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Does Your Business Need a Lead Qualification Service?

You cannot overlook the roles prompt lead response and lead qualification play in keeping your business running smoothly. To run your business, you need to allocate time for different tasks and find a way to do everything efficiently. And, if you categorize your tasks based on urgency or importance, you’ll find “qualifying your leads” showing up under both lists. 

It’s urgent because your leads have “alternatives”. The “alternatives” have phone numbers. And they might have a dedicated lead response team ready to qualify and quickly push your could-have-been leads to their sales. And you know what that could mean for your business. 

It’s important because your revenue depends on converting these leads into customers. There’s also your brand’s reputation that’s involved – it’s a game where you make or break it. A business that responds first, has more chances of converting the lead first. These instantly responsive businesses bag 78% of new business with a prospect!

However, nearly 63% of calls to businesses either go to voicemail or are never answered.

Take time to think about this. How many calls are you missing on a daily basis? How many of those callers never call back or answer their phone when you attempt to reach them? Could they be your potential customers? 

One of the best uses of a lead qualification team is that they identify your potential customers and relay the information to your sales team so that no opportunity is missed.

Here are some important points to consider before you decide whether your business needs a lead qualification service or not.

1) Saving on your time

It’s not just about time, it’s also about timing. 

Answering your leads’ calls is crucial, and calls come in throughout the day. Without a good time management strategy, businesses can miss calls or they end up spending limited time with callers. When you have multiple calls coming in at the same time, it’s easy to put calls on hold or let them go to voicemail. Worse yet, at peak times, some of your calls might even ring out frustrating expectant leads.

When there are time constraints, your lead-nurturing mission falls short of its full potential. 

A 24/7 lead qualification service receives all your calls. Live agents begin interacting and filtering these calls. The leads are nurtured and engaged to fatten your sales pipeline with relevant leads.

2) Saving on your budget

To handle leads’ calls, you need to hire and train a team of receptionists. The recruitment, training and development, office set-up costs, salaries, and other benefits, can be a big hit on your budget.  You might even have to ask other employees to assist with answering calls. Overall, it’s a disorganized strategy and a hindrance to employee productivity. Lead qualification services typically cover your customer answering service needs as well. The services have trained professionals. And, it works out at a fraction of the cost. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that an answering service costs only about 20% of hiring your own in-house receptionist team. It also operates 24/7, ready to provide support for every call. 

3) Increasing your revenue

Hiring a lead qualification service makes it easier to provide consistently seamless support – and caller satisfaction is crucial to your customer experience score.

And, outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads. To engage every lead and keep the sales flowing without affecting your sales budget, you need to answer every inbound call!

4) Engaging your leads (and customers) 24/7 All Year Long

One of the biggest benefits to hiring a lead qualification service – you get to keep your business open all the time! Both your leads and customers’ calls are handled with care. After-hours, weekends and holidays, your callers will be able to receive the response they need. 

Would you believe this? 92% of customer interactions still happen on the phone.

Order-taking, message-taking, scheduling appointments, addressing complaints– every query is attended to. The agents are trained to be patient, professional, and friendly as they interact. You can also customize scripts to maintain your competitive advantage – your brand’s unique personality.

And your leads – they get follow-up calls in addition to all the other answering service benefits. 

HelloSells offers an outbound calling campaign to re-engage the old leads to revive their interest in your products and services.

5) Focusing on other high-priority tasks

62% of business owners say the stress of owning a business is higher than they’d expected. You probably already know– a pile of tasks and responsibilities await business owners every new day. 

It’s a relief to know you have a dedicated team handling leads and other customer calls for you. That means you can go on a vacation or business trips, and trust that your callers’ needs are being met. 

If you need more information on how agents handle your messages when you’re unavailable, find out more here.

6) Do you believe your business is not about the size but the service?

Many small businesses think that their size matters in hiring a lead qualification team. They often assume they might not be the right fit for the service. The common misconception is a result of associating the service with only large call volumes. 

While the logic does make sense, there’s one missing piece of information – lead qualification services are caller friendly with tailor-made call scripts. The service works around your call volume and business needs. It’s not only about the usefulness of the service, but also the caliber of professional interactions that the service delivers.

What’s better is to ask yourself these questions, “Do I want to show my leads that I value them from the get-go? Even if it’s just one lead, do I want them to know my customer service is worth it?”

The truth is, a lead qualification service will improve both the quantity of your call capacity and the quality of your customer service. It’s not about the numbers alone, it’s about the experience you want to give your every caller.

HIRE AN EXPERIENCED LEAD QUALIFICATION SERVICE

Identifying the missing link between marketing and sales, HelloSells has paved the way for a 24/7 live lead qualification service. The goals are to optimize your marketing ROI, support your sales team, and offer your leads a positive brand experience.

You being unable to respond when leads need you can be the stumbling block that affects your rapport with them. See how HelloSells can resolve your lead management problems. 

Create cost effective budgets, go on a vacation if you may, and still grow your revenue as your leads are handled effectively and fast.

CONTACT NOW

Any questions? Call  or send an email to sales@hellosells.com.

Let’s Chat About Conversational Marketing

While it’s true that the internet changed the way businesses connect with customers, we seem to have settled into a few routines. As it turns out, not all the high-speed technical innovations have been for the best. We are more distant and impersonal than ever before. But, how can conversational marketing help?

Your customers are still people, and not surprisingly, they want you to treat them in a personable manner. That’s where conversational marketing comes in. It’s a technique that builds a relationship through dialogue. It enhances your existing marketing strategy while simultaneously qualifying sales leads.

Consider the standard purchasing journey your buyers go through once they discover your website:

  1. Read Your Sales Copy — They sift through the text on your website for relevant information. 
  2. Locate Your Sales Forms — They click enough links to find your contact information.
  3. Fill Out Those Contact Forms — They type in their personal data and trust you won’t abuse it.
  4. Wait for You To Respond — They screen their calls and only respond to compelling voice messages.  

Site visitors often give up and leave. This behavior is particularly common for complex products and services. It is too slow for customized items, specially engineered solutions or technical services. These blockages in your sales cycle ultimately cost you.

When executed correctly, conversational marketing moves your buyers through your sales funnels faster. Instead of leaving the customers alone to figure it all out for themselves, meaningful interactions begin right away, and the conversation qualifies buyers ready to move forward.

HelloSells is a lead capturing and marketing service that helps you make the most of your marketing budget. We’ve seen first-hand how conversational marketing enhances results.

The Basic 3-Step Philosophy of Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is about building a relationship with the customer. It is a people-first, customer-centric philosophy.

Step 1: Be a Good Listener

It’s the golden rule of selling. A good listener is also a great conversationalist. Customers do an excellent job of telling you what they want and need, but you must be ready to consider their input.

When customers visit your website looking for information, a chat dialogue invites them to tell you what they need. Responses vary, but it’s essential to capture and understand their reactions like any good listener would do in a face-to-face conversation.

Step 2: Identify the Needs

Once you establish contact with a prospect, ask a few qualifying questions to move the interaction along. This first conversation allows you to identify the best path to solving the customer’s problem. Flexible yet informative answers tailor the experience to each customer.

Step 3: Meet Those Needs

The initial conversation qualifies the buyer, and then your subject matter experts take over. Your sales staff may focus time on the leads that make the most impact on your business by assisting customers who require their expertise the most.

Four Immediate Benefits and One Bonus Advantage

Speed is essential to your success, but your processes can get bogged down. Conversational marketing is an accelerator that removes waste from your sales cycle. That waste often manifests in the form of missed opportunities, mis sold solutions, and unhappy customers.

Conversational marketing provides a number of key benefits:

  1. Quicker Response Times — Engage your customers right away and let them know they are essential to you.
  2. Shorter Buying Cycles — Expedite your best leads through your sales process.
  3. Personalized Services — Deliver the personalized experience that customers demand.
  4. Increased Loyalty — The relationships you create foster brand loyalty and referrals.

The bonus advantage: Conversational marketing is an approach, not a technology. Therefore it can be integrated with your current website and sales forms. It’s an easy enhancement to your existing processes.

Techniques for Conversational Marketing

Implementing a conversational marketing strategy isn’t difficult, and there are some standard tools and techniques.

Chatbots

These tools automate the initial interaction with the user. A window greets your site’s visitors and prompts a response. An AI interprets the response and filters the prospect through a series of questions before connecting with a live representative.

Chatbots run 24/7 and reduce your reliance on human staff, but there are disadvantages. Many buyers dislike conversing with an impersonal bot. Depending on the quality of the AI, some might have a terrible experience and quit.

Real Conversations 

The alternative to chatbots is to employ a live operator to interact with your website’s visitors. Genuine conversations make the best impression, but staffing costs add up.

Many businesses outsource the initial conversations to a marketing company. These businesses follow the scripts you provide and direct qualified leads to your team. They provide the live interactions your customers want, but you only pay for the actual services you use. 

Customized Scripts

These scripts are common responses to typical inquiries. Scripts guide the sales process and help channel prospects toward the best solutions. For unique challenges, a manager handles the customer’s concern.

Scripts should be thoughtful and designed to direct your customers through the sales channel. Know your market and products well enough to anticipate the most likely questions, concerns and objections you may encounter.

Email Campaigns

A conversational marketing campaign continues even after the first conversation. With email, you can keep in touch with your prospects and build the relationship over time. Customize your customer’s experience by sending specific offers and updates.

This technique requires some care and attention to detail. Most consumers dislike and ignore spam emails. That’s why serious marketers avoid sending out junk emails and focus instead on thoughtful messages.

What To Do After the First Conversation

Once you’ve started, the conversation never really stops. You continue the dialogue with your customers long after you’ve closed the sale to encourage repeat business. Build relationships using email campaigns and social media tools.

Conversational marketing is scalable, meaning that it grows along with your business. You may eventually add additional sales staff to respond to a growing volume of leads as more and more buyers respond favorably to your efforts.

Getting the Conversations Started

At HelloSells, we have live customer service representatives working around the clock who connect with your customers.  We can help design your scripts and respond to initial customer contact to get the conversation started so you benefit from this powerful marketing technique.

Contact us today to see how easy it is to start.

How To Run a Successful Outbound Calling Campaign

The telephone is one of the most effective media for marketing. 

Salespeople consistently report achieving better results when they can speak to a lead directly. 

This is backed up by the numbers at most organizations. However, many organizations find that their outbound calling efforts are not sufficiently effective, and their inbound calls are not frequent enough.

Fortunately, you can make some changes to improve your outbound calling campaigns. With the right strategy, you can empower your sales team to take more initiative and increase your sales.

Calls Are Best Served Hot

First and foremost, it is important to understand that even if you are running an outbound campaign, the leads should be hot and qualified, not cold. While cold calling may have its place in some organizations’ marketing mixes, it simply isn’t that effective. In many cases, it is a waste of time and resources.

Your lead generation techniques should focus on generating qualified leads. Furthermore, your sales team should be following up on those leads promptly. Time is the enemy of sales.

In a sense, your outbound campaign should be an extension of your inbound marketing efforts. Draw leads in and qualify them, then your sales team can reach out. Don’t think of them as separate channels!

When To Call Cool (But Not Cold) Leads

You may have some leads that have cooled off but were qualified and interested at some previous point. For example, you may have someone who previously bought from you but hasn’t recently. This is an especially significant pool for subscription services. People who have canceled a subscription may be good targets for your outbound campaign.

Additionally, if someone requested information previously and was unreachable or decided that it wasn’t the right time, that can serve as a cool lead. Whenever your flow of new, hot leads slows down, you can draw from this pool of cool leads to try and reignite them. This can help keep your sales team busy, and converting.

A Well-Prepared Team Makes All the Difference

If you have an experienced sales team, you are in good shape. However, it isn’t always possible to be entirely staffed with veterans. Creating a strong training program to prepare your people to sell effectively on the phone is a good idea.

Even if you are bringing in people with experience, they may not be familiar with the common objections raised for your products or services. Preparing them to respond to these key objections is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your outbound calls. They will convert more sales when they are able to anticipate concerns that leads may raise.

It’s All About Measurement

Ultimately, the right strategy for your business will be different from your competitors. The most important technique for optimizing your campaigns is to measure them.

If you have strong measurement techniques, you can make well-informed decisions. Chances are that you are implementing measurement in your other marketing channels. You are likely already tracking your phone sales as well. Try to find additional metrics to track and establish your key performance indicators.

With these in hand, you will be able to run A/B tests and other techniques to optimize your campaign. You can adjust everything from call scripts to lead qualification questions. You’ll gradually be able to hone in on the details that work best for your brand.

Techniques for Measuring Success

Many teams struggle with identifying good data points for their outbound call campaign. It may seem like either a lead converts or they don’t. However, there are some finer points that can be measured. These are the three main categories of performance analytics for calls:

  • Contact List: When you generate leads for your sales team to call, you want those leads to be high-quality. They should be qualified and hot. If you are calling the wrong people or have inaccurate details, you are going to struggle. So, the first point to measure is how accurately you are qualifying leads and capturing their information.
  • Dialing Effectiveness: The second aspect to measure is whether you are getting through to the right people at the right time. Some calls may reach your leads at times when they aren’t receptive. If you are getting a lot of requests to call back later, that is an indication that your timing isn’t right. You also want to make sure your phone system isn’t getting in the way of calls.
  • Conversion Data: Finally, when you have someone on the phone and conversing, you need to measure how effective your team is at converting them. If they are getting through to interested leads and not converting, you have a problem you need to resolve.

The simple way to measure these categories is to tag your reasons for call failure. A successful call was a success on all fronts (although you can get bonus points for identifying issues that were overcome!). However, a failed call didn’t work out for a reason. Keep track of those reasons and you can determine where in the sales funnel your leads are dropping off.

Always Be Ready on Inbound Calls

One of the best ways to ensure that your outbound campaign always has qualified leads is to always be ready for inbound calls. If you are letting callers go to voicemail or ring for too long, you are missing out on qualified and interested leads.

Plan your phone processes so that callers can always speak to a real person. This first interaction can be as simple as qualifying the lead and getting callback information for the sales team. However, just letting the call go is a huge missed opportunity.

Of course, not every organization has the in-house resources to provide 24/7 responses. Fortunately, you can turn to an outside solution to help.

Empower Your Phone Marketing With HelloSells

HelloSells is a 24/7 lead qualification service. 

We provide valuable services and features including 24/7 lead response, appointment scheduling, form response and click-to-call. Explore our solutions to see if we can help your business improve its inbound and outbound phone marketing processes. 

Call us at 800-550-4955 to speak with a representative and learn more about how we can empower your business.

How Slow Response Times Destroy Your Marketing Budget

Have you ever received an auto response from a company you emailed or contacted online? If so, it probably stated that you would hear back from the company within 24 hours. While 24 hours is the common standard for responding to customers, it’s simply too slow for today’s fast-paced world.

In fact, slow responses could be one of the main reasons you aren’t hitting your growth targets or reaching your sales goals. Here’s how slow response times can waste your marketing budget and why faster responses to your leads are so important.

What’s Considered a Slow Response Time

If you’re looking for ways to speed up your response times, you first need to know what’s considered “slow”. Research shows that the average response time is 38 hours, which is way too long. By that time, your customers will think you’ve forgotten about them. Even 24 hours is too long. That may have been the standard years ago, but it is no longer acceptable. Conventional wisdom is that a response to emails and web forms within 12 hours is acceptable. If you can respond within just a few hours, that is even better.

When a customer or potential customer reaches out to you, he or she wants answers NOW, not in 24 hours. If you wait 24 hours simply because you think it’s OK to do so, you could lose your lead. You’ve got to hustle to keep leads happy and interested.

Why Response Times Matter

If you’re wondering why it matters if you respond to an email in two hours or 20 hours, you’re underestimating how valuable a fast response is to your customers. According to one survey, customers rated fast response times as the most important aspect of their experience with a company. Therefore, if your response times are slow, you are failing to meet customer expectations. That’s a surefire way to lose business.

Unfortunately, only 12% of surveyed customer service managers reported that they were focused on sending quick responses to customers. If you are not one of these rare few, you need to re-evaluate the importance you place on responding quickly. Make sure all of your customer service representatives know how important it is to respond quickly to all leads.

What Potential Consequences Can Come From Slow Response Times

The modern consumer is impatient, and it’s easy to see why. Gratification is instant these days, and if people have to wait too long for a response, they’ll probably move on out of frustration. Here are some of the potential consequences you could face if your response times are too slow.

  • Non-converting leads: If a lead contacts you and you don’t respond in a timely manner, that lead will probably never convert into a paying customer. If you’re struggling to convert leads and you don’t know why, you may want to take a second look at your response time. Shorten it, if possible, and see if you are able to convert more leads as a result.
  • Damaged reputation: Did you know customers are more likely to complain about bad experiences than they are to talk about their good experiences? As a business owner, that means you need to work extra hard to make sure every customer has a positive experience working with you. One of the first steps you can take to maintain your good reputation is to respond to customers quickly. If you take too long to respond and the customer feels ignored, he or she is more likely to complain about you to others and damage your reputation.
  • Loss of loyalty: Take a moment to think about companies you’re loyal to. What have they done to earn your loyalty? While the list may be long, it most likely includes fast response times. When companies respond to you quickly, it means they value you. On the flip side, if a company takes a long time to respond to you, it is sending the message that it doesn’t truly value your business. Be the type of company that values others and earns their loyalty.
  • Loss of revenue: Every business wants and needs to earn revenue. In order to do that, you need to make enough sales. If you’re not converting leads and keeping current customers happy by responding to their questions and needs quickly, they’ll probably take their business elsewhere. When that happens, you lose out on revenue.

In addition to all these negative consequences, you’re also losing the effectiveness of your marketing dollars when you don’t provide good customer service response times. If your response time is slow, it could also result in an overflow of leads. Since all leads aren’t created equal, it can be difficult to separate the qualified leads from the rest if there are too many waiting for a response from you at the same time.

How To Improve Your Response Time

Now that you know how important it is to respond to emails and webforms quickly, you may be wondering how to do it. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use email autoresponders
  • Use templates to save time on responses
  • Hire a lead response team

Email autoresponders can assure your customers that you’ve received their query and are preparing to respond to it. Ideally autoresponders should be sent out within a couple of minutes of the email or web-form submission.

If you receive the same types of questions on a regular basis, you could save a lot of time by preparing templates. Supply your team with templates that answer the most common customer questions. This will make their jobs easier and help them respond very quickly to customers. Keep in mind that not all questions or concerns can or should be answered with an email template. When deciding whether to respond with a template or a customized response, use your best judgment.

If you don’t have a large enough customer service team to keep up with emails and web-forms, consider outsourcing this part of your business. You can hire a lead response team to take care of these matters for you.

Start Responding to Interactions Instantly

Are you tired of losing business because you can’t respond to customers in time? Hello Sells can help you solve the problem. Contact us to learn how we can help you turn leads into customers.