How to Effectively Engage Your Inbound Leads (and Close More Deals)
The answer is simple… Not even close!
Far too often, we hear about inbound successfully driving enough leads but those leads never converting to sales. Meaning those valuable leads you worked so hard to get sit untouched for days before anyone ever reaches out. What’s worse, is by the time someone eventually reaches out, it’s already too late.
There seems to be a misconception that inbound leads = SALES. That’s not the case. Just because someone visits your website and downloads a piece of content doesn’t mean they are ready to buy. Moreover, just because they are considered a “warm lead”, doesn’t make them a guaranteed sale.
So, I guess the real question is, after inbound produces the lead, what comes next?
Before we dive into details of how to connect and engage your inbound leads, let’s establish exactly what they are.
What is an Inbound Lead?
Simply put, inbound leads come to you, you don’t have to go to them. This is based around the concept of inbound marketing, which is the practice of bringing people to your site.
Inbound leads interact and engage with your content, service, and/or product(s) based on their own volition. Typically, they will make the first contact with you by filling out a contact form or sending an email. Then, once they’ve expressed both awareness and interest in your brand, they are considered a marketing qualified lead (MQL).
Yes, inbound leads can very promising. However, you won’t reap any of the rewards until you actually connect, engage, and qualify them.
Here are 5 Ways to Effectively Engage and Convert Your Inbound Leads
1. Align your Sales and Marketing Efforts
But remember, this is not just a marketing issue, nor is it just a sales issue. To achieve overall growth, both teams must be equally invested in the program.
2. Respond and Assign Leads Quickly
It should be less than 5 minutes.
If someone comes to your website and fills out a form or requests a demo, you need to respond immediately. There’s no excuse for an inbound lead to sit in the queue for days before a sales rep reaches out. That’s why our rule of thumb is to respond to leads within 5 minutes of engagement with our content. In fact, our data has proven that by doing so, we’ve been able to significantly increase our clients’ conversion rates. Supporting research also states that you’re 21 times more likely to get those leads into your pipeline.
3. Nurture Your Leads Throughout Each Stage
In other words, each inbound lead is different and each lead will be at various stages of the buying process. This means you have to proceed differently with each one in order to connect and engage with them. So it’s important to understand what content fits into what stage of your lead nurturing program. Otherwise, you’ll end up sending the wrong content at the wrong time, which leads to buyer confusion or resistance. Which ends with your inbound leads either getting lost in your sales funnel or abruptly exiting it.
By providing the most relevant content, your leads will stay engaged throughout the entire nurturing process. More importantly, it will build strong brand loyalty well before a prospect is ready to buy.
4. Personalize Your Nurturing Efforts
When done properly, providing personalized content will make your inbound leads feel valued. Thus, pushing them further down the sales funnel.
5. Create an Engagement Workflow/Process
Your team can’t give up on these valuable prospects after just one try. Instead, there should be set expectations for how many times your sales reps should engage with inbound leads before moving on. The best way to do this is by building out a clear engagement process. Although this may sound pretty simple, many companies have poorly optimized processes that result in poor lead conversion. This is why implementing a clear, consistent, multi-touch outreach process is crucial. It helps your sales reps understand what leads are worth their time and effort, and which ones aren’t. Likewise, it ensures they are never confused or uncertain about how to engage with the next inbound lead.
6. Measure, Improve, and Measure Again
Start by keeping it simple and begin tracking:
- How many inbound leads did you receive each week?
- How long did it take to respond to each lead? (the time between when the lead is received until a salesperson talks to them for the first time)
- What percentage of your inbound sales leads are converted into qualified prospects?
- What percentage of your inbound sales leads are converted into customers?
Ready to Engage and Convert Your Inbound Leads More Effectively?
We work to bridge the gap between your marketing and sales, making sure no leads are lost, dropped, or tossed.
With that being said, don’t miss out on any sales opportunities and talk to one of our experts today! Or simply click the button below to learn more.
[Contact us directly at (612) 455-7100 or toll-free at (888) 326-6118]
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