average lead response time, percentage of leads followed up within target time range, percentage of time spent on selling activities, percentage of time spent on manual data entry and other key metrics.
This allows managers to quickly find and fix bottlenecks in lead follow-up times and create benchmarks for constant improvement.
You will be able to reward top performers and identify what is slowing down underperformers. This is where today’s sales technology really shines.
Distribute leads evenly
Now that we’ve covered how leads can be distributed by urgency, let´s see why it is so important to distribute leads evenly.
Routing leads to the wrong person can kill your bottom-line. You want reps who don’t have much on their plate right now to take leads that just entered the pipeline. This will decrease lead follow-up times and allow a healthy distribution of leads among your sales reps.
Systems like HubSpot allow for sales managers to set up lead distribution through a “round robin” process or by manually assigning.
Lead routing is an essential part of sales operations. Allocating your leads to different reps not only improves efficiencies in the sale process but keeps the team happy with an equitable system.
You never know when a new lead will fill out your website form. Instant notifications relieve your reps of the need to be always checking their pipeline to see if they have fresh leads.
Now, as soon as someone fills out the form, sales reps can be notified (during office hours of course) and a follow up task will immediately be assigned to them.
You can even trigger notifications when someone opens an email you sent. This helps figure out the best time to call. Once the call is initiated, you can ask whether they have read your email. And now you have another point of reference.
Nurture your leads with automated responses
Automated responses can provide value and build credibility even before you get a sales person on the phone. An initial email can be the first building block towards a long and rewarding relationship with a prospect.
An initial email should thank a new prospect for filling out your form and deliver additional insight or valuable content to pull the prospect deeper into the sales funnel. This way you are immediately deploying action that leads towards your sales objective. You are selling — without selling.
It can also break the ice before your sales team engages the prospect with a harder sale approach.
The overall benefits are more than enough to consider looking into setting up marketing automation software as soon as possible. And before you know it, you’ll be in that Harvard Business Review group that is beating the competition.
Need help to improve your processes? Interested in learning more about HubSpot? Contact us!