Leads are the holy grail of marketing. The more leads you have, the more opportunities you open, the more deals you close, and the more revenue you generate. Right?
Through your marketing and promotional efforts, people are raising their hands, opting in, asking questions, and wanting more information through actions like the following:
- Free report download
- Dark web scan request
- “Contact Us” form submission
- Business card acquired at a networking event or trade show
- Inbound phone call
- Webinar registration
You are spending a ton of time, money, and effort on marketing to generate these inbound leads, but are you destroying them?
Without a doubt, IT services firms lose thousands of dollars every year due to very poor or nonexistent follow-up with the inbound leads they generate.
There are proper ways to handle every lead so you can convert them into profitable, paying customers. Here are 10 mistakes MSPs make that are destroying quality leads and sending potential revenue down the drain.
Mistake 1: You Don’t Enter New Inbound Leads Into Your CRM.
If you don’t capture those leads, you’re going to lose track of them! Every single lead, whether it’s an inbound call, a new referral, or a website form fill, needs to be added to your CRM and followed up with immediately. You must have a centralized system for organizing and tracking all of them so you can follow up efficiently and keep opportunities from falling through the cracks. You are destroying that lead if you don’t have a tracking system.
Mistake 2: You Don’t Review Or Clean New Leads.
With most form submissions, it’s likely you won’t have much more than a name and an email address for the lead (maybe a phone number and company name, if you’re lucky). As soon as a new lead is added to your CRM, notify your list cleaner to scrub the lead. The scrubbing process includes cleaning up data and conventions, deleting invalid contacts, and also doing a little investigating. With some basic web research, you can verify and/or add contact info, company name, business address, industry, website, etc. This will set your appointment setter and sales reps up for greater success, and they won’t be wasting their time dialing wrong numbers or speaking to the wrong person.
Mistake 3: You Send Spammy Emails.
You’ve got a new lead, hurray! It’s very exciting to build your list and see your potential for new opportunities growing. But the last thing you want to do is go overboard and send too many emails. Just because someone downloaded your free report doesn’t mean they’re wanting to be bombarded with an onslaught of emails regarding topics they’re not interested in. You risk turning them off and getting that dreaded opt-out or even worse, a spam complaint, which can harm your email reputation and deliverability and cause you to lose that lead. Simply give your new lead what they asked for, then send useful, informative messages that drive action at an acceptable frequency.
Mistake 4: You Don’t Call Your Leads.
Each new inbound lead should be called 2–5 minutes after making their request. Technology Marketing Toolkit’s call center manager, Missy Vega, motivates her appointment setting team to “Claim it. Call it. Book it!” An automated follow-up system can make this process so much easier by creating tasks and/or reminders to immediately call and follow up with your new leads. If you don’t call, you risk wasting that lead!
Mistake 5: You Rely ONLY On Email.
Although sending emails can be very cost effective, don’t limit yourself! Take it offline as part of a multimedia approach to your marketing endeavors. Your marketing automation platform can generate lists for direct mail initiatives and even integrate with social media platforms. In a short amount of time, you develop omnipresence, which positions you as the local or industry expert. Simply relying on email is a big mistake when it comes to your leads.
Mistake 6: You Are Sporadic With Marketing And Follow-Up.
Not every lead is going to book an appointment with you right away. After you’ve tried to get an appointment through a series of follow-up calls and emails, continue to show up consistently in your lead’s email inbox and mailbox with drip marketing. Send weekly email tips, a monthly email newsletter blog, postcards, and a printed newsletter on a regular basis to keep top-of-mind awareness with your unconverted leads so they think of you when they are ready to buy. Your marketing automation tool can help you organize your drip marketing lists. Don’t go months without contacting your leads, or they will forget about you! Steady and predictable marketing will help you stay on track.
Mistake 7: You Make It Difficult To Book An Appointment With You.
Leads can be lost through the painful process of back-and-forth scheduling by means of email and phone call communications. An online calendar system can make it easier for folks to schedule with you. At Technology Marketing Toolkit, 80% of our leads self-schedule an appointment because our marketing automation does much of the heavy lifting for us. We use an online calendar system so our leads can self-book a call or consult without having to speak with someone. Include a calendar widget on your landing pages and booking links in your emails. More appointments booked on your calendar means more opportunities for you to close more deals!
Mistake 8: You Let Your Opportunities Rot.
Once a lead books an appointment, they become an active opportunity. Use automation to monitor your current sales pipeline and to also alert you when an opportunity is rotting (sitting in a sales stage too long without movement). Whether you need to reschedule an appointment, finalize and present a proposal, or get that lead to make a final decision, your marketing automation platform can keep the valuable opportunities from slipping away from you.
Mistake 9: You Send The Wrong Messages To The Wrong People.
Continuing to send emails and making phone calls to a lead AFTER they are already on your calendar is incredibly confusing and unprofessional. Also, sending a direct mail package designed to target a specific industry to a company in a different industry would be even more detrimental. It’s important to use your CRM to segment your contacts by person type, lead status, industry, and more so you can communicate intelligently with them.
Mistake 10: You Give Up Too Soon.
A study from Harvard Business Review revealed that 71% of qualified leads are never followed up with. Of the leads that are followed up on, they’re only touched an average of 1.3 times. The Rule of 7 is our guide for how many touches a lead needs to actually recognize who you are. Continue building trust and awareness by staying the course with your automated follow-up. And please, don’t give up on your leads! Play the long game to come out ahead.
I know it can seem complicated to manage it all, but with the technology we have available at our fingertips, you can organize, track, and follow up with your quality leads. A marketing automation platform is a powerful tool, and there’s no excuse for losing your quality leads and sending them into a big black hole.
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