As B2B lead generation is rapidly turning into a purely online endeavor, some marketers are having a little problem with adjusting to the differences with traditional and digital marketing.
For instance, when it comes to leads, traditional marketers would often wait for an optimum response time (surveys indicate it to be 31 hours); however for online leads, it’s a different story. Leads that come from page visits or subscriptions forms online are live – meaning they require a faster, more engaged response than traditional leads from phone calls and events.
To be safe, here are 3 rules to follow:
Rule 1: Never make online leads wait
MarketingProfs calls this one The Taco Stand Rule.
It’s like you’re selling tacos and a customer walked up to the counter. He’s been thinking about tacos all day and could not wait to eat one. Now, you wouldn’t say “We’ll get back to you within 24 hours with your taco“. The buyer is already right in front of you, so you’d give him what he wants.
If you make leads wait, they will most likely move on to the next and find one that could satisfy their needs. Your best chance of reaching these leads is the moment when they identify themselves as a prospect.
Rule 2: The need for speed
CRM platforms can feed online leads to your reps in real time. But not all online leads are created equal, so you may have to work with your marketing team to distinguish the high quality leads from the poor leads. That’s where the element of speed is crucial.
Again, because online leads require immediate response, your team should be able to handle the task of responding to each lead based on type: inquiries, requests for data, warm leads, hot leads and whatnot. You could track response times and make reps accountable for speedy follow-up, or adjust your compensation plan to create incentives for real-time responses.
Rule 3: Better to be quick than accurate
Every response from a lead indicates a small timeframe window for marketers to take hold of the action. That principle allows one to prioritize the quick response over accuracy, because you can’t spend precious time making a response perfect while time is ticking away. You can’t afford to make your response later, when it might be too late.
Strike whilst the iron is hot. If a prospect gets a response from you (even if it’s not perfect, just a good one), there will be no need for the prospect to start the process all over again with another option.