Many agents get so caught up in just getting new leads in the door that little consideration is given to how they should be handled once they have them. This is a huge mistake that could lead to lost business and a lot of wasted effort.
Lead management encompasses a wide range of activities, including capturing additional profiling information, evaluating a lead’s readiness to buy and nurturing the relationship that will help you increase your closing ratio. It is important to be as systematic as possible in this process, so you can respond to leads quickly and efficiently and measure your results to inform future campaigns. This is sales as a science, not an art.
Follow these lead management best practices to help you optimize your leads:
1. Have a planned approach for every lead that comes in the door.That includes developing standard phone scripts, qualifying questionnaires and e-mail templates for use in lead follow-up.
Note: Follow-up materials should be unique to each marketing channel. For example, you’ll have one follow-up approach for prospects that come to you by referral and another for those who respond to an ad. The referral is in a different place in the buying process, so your follow-up materials need to be different as well.
2. Have a centralized place to store information, such as a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) or lead management software. This will aid you in tracking your progress with each customer.
3. Assign an origin to each lead that comes in the door. Use your CRM system to track the lead source and lead type, so you can determine the effectiveness of your various marketing efforts down to the individual campaign. Ultimately, you want to be able to know how many leads a seminar generated, how many of those became clients, and how much premium they accounted for. That way you can compare campaigns not simply by how many leads came through the door, but also in terms of real dollars generated.
Over time, certain leads will get more immediate attention and more follow-ups because you’ve determined their value based on where they came from.
4. Have a system for classifying each lead using dispositions such as “interested but not ready to buy” or “Ready to close.” This is done after you’ve initially qualified the prospect. Again, this is where having a CRM system is imperative. You can set follow-up calls or e-mails based on disposition. You might also choose to send educational materials rather than sales materials to the client, based on where they are in the buying process.
Lead Management is all about making sure that you’re following up with the right leads in the most effective way possible. Leads are very valuable thing in our industry — especially during a recession. A lead management plan will help you make the most of yours.
To learn more about our Lead Advantage Pro software, call 1.800.786.5566.