Sales are the lifeblood of all businesses. And, if prospective customers come to you as opposed to you having to search for them, it’s good news not least since inbound inquiries represent your lowest cost of acquisition. But, if your business is fortunate enough to receive a steady stream of opportunities knocking on your door, how fast do you have to respond to inbound inquiries?
Do you receive 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 inquiries each day? Do they come in from different channels? Maybe a good proportion of your leads come via customers filling in ‘contact us’ forms on your website. Others, perhaps, are received via email. Prospects can also, of course, pick up the phone to contact your organisation.
With the above in mind, how efficiently do you respond to those inquiries? Customers that seek your business out are gold dust compared to the effort and cost involved to reach them through other methods of marketing. Therefore, it would be a crime to let these prime opportunities go to waste.
The 5-minute rule
Can you answer ever inquiry within 5 minutes? Hopefully, some inquiries are dealt with immediately. You don’t want to create frustration when a customer makes a telephone call only for them to be told that no-one is available to take their call. That allows them the time to phone one of your competitors. The quicker you respond, the more likely you will be to convert the opportunity to business. The reason is simple. Suppliers that respond promptly demonstrate that they take customers seriously. The look professional and come across as a business that wants to do business as opposed to an organisation that is lacklustre and under-resourced. In that way, fast response significantly enhances your brand image by dealing with inbound enquiries professionally.
Managing leads through one source
Getting it right is only really possible when leads come into one source. When inbound enquiry management is fragmented, it becomes more difficult to handle. You need to speedily prioritise those opportunities that are warm as opposed to those that either may be a slow burn or ultimately those that are not genuine ‘ready to buy’ leads. Good sales people are busy (and expensive) and, feeding them warm leads and not tyre-kickers will drive growth in your business.
Why not leave it 10 or 20 minutes to get back to a prospective customer? The fact is that the early bird catches the worm. You’ll show you’re on the ball and enhance your reputation at the same time. So, what do steps do you need to take?
- Track and record every inquiry that comes in
- Measure response times
- Ensure you have a dedicated team to respond
- Profile the leads so that they’re categorised by warmth and relevance
To be able to run inbound lead management effectively in this way, you need to ensure you have processes and systems to do so. That means using a robust marketing CRM database to handle the leads and training your team to handle the process in a way that promotes your business rather than puts the customer into the hands of your arch rivals If you don’t have the internal resource to do this efficiently, give GSA a call and we can help.
GSA helps businesses, large and small, become more effective in their marketing and business development. We provide services such as inbound inquiry management and b2b appointment setting and lead generation. If you’d like to know more, give us a call.