Sales people can often be resistant to following up on website leads who have downloaded a report or completed a survey because those leads are not as “real” as those who filled in a hard “contact me” form. The question is -- Should business buyers who request product information on your website be treated like any other sales lead? According to Wheelhouse, a B2B lead generation company, yes in some way and no in others. Here are a few tips to make the most out of an inbound marketing lead:
1. Have a defined follow up process and make sure to follow up fast
Things happen fast on the internet. If the rule for follow up on the phone leads is two hours; make the follow up for the internet leads instant. The first person to get back to the customer has the best opportunity to win.
2. Get personal
When you receive a website lead, you don’t want treat them like a cold call or someone who walked in off the street. A business buyer researching products online has gone through a process of research and comparison before submitting a request for more information (i.e. submitting a lead.) When you first contact them, make sure you’ve studied the lead you received ahead of time, and approach your prospect as someone who is informed.
3. Don’t give up on the lead so quickly and easily
It’s very easy when you hit your first wall with an Internet lead to claim that it’s just a bad lead, especially if you’re paying for that lead. But unlike leads for consumer products, which might include dream shoppers looking at cars or houses they really don’t intend to buy, business buyers rarely, if ever, have the luxury of submitting a lead for fun. Approach every lead as though they’re a golden opportunity and apply your thorough and relentless follow up process every time, and you’ll greatly increase your odds of success. After all, you would never want to lose that sale because you gave up before your competitor did.
4. Always ask for another referral
It’s important to view an Internet lead as far more than the one person listed on the lead. An Internet lead is your entrance into a big opportunity and you’ll want to view the person listed on the lead as the one who is going to facilitate introductions for you. There is almost always more than one decision maker when it comes to a business product purchasing decision. So whether the person listed on your leads turns out to not be your champion or not, don’t stop there. Always work on getting to know who else will influence the decision to buy from you.
5. Get them into your lead nurturing program
According to the National Sales Association, 80% of all sales are made on the 5th - 12th contact so don't expect them to buy as soon as you start your first phone conversation. If they're not that interested at the moment, it doesn't mean that they won't be interested at some point of time in the future. Make sure you get their email permission and start communicating with them via a lead nurturing strategy and use email to get them warmed up and towards a future sales process with you.
Inbound leads are awesome. Instead of cold calling or other forms of sales prospecting, generating leads through inbound marketing makes the sales team’s job way easier. if a person is an inbound lead, it means that they have visited your website because that is where they submitted their contact information.
This means that they should have some idea about your business and your product or service which saves sales a ton of time and allows you to establish credibility and trustworthiness earlier in the conversation.
What’s your experience with your own website leads?