It’s a bit of both. It starts with having lack processes in place. It normally starts with the way incoming leads are handled. Generally, if it’s an enquiry on their sites using a form, it’s sent to the email address of the sales manager. Many managers are either busy or out and about and unable to respond immediately. At best they will forward the enquiry to another staff member to follow up later that day. More delays.
Other times it’s the technology. The form either doesn’t work or gets trashed by the spam filters. Many forms don’t even include an automated response (auto-responder) back to the client!
To prevent it being lost or overlooked, the sales lead also needs to go to a central repository that can be securely monitored. A CRM system. At least have it sent to more than one person or email address!
Lost or just Lazy?
But as the articles explains, for those few leads that are responded too, the delays in responding is the killer. Customers these days want instant results and feedback. An email or web enquiry should be responded to within 5-10 minutes, not hours or days. Companies with 5 or more staff appear the worst offenders. Generally the bigger they are, the worst they get at lead management.
There’s certainly ample technical tools available to help prevent sales leads falling through the cracks, but few companies have them. Usually it’s because in the building of a website, there’s no communication between the sales people and the web developer. The company often doesn’t know what’s possible and often the developer may not be keeping up with the latest tools, happy to supply the default system used for years. Developers are more concerned with layout and coding, not site traffic or your sales results.
Most websites are still about branding, not sales
Few websites are designed with the needs of customers, sales or sales processes in mind. Most websites are essentially a branding exercise and any leads that come via this channel, deemed a bonus. Any client interaction I was once told, is for the company Facebook page! Too often, by the time it reaches Facebook, the damage has been done, with dissatisfied customers spreading their distain over your lack of service or interest in them…
What’s the fix? Have a System in place
Certainly staff training is the first thing, then technology to help, ensuring no lead is lost.
The amount of tracking options and data we can collect is immense today. For example, we can know how many visit our websites, and if they fill in a form, collect not just the form entries, but also hidden data on the time, date, their location, IP address, what search term they may have used to find your site, the Adwords campaign used, the page visited, number of visits and even the time spent on your website before they filled in the form. All valuable insight to begin any sales conversation.
Such data can not only be sent to multiple recipients via email or mobile, but also dumped automatically into an online CRM system for both managers and staff to view securely online, within seconds. Even low cost systems, like the amazing Zoho CRM have their own mobile app to make things easy, allowing sales staff to log phone conversations too. Modern online CRM systems like Zoho are neat since that can have rules and tasks assigned as to what needs to be done and by whom. e.g. To send triggers based upon time, relevance or services, even text messaging alerts. The lead management options are endless.
Make Data Collection and Tracking a Priority
It’s not just enquiries that can be collected online. Companies should constantly survey their clients on how they’re doing. Tools like email and WordPress forms can make this easy, allowing webforms and multi-page survey forms to be built quickly, at little cost. For those with an online store, customers can be rewarded for such things, perhaps automatically getting coupons for their efforts. Such forms I can often add to most modern WordPress sites for under $500.
Much of this work could be done by the website owner and not require much intervention by a web developer once the initial campaign is setup.. The cost to add these extras often isn’t high. Once costing tens of thousands, can now sometimes be added in for much less if part of the original CMS website building spec. Our low cost WordPress CMS sites can now integrate intelligent forms and Zoho CRM options with ease. Their mobile app (right) being a key lead tracking and management tool for any salesperson or sales manager.
A website should be there primarily to get sales or sales leads. If companies aren’t aware of what’s possible or what management options are available, then nothing will change. For details on these valuable lead tracking options, email us zn.oc.gnitekramlatigidnull@nivek