Your executive team made the decision to boost the company’s digital marketing budget about 18 months ago. This investment has delivered significantly bigger results than projected, much to everyone’s amazement. You now rank for 50 long-tail keywords, have dramatically increased traffic, and are converting more visitors to leads than ever before. Although your chief marketing officer (CMO) is pleased with the new approach, not everyone in the company agrees. Salespeople, in particular, appear to be wary of web leads. As a result, turf battles have erupted among the various departments.
Why hasn’t your sales team taken advantage of this new source of revenue? What can be done to optimise the value of each web lead to the fullest extent possible?
Let’s look at why your salespeople are wary of inbound online leads and what you can do about it.
1. Marketing fails to keep sales reps informed.
Your marketing team devised a multi-faceted tactical plan to obtain the level of web visibility that has been achieved. The team’s continuing projects include content production, pay-per-click advertising, email promotions, social media involvement, and link building.
It’s impossible to keep the sales crew up to date with so many moving elements.
Take the white paper campaign, for example, which began last month. In an ideal world, advance copies would have been supplied to the sales staff prior to distribution. Instead, marketing launched the programme and pushed the landing page through email, social media, and a variety of paid channels. The campaign sparked a lot of interest and resulted in dozens of qualifying leads. Unfortunately, the sales staff lacked the necessary context to follow up successfully, resulting in poor revenue performance.
Your organisation is winning if the goal is to produce as many web leads as possible. Your organisation, on the other hand, is failing to acquire and convert leads into paying clients. Simply inquire about the sales team.
2. Your salespeople are already overworked.
Even if marketing performed a better job of notifying internal stakeholders, sales personnel aren’t guaranteed to be able to handle a rush of web leads. After all, the majority of their time is already taken up by higher-priority tasks, such as:
- Following up on existing leads: When given the choice between a warm opportunity and an unvalidated online lead, most reps will choose the warm opportunity. It makes great sense to do so.
- Upselling to current customers: Selling to an existing customer is easier than selling to a new one. Your salespeople want the company to succeed, but they also want to increase their commissions. It’s simple to fulfil both goals by focusing on the demands of existing clients.
- Manually preparing reports: Sales reps spend a significant amount of time manually producing and updating pipeline reports since your company’s current sales lead management software lacks easily customised reports and dashboards. These reports are necessary for the success of your firm, and they must be prepared by someone. The sales team is responsible for this task.
Simply put, your sales team’s every waking hour is already booked solid. Following up on a list of unverified leads isn’t high on anyone’s priority list, so it’s understandable.
3. There is a limited window of opportunity
Web leads have a far smaller window of opportunity for engagement than “conventional” leads (such as those generated at trade exhibitions). The longer a web lead is active, the less engaged it becomes. This makes your sales reps’ follow-up process even more difficult.
This is why.
Business hours do not exist on websites.
Your website should (ideally) be accessible at all times. Customers generally think that someone from your firm is online as well (or soon will be). Despite the fact that this may appear to be an impossible expectation, it is one nonetheless.
Consider how long it has been since you spent an hour researching vendors or service providers. You probably visited numerous websites, read about their services, and filled out a few web forms. Do you remember every website you’ve ever viewed or connected with? Unless the vendor was quick to respond, probably not (if responded at all).
Your rivals are quicker to reply.
The corporation that responds first is more likely to gain the trust of the prospect (and business). Web leads are already low on the sales team’s priority list for the reasons we’ve already mentioned, but delayed outreach exacerbates the problem.
4. Web leads might be a source of annoyance.
It’s reasonable that sales reps find web leads to be so inconvenient. There are hours that pass with no new leads. Then a dozen additional notifications pop out of nowhere in your reps’ inboxes. With everything else on their plate, how can they possibly manage with such unpredictability?
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps your firm can do to eliminate distractions and increase lead engagement. Consider the following suggestions:
- Instead of flooding your sales team’s inboxes with hundreds of email notifications, use web-to-lead forms to automatically capture lead information in your sales lead management software.
- Create lead routing rules to eliminate duplication of effort and relieve everyone’s workload.
- Use workflow automation triggers to ensure that each lead receives a personalised, timely answer to their inquiry.
- Integrate with an appointment booking software product to provide leads with the ability to arrange a time on their own schedule.
- To avoid unneeded confusion, keep a firm grip on duplicate records.
- To answer incoming live chat sessions, hire a freelancer or part-time consultant.
In conclusion, your organisation needs to develop systems and practices that make managing incoming web leads easier. Internal distractions will be reduced, and prospects will have a better experience.
5. The majority of web leads are “information gatherers.”
Your sales staff are known for stating things like this when online leads are actually followed up on, which seems to be an uncommon occurrence:
“None of the web leads is looking to buy anything; all they want is free knowledge.”
True, web leads can include those who have no intention of purchasing your items or services. As a result, calling and emailing everyone who downloads a whitepaper isn’t the most efficient use of your sales team’s time. Some web leads, on the other hand, particularly those who engage via live chat or request pricing information, may turn out to be incredibly viable. It would be foolish to classify all web leads as just “information gatherers,” as this could be expensive to the company’s bottom line. What’s the best way to strike a balance?
Using the tagging feature in your sales lead management software could provide a much-needed solution to your lead management problems. Grouping web leads by interaction type, for example, could help to clarify an otherwise perplexing situation:
- Contact was requested.
- Whitepaper has been downloaded
Your sales staff will be able to swiftly narrow in on individuals who are actually interested by grouping leads based on website activity. Furthermore, you may automatically engage “information gatherers” without interrupting the sales team by linking your sales lead management software with a marketing automation system (or, better yet, using a unified CRM like RisePath CRM).
6. There is insufficient visibility
With lead data strewn about, your company’s existing method provides little insight into what’s working (and what isn’t). You need a CRM that provides straightforward business intelligence reporting to keep sales representatives motivated and marketing on track.
When weighing the pros and cons of switching CRMs, seek a system that can assist you in answering questions like these:
- What percentage of “data scavengers” eventually become paying customers?
- What percentage of live chat leads turn into opportunities?
- Which online forms suggest a well-qualified lead?
- Which sources of traffic provide the most engaged leads?
- What percentage of web leads are never contacted?
- How can we make our sales team’s follow-up procedure easier?
- Which marketing programmes should be kept or phased out?
- To convert “information gatherers” into qualified leads, what kinds of nurture programmes do we need?
An effective CRM not only answers these concerns but also helps users to extract essential insights without the assistance of the IT department. Good data is useless if just a few people have access to it.
More sales, less scepticism
It’s not always easy to go from a strictly outbound sales organisation to a hybrid inbound strategy. The good news is that you’re aware of the issue and are actively pursuing solutions to satisfy the concerns of the sales force.
With the proper mix of technology and business processes, you’ll likely see less scepticism and more cooperation between sales and marketing in the long run.
Are you ready for a needs assessment and a demonstration of RisePath CRM in action? Request a demonstration. There is no need to commit.
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