So you just got an inbound lead from your website. You or your sales team gets a notification email that there is a prospect interested in hearing about your company and is ready to talk.
So what happens next?
This article is meant to give you a full playbook of the proven system that should kick into action exactly at this point to turn leads into customers consistently and quickly.
Companies spend endless hours and big budgets to generate web traffic and lead generation through Google, social media, and other marketing campaigns but what happens after the lead comes in?
Well let's look at some statistics on the subject from this Forbes article.
- 35% to 64% of web leads are never even followed up
- Only 27% of the web leads actually get spoken to
- 46 hours and 53 minutes is the average call back time for web leads
- Sales reps average 1.3 follow ups but the average close happens on the 8th call
To summarize, there is a huge disconnect between online marketing and sales.
So what can you do about it?
Sit tight, I'm going to show you -- read on!
When my Co-Founder and I started our company Upgrow, I previously had little-to-no sales experience. I've been doing lead generation online for over 15 years, so while I was quite good at building up new leads on our website through SEO, Google Ads, LinkedIn, conversion rate optimization, and lead capture forms, I wasn't as effective at sales presentations, followup, or closing.
After taking on more of a sales role at the agency, in the past 2 years with steady reading, training, and experience I have a process that is becoming much more effective and consistent in turning those leads into clients. So here is what I've learned.
What you Need to Get Started
There are a number of critical processes you need to put into place before you can properly handle internet leads. Taking the time to organize and put these into place and ensure they're consistently used by you and your sales team will have a monster impact on your close rates so don't overlook creating these and continually tweaking them based on performance.
The same study referenced above found that contacting a lead who had submitted their contact information online was 100X more likely to be reached and qualified if called in the first 5 minutes versus 30 minutes, and forget about the average 46+ hours. To respond within 5 minutes you'll need a highly standardize process so you aren't making it up on the fly.
Why do you need to reply so quickly? Because you're on their mind at that moment and your competitor is a click away too.
Lead Notification System
There are many providers, solutions, and setup options available so it's not so much about which one you choose but that you properly set it up and most importantly respond quickly when the lead drops in. I like Hubspot as they offer a suite of sales and marketing automation tools and are reasonably priced, even the free version is suitable for most early stage companies.
When a prospect his the Hubspot download form or books with their appointment calendar booking tool, I get a text and an email notification. Unless you're asleep, no matter where you are, you can usually respond right away. For a proper response though, you need a copy-and-paste script. Also be sure the prospect receives a calendar invitation so it lands on their schedule, Hubspot can also handle this.
First Response Script
Plan for a phone call, text message, and email response for the sales leads that come in so you'll need a script for each. Hubspot can even automate the email part once you input your script. As mentioned about, a key here is immediate response (within 5 minutes, within 1 minute if at all possible).
Here is a good email script framework:
Hi <Their Name>,
<Your Name> here at <Your Company>. Thank you for booking our call on <date and time>.
Before then I'll be doing some homework on <Their Company> and would love to get some additional info from you to make sure we maximize our time on the call:
- What is your primary motivation for contacting us today?
- How to you handle <Service your provide> currently?
- How do you measure successful for <service you provide>?
- Are there specific <services you offer> you'd like to discuss?
Thank you again for your time and I look forward to speaking!
A phone call should follow up the email immediately. Why call when you just emailed? Email open success rates are terrible due to the amount of emails most people receive, spam filters, and Gmail dropping you into the secondary folder tabs so it's very easy to miss your email.
Here is a good voicemail script framework:
Hi <Their Name>,
<Your Name> here at <Your Company>. I just wanted to thank you for booking our call on <date and time> and look forward to speaking. I just sent you an email and would love to get some more information from you to put together some ideas before we speak on <day>.
My number is <your number> and my email is <your email>. Talk soon.
For more phone call script ideas and different scenarios, check out this great post from Grant Cardone on the topic.
You have an appointment booked, are you really just going to show up and chat with the lead?
I sure hope not!
You're going to need a presentation of your product or service. This is why I like to use Zoom web conferencing for my meetings so I can share my screen as I walk through the presentation.
A strong presentation should include:
- Who you/your company is and why you can help them
- About your company
- Case studies
- Services offer
- Your plan for helping them
- Pricing and terms
Have a designer make it look very slick and polished. Make sure you've rehearsed it and could do it in your sleep. And because you've hopefully collected additional information before the meeting, you can tailor your presentation accordingly.
Closing the Lead Step-by-Step
So now assume a lead just came in through your website. They book a meeting with you, here's what happens next:
The 5-Minute Follow-up
You got a notification text and email (thanks to your CRM) so now you're firing off the scripts you prepared within minutes of receiving the lead by phone, email, and even text message (you can use a shortened version of the email for text).
Assuming the prospect sent through the additional details you needed, now you can do your homework. That includes:
- Spending 10-15 minute researching the client, their industry, and most importantly ways your service or product could help them.
- Trying to qualify the prospect to determine which product or service you offer is right for them
The Sales Meeting
It's all led up to this. You should be well prepared and ready to crush this meeting. Here is a simple format for the meeting:
- Script: Hi <Name>, it's great to connect with you and thank you for your time.
- Yep, that's it, about 10 seconds, do not spend time talking weather anything else to save time and focus on the goal of this meeting
Set your expectations for the call and lay out an agenda to put yourself in control and let the prospect know you know what you're doing.
- Script: So my agenda is to collect a little more information about you and then I can share some ways we can support your goals as well as how we do it. Does that sound good?
We qualify to put the prospect in the right product as well as see if they are a good fit for you. Some good qualifying questions may include these below, be sure to capture notes and log them into your CRM.
- Why did you book this meeting today?
- What is your biggest problem you'd like to have solved?
- How much is the problem impacting your business?
- How have you handled <product/service you offer> in the past and what are you planning going forward?
- What is your budget?
- How do you measure success?
- Who will be involved in the decision of this purchase?
- Walk them through your presentation and highlight the areas of interest gained from the qualifying.
- Be sure to share pricing, terms, and projections so you can move into the next phases.
You can expect objections such as "the price is too high", "how do I know it will work", or simply "I need to think about it"? Practice handling these objections by planning your response for the most common in advance so you know what to day. Begin your response by always agreeing with the prospect. For example: "I agree the price is high, it's certainly an investment. But me ask you, what is the cost of operating your business with poor <your service/product?>"
I love reframing the cost objection into a missed sales projection. So if they say $9,000 per month is too much for full SEO service and a projected 20% gain in traffic and revenue, then I can easy calculate what 20% additional revenue is $50,000 then it's easy for them to see the value of the investment.
For "I need to think about it", that just means you need to get to the true objection through further questions and details on their objection.
Have a next step in mind although it will be different for different companies.
- For me it is to send over a Scope of Work and Agreement. If I feel they are already close to making a decision I try to close them on this first call.
- Closing scripts:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how well does this fit your needs?
- If less than 10, what would it take to be a 10?
- Would you like to start this week or next week?
- How would you see yourself using <product/service>?
Even if you can't close the deal, at least close on a next step. This could be setting a follow up meeting and putting it on the calendar or deliverables you owe to the prospect to make a decision. Do not just let the call end with a qualified lead without a next step ever.
If you successfully closed on that first call then you of course follow up with the agreement for their signature. If they left the meeting still undecided then you need to deploy your follow up sequence. I like to do something like this:
- 1 hour later: Thank you email and share additional information based on the call. Also connect with them on LinkedIn.
- 1 day later: Mail a hand written note expressing your appreciation of their time and hope of doing business together
- 2 days later: Call them and deliver additional information or content that is valuable. I like to share our Marketing Grader Quiz, a relevant blog, webinar we've recorded, or case study.
- 4 days later: Email to let them know you had another idea for their business that you'd like to share. I love to send through video recordings like this.
- 5 days later.... this can go on for weeks if the sale is large enough and the prospect is highly qualified but you get the point, follow up is essential.
It is very useful to have a predetermined follow up sequence so it's automatic and doesn't require too much thought but still try to customize it so it stays relevant.
Making this process your own and following it consistently will no doubt have a massive impact on your lead-to-customer conversion rates. The key is consistency to that you regularly follow this process and stop wasting good online marketing leads. This, of course, will be beneficial to myself and our company, Upgrow, as clients better able to cash in on the leads to drive for them.
I hope this has been valuable to you and I'd love to hear the other ways you use to convert web leads in the comments.