Are your Sales Execs ignoring 50% of the leads from marketing…..?

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“Sales representatives ignore 50% of the marketing leads”: Is Managed Live Chat delivering Sales Qualified Leads the answer?

Shockingly, a study by the TAS Group has discovered that sales representatives ignore 50% of the marketing leads.

Wondering why the percentages are so high?

Revenue is the lifeblood of any business, large or small. Revenue is generated in the exchange of value between the company and its clients. The clients enjoy the product of your product and the company enjoys the revenue the client pays for that product or service.

One of the big risks for any company is the

loss of revenue. This can be caused by a number of things like changes in the competitive landscape, leakage (lack of account management), lack of innovation, economic conditions or any combination of these!

So what do we do about it? Obviously, we have to get or keep our house in order. Engage with your clients, listen to them. What they love and hate about you. Improve your business. Clients feedback can be a great breeding ground for innovation.  Above all, act on the feedback!  External forces will mostly work against us but the economy can swing both ways……

OK, we have clients and we are working on keeping them. What now? Well, a very smart guy I worked with once said to me,

“If you are not growing, you are going backwards!”

The challenge – how to grow? There are really only three ways:

  • Put your prices up. (Very hard unless you are a monopoly)
  • Sell more to your existing clients. (Very dependent on your product range)
  • Get more clients. (Very expensive in most cases)

The gamble – which one to choose?

I can tell you stories of success and woe about all three but let’s focus today on getting more clients. (No surprise given the title I am sure….)

Most businesses are very focused on growing market share. They will have a range of sources for new prospects or leads and they will be qualified to varying degrees. There are three main sources of leads for new business:

  • (The gold in your existing client base and business partners)
  • Marketing Qualified Leads – MQLs.
  • Sales Qualified Leads – SQL’s.

If you have a business and do not have some way of asking for referrals, you are crazy. Let’s just leave it at that!

 

So that leaves us with leads…..

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s)

MQL’s are those leads delivered from your marketing campaigns. According to Marketing Sherpa, 61% of B2B marketers send all of their leads to sales even though only 27% are actually qualified.  These can include:

Pay per click / AdWords / Promoted Social Media

Events / Conferences / Webinars

Social Media / Content / white papers / downloads

TV / Radio / Print Media / Flyers / Poster / Billboards

Even things like your signage and business cards! OK, so what do these leads look like. Depending on the source, they have demonstrated some interest in whatever the source was promoting that is relevant to your offering e.g. download, whitepaper, filled in a form at a conference, or a form on your website.

How qualified are they?

Well, the big challenge and eternal struggle for marketing is when is enough information really enough? You can never have enough highly qualified leads but how much qualification do you ask for before you start to receive fewer leads as the prospects don’t like completing forms?

Marketing has to walk the tightrope and the usual outcome is a balance of a good number of leads with the maximum information they can request before us humans just don’t fill in the forms. And we have all been there. How many times have you begun to complete a form or survey then abandoned it before the end? Before completing it? I am guilty as charged and one of the marketing statistics…. I’m either concerned about being spammed or grow tired of filling in the form

The outcome?

Leads for your sales team (usually your Sales Development Representatives or Sales Executives) to follow-up. And that follow-up starts with the qualification, often referred to as the “discovery”, covering things like BANT:

B – Budget

A – Authority

N – Need

T – Timing

Not necessarily in that order!

All of the questions you need to ask to make sure they are potentially a good fit for you, and you are a good fit for them. Without that initial qualification, you run the risk of massive waste. Both for you and the lead and no-one can afford that. The last thing you need is a sales funnel full of non-qualified leads taking up your sales teams’ time and not closing, not to mention the potential brand damage through wasting non-qualified clients time. Qualification is critical.

So where does that lead us to? Sales Qualified leads.

Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s)

SQL’s are those MQL’s that have been filtered by your Sales Development Reps (SDR’s) or Sales Executives (SE’s) and are now warm, qualified prospects.

These people have met your hurdles in terms of client fit, they are interested in your product and have knowledge of your business and expectations when it comes to clients. They also understand the range of budget required and have confirmed they have access to that. Does this sound like your SQL’s?

If not, I’m sure you are refining your processes to get there.

You can see that SQL’s start life in the organisation as MQL’s. The transition is far from spontaneous and organic. Nurturing and communication are the keys to ensuring a smooth transition and higher conversion as possible. And a large part of that communication must be between marketing and sales as well as the MQL.

“sales representatives ignore 50% of the marketing leads”

Sales Qualified Leads
Managed Live Chat delivers sales qualified leads

 

Shockingly, a study by the TAS Group has discovered that sales representatives ignore 50% of the marketing leads.

Wondering why the percentages are so high?

A lack of “shared understanding” or “organisation wide agreed definition”. Without a uniform definition, each team operates to different expectations based on their own definitions resulting in frustration, lost revenue and potentially an increased silo effect between teams. Makes sure you break down those walls…..

 

 

 

SQL’s are ready to buy, or at the very least, begin the buying process and as an SQL for you, you will be involved in their buying decision-making process. You may not be their only option, but you are certainly involved and they know that your offering can solve their problem.

Why is it important to understand the difference between MQL’s and SQL’s? Well, imagine if you could skip the MQL step and have your first engagement/interaction with your potential client be with one of your SDR’s / SE’s? What would it mean to your business if your SDR’s could be involved in your client’s research process? How shorter would their buying process be and more importantly, how much of an increase in market share would you achieve?

”The primary difference between MQL and SQL is that an MQL is a visitor who is aware of their problem and is still researching potential solutions while an SQL is a lead who knows that your product may be the solution to their problem and they are a fit for your organisation.”

Each industry and sector / vertical are different so there is not really one standard answer to fit all however, it can be said from our experience that when you are involved from the research perspective, rapport, trust and credibility is built at a very early stage and you are able to achieve the position of trusted advisor very early in the process.

So, how could you achieve this outcome? Online Sales Executives (OSE’s) are the answer. Imagine having your frontline sales team engaging with your website visitors while they are conducting their research. The ones that normally sales qualify your marketing leads. Answering your website visitors’ questions, providing them with insights and information to ensure they see the value in your offering. Then, once rapport has been developed, beginning the discovery – live online. Actually starting the qualification process in a conversation at a time and place that suits them. Your team of OSE’s would deliver sales qualified leads day and night for your Sales Executives to turn into profitable clients.

 

“Engage in meaningful discussions with your website visitors 24/7”

 

Managed Live Chat

Managed Live Chat is the functionally on your website that allows immediate engagement with online visitors. Managed Live Chat facilitates those early conversations that puts you in the position of trusted advisor. It sets the website visitors expectation of your ongoing customer service and organisational culture. It is really their very first human to human interaction with your business.

Managed Live Chat sets the tone for all ongoing interactions. The immediacy of response from Managed Live Chat meets the expectations of the younger generations whilst setting the expectations of those with lower immediate expectations. It can be the “WOW” factor or the “keeping up with the Joneses” factor depending on your industry and audience, but one thing is for sure. With Managed Live Chat on your website, you will absolutely be providing the ultimate in customer experience for your website visitors. The outcome for you is SQL’s or fully qualified website conversions. With those qualifying questions answered the next discussion is way further down your sales process than the normal MQL’s that most websites deliver.

SQL’s are worth more, convert quicker and with less effort.

Why haven’t you installed Managed Live Chat on your website?

Managed Live Chat can be daunting. It isn’t just a case of adding your call centre or sales team into the live chat. You are effectively outsourcing a big piece of your marketing (website conversion) and sales (qualifying potential clients) to a third party. Does this sound like madness? Well, the results have been extremely surprising.

What are the options?

Can’t we do it ourselves?

Well, you can but…. You really should consider a few things first:

How much spare capacity does your team have?

It’s not just that you will be loading them with extra work for the chats, their sales workload will also increase due to the extra SQLs generated by the website. Not every website visitor that chat will be a potential client. That means there will be a lot of chatting required that will not result in ROI for your business.

What is the current core function of your team?

Chatting with website visitors early in their research is very different from cold calling, handling MQL’s or SQL’s. You need to be aware that this is the “I am researching stage”, not “I’m interested stage”. You have the opportunity to move it to the interest stage and position yourself as a trusted advisor but there is a process.

How much are you prepared to invest in training?

All of a sudden you have a welcome or unwelcome distraction for your sales team or call centre. Of course, a percentage of your team will do very well on the live chat. There will however be a percentage that sees the live chat as an unwelcome distraction from what they believe their core responsibilities/tasks are. The others will find the live chat a welcome distraction from heir daily grind…. The end result in both cases is wasted employees time, lower conversions and poorly qualified leads.

Once you identify the issues above, you will be able to determine what will be different in the interactions through the chat and train accordingly. The better the training – the better the outcomes!

How will you manage the Live Chat after hours?

“Our experience is that currently just over 50% of leads are generated outside of business hours with managed live chat.”

The biggest opportunity cost if you are not resourced for 24/7 coverage is missing out on over 50% of the revenue opportunities from your website. And don’t be fooled into believing that people will “leave you a message”. Research has shown that an unmanned chat box on a website actually reduces the user experience. You are effectively saying, “we’d love to chat but we’ll do it when we are ready, not now when you need it!”

As with any change, the whole change management process will be vital in ensuring the best outcome. Don’t underestimate the importance of change management. Get some expert help if required.

So if you can tick all the boxes, the answer is yes, you can do it yourself!

If you cannot tick all the boxes, Managed Live Chat is for you.

What you should expect:

So, if you want to make sure your organisation is not contributing to the statistic of sales representatives ignoring 50% of the marketing leads, there are a couple of factors that will greatly assist:

  1. Ensure you have a very clear definition of your leads at whatever stage they may be, it is critical in creating alignment between teams and thus optimising your return on marketing investment and sales outcomes.
  2. Introduce Managed Live Chat to optimise the number of sales qualified leads you are generating from your Marketing spend. And make sure they are fully integrated with your existing business process (CRM, Google sheet or otherwise) to ensure seamless integration for your team – all they see is a higher quantity of better-qualified leads to convert to paying clients.

Once you have your definition in line and website conversion optimised, the benefits will surprise you. The aim of the game after all if profitable growth isn’t it? Where are the opportunities for your organisation?

If you are interested in exploring the goldmine of Sales Qualified Leads directly from your website’s existing traffic, and you qualify to tick all the boxes above then you must consider trialling the functionality yourself. Here are several platforms that offer the self-managed live chat software (SAAS) allowing you to dip your toe in the Live Chat water:

LivechatInc

DRIFT

Intercom

Live Person

Snap Engage

Each has varying functionality and pricing but all will certainly allow you to test for yourself the value of live chat to your business.

So if you are ready to experience 40% (fully optimised websites) to 800% (non-optimised websites) increase in revenue opportunities via live chat lead generation, make the decision to install managed live chat today.

And feel free to reach out if you would like any advise or assistance from Chat Metrics

 

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