When business is thriving, marketing gets the credit. When business is slow or campaigns don’t perform well, marketing takes the blame.
The sales process after a new lead comes through is often overlooked since all the praise or liability goes towards marketing.
I like to refer to the process of what happens when a new call, email, or form submission comes through as Follow up lead generation marketing or post acquisition marketing. It’s tough to find an exact term for this hybrid marketing/sales process.
Marketing can do a great job of driving a prospect into the sales funnel but if there isn’t a good sales process in place, the lead never turns into new business, which is detrimental to the company. There must be a marketing plan in place for the salesperson to have a higher close rate percentage on new business.
Below are some stats that show you how businesses are failing with their follow-up process:
- 62% of phone calls to small businesses are left unanswered. (Source: 411 Locals)
- More than half of companies don’t respond to a form submission in the first 5 business days (Source: Email Analytics)
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting, however, 44% of salespeople give up after 1 call. (Source: GeckoBoard).
My Realization About the Importance of Follow
up lead Gen Marketing
In the early days of owning a marketing agency, I’d think poor client performance was my fault. I’d take it personally if my campaigns weren’t driving sales results to justify the return on investment (I still take it personally, just ask My brother K)
It wasn’t until Exploit Digital Marketing became more established and I opened up an eCommerce company with my brother, that I understood the importance of follow up-lead generation marketing. I was able to see firsthand the value of nurturing a client through the sales journey.
I realized that clients who were stating that “marketing isn’t working” had comparable conversion rate statistics for leads and phone calls as our successful clients. The leads generated just weren’t turning into new business.
I also recognized that often, the campaigns that were failing before the sales process began (due to lack of leads) had underlying issues within the business.
Before even thinking about post acquisition marketing, it is important to ask yourself the following questions. If you don’t feel confident when going through this list, there may be core issues with the business that you need to consider. It’s likely that poor performance should be blamed on these underlying business issues, rather than marketing issues.
- Do you offer a quality product or service?
- Is your pricing competitive and on par with the competition?
- Do you have a unique selling proposition that distinguishes your company?
- Are there quality online ratings and reviews of your company?
- Is there a customer service process in place?
- Is there a sales process in place?
- Is your website experience solid and on-par with competitors?
The factors above are what people will take into consideration before ever purchasing an item from your site or moving forward with your services. If you can answer “yes” to these questions, it will also lead to more referrals, a longer client retention rate and a better business model.
The next step is post acquisition marketing. Below are some recommendations on how to improve this process for your business:
24/7 Phone Support
If you aren’t available after 5 PM or are busy during the day and can’t answer the phone, sign-up for a service like MoneyPenny.
If someone calls into your business and you can’t pick up, after a certain amount of rings, a customer service agent from MoneyPenny will answer and then relay the message to you.
Being staffed at all times for customer service is important and will provide a better experience but this is a viable option.
We recommend signing up for CallRail so you can track all phone calls. There are many clients we work with who don’t track calls and there are many missed opportunities.
For example, when on-boarding a new client with CallRail, we quickly realized it took 35 seconds for the potential customer to get through the automated message and speak directly with someone over the phone. A lot of people were dropping off since this process was so long. Without post acquisition marketing, the client wouldn’t have made a change and would have continuously lost out on new customers.
CallRail measures phone call conversions from your search, digital, and offline marketing campaigns – including PPC keywords.
Email Automation Series
For each new lead that comes through for Exploit Digital Marketing, we enter them into MailChimp’s email automation series. We have a thorough sales process but we like to stay top of mind with a monthly message that’s 100% informative and not sales-y. This allows the customer to gain more knowledge and help people remember our agency. We recommend this sort of automation for all clients and customers.
Customers have questions. Being able to answer them in real-time is crucial. A LiveChat service (like LiveChat Inc) can drastically improve your conversion rate percentage if you have trained professionals answering prospects’ questions.
For Exploit Digital Marketing, if a prospect has a question that our digital sales rep can’t answer; we make it easy for them to schedule a phone call through Calendly. It can take 4-5 back and forth follow ups before solidifying an available calendar time. Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails
For a lot of our ecommerce clients, we use ShipStation , This allows the customer to get a shipping confirmation number, track their orders and get real-time notifications. If you don’t have a good shipping solution in place, it can lead to a lukewarm experience with your company and it can also make things a lot more difficult for you.
When a prospect visits your site, they are likely looking at competitor sites and price shopping. You want to make sure you stay top of mind with retargeting ads. By placing a pixel on your site, you’ll be able to follow the website visitor around on other sites with well-crafted messages and promotions.
On the B2B side with Exploit Digital Marketing, we don’t take on a new account without an executed contract. We’ve been using DocuSign for a long time now but it greatly enhances close rate on new business as clients can sign contracts electronically and don’t have to worry about printing and scanning back a contract.
Are you staying organized with all of the leads and new prospects coming into your business? If no, you’ll want to sign-up for a CRM like HubSpot or ZoHo. This type of software will allow for you to input all of your lead information and also create follow-up processes and automation processes to continuously hit your new leads so they can turn from prospects into new business.
There’s a lot that happens between someone hitting your website and converting to a new customer. Hopefully you learned some tools to improve your process and you better understand the importance of Follow up lead generation marketing.