Converting internet leads into sales is a challenge for all professionals who work with Internet prospects. As more shoppers research their options on the internet before making decisions, successfully turning information requests into sales can improve your long-term profitability. Thankfully, there are tools and procedures that can be implemented to help your sales efforts stand apart from others in terms of converting Internet leads to sales. The number of staff members and the amount of money needed to improve your firm’s conversion ratio will vary based on sales volume and the intended demographic of your products.
Improve Internet lead response time. Internet leads may be viewed as less important because they are at an earlier stage in their decision-making process than walk-in clients. However, if you do not respond quickly, the prospect will simply contact the next agency on his or her list. In fact, some corporate websites and lead generation companies send Internet leads to multiple sales professionals simultaneously, based on ZIP code. In any case, the first professional to respond has the best chance of getting the prospect to show for an appointment.
Implement an Internet Lead Management (ILM) system. A successful ILM system is key to responding to leads quickly and automating ongoing follow-up with prospects. Whether you sell insurance, financial services or cars, ILM tools can store hundreds of templates and automate email follow-up efforts for prospects who do not respond to initial contact attempts.
Create a follow-up plan. All professionals who use Internet leads should have an Internet sales follow-up plan, although it is not always formalized and put into print. However, as in any sales position, it can be difficult to stick to the follow-up plan every day. By devoting a set amount of time to Internet lead follow-up each day, and scheduling a reasonable number of follow-up tasks for the time allotted, it will be easier to stick to the plan.
Call and email at different times of day. If you always call a prospect at a set time, you are restricting your opportunities to make contact and set an appointment. Odds are the prospect is at work most of the week, meaning they may not have access to the home or cellular number they gave you in their online inquiry. Try calling in the evening, or on Saturdays. Simply put, whether you sell car warranties or insurance, you are limiting your chances to talk one-on-one with prospects by calling during the business day.
Have a unique message. For larger firms with customer management systems in place, the Customer relationship Management (CRM) and Internet Lead Management (ILM) programs send automated “thank yous” to prospects who submit leads. This is sent immediately after the CRM system receives the lead. While an automatic response is sufficient after normal business hours, strive to respond to all prospect Internet requests during business hours with a personalized email that answers any questions posed by the prospect. Not only will this stand out from competitors, it might also be the only full email response they receive while shopping online