It takes a lot of work to generate a steady stream of leads. But once you’ve got a lead generation system up and running, you’re not done! You need to figure out a way to manage and nurture those leads so that they become customers (and maybe even repeat customers).
Let’s take a look at how to keep your business top-of-mind with those leads so that they stay happy and move further down the sales funnel.
Establish a Lead Management System
The first step to keeping your leads happy is knowing who they are and what they need. How can you do that if you don’t have a system for managing them?
A lot of businesses start out small and think that a spreadsheet will be enough to track all of their customers and leads. However, as a business expands, this approach can get out of hand pretty quickly.
I would strongly recommend investing in a lead management tool. Lead management tools allow you to gather information on all of your leads and customers: who they are, where they live, how they’ve interacted with your business, and what (if anything) they’ve purchased.
Your lead management system doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles, and it doesn’t need to be overly expensive. There are plenty of options out there that make a lot of sense for businesses who have hundreds or thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands, of contacts.
Without a lead management system, you can almost guarantee that someone will fall through the cracks and a promising lead will drift away simply because you forgot about them. You worked so hard to get each lead in the first place – it’s silly to lose them now!
Decide How You Want to Follow Up
Once you have your lead management system in place and are gathering all of the relevant information on your prospects, do something with it! The key now is to establish a process for following up with each person.
Of course, this will vary based on where they are in the funnel. Someone who’s filled out a general interest form on your website does not want or expect the same kind of communication from you as a repeat customer.
Start by creating a list of all possible actions a prospect could take that would necessitate a follow-up. Filling out a form on your website, signing up for a newsletter, reaching out via chat on your website, sending an email or making a call, attending an event–these are all actions that indicate interest in your business.
If someone has expressed interest in your business, stay in touch with them! The average consumer has to encounter a brand at least seven times before they even consider doing business with them.
Managing the Follow-Up
Now that you know what behaviors you want to respond to, how do you stay on top of your follow-up? Fortunately, most lead management systems have a marketing automation component, which allows you to set up triggered campaigns that automatically follow up with people in your system based on their actions.
If a prospect signs up for your newsletter via a form on your website, a lead management system will allow you to enroll them automatically in your mailing. But a lead management system can enable more complex and specific follow-up, too.
For example, if a lead visits your website, puts an item into their cart, and then leaves before making their purchase, you can set your system to send a follow-up email reminding them that they have an item waiting in their cart.
Of course, your system can only follow up with triggered messaging that you’ve created. You’re still the brains behind the computer operation, which means that you and your marketing team must get to work creating messaging for the various triggered messages.
The key to fostering leads is consistent communication. But as we all know, there’s a fine line between reminding your prospects you’re around and alienating them with messaging that feels spammy.
One of the best ways to keep your messages from crossing into spam territory is to make sure they are relevant and useful. If someone signs up for your newsletter, make sure it’s filled with meaningful content and actionable advice, not just sales pitch after sales pitch. If someone is looking at your lower-end products on your website, don’t send them email offers associated with your top-of-the-line products.
As long as your communications feel authentic and not self-serving, people won’t mind hearing from your brand on a regular basis. In fact, a weekly email newsletter, targeted email marketing based on actions, and social media marketing can combine to ensure prospects don’t forget about your brand. You don’t know when they’re going to make a final purchase decision, and so it’s important that you stay in their field of vision at all times.
It’s hard to generate a steady stream of leads. Now that you have them, make sure you keep them around so that they can become full-fledged customers. Armed with a lead management system and a smart marketing approach, you can stay top-of-mind and secure new business for your brand. Need help getting leads and turning them into customers? We can help! Call us today.