You’ve spent countless dollars and man hours to market your agency and generate interest in the products you provide. Web inquiries and inbound leads start pouring in from prospects who are interested in purchasing insurance and want to know more. Does your agency have a communication plan in place to quickly respond these leads? Does every employee understand the expectations for response time and the method of follow-up communication? If not, you may be missing out on some of your hottest leads and losing opportunities to grow your business.
Inbound Leads – Get Them While They’re Hot!
As I’ve touched on in previous blogs, today’s insurance buyers are knowledgeable about the products and motivated to buy. When they submit a web inquiry or give your agency a call, they are looking for information NOW. If you take too long to respond, they’ll move on and you’ll lose out on an opportunity to write a new piece of business.
A study by the Harvard Business Review really drives this point home. The study shows that companies who try to contact prospects within an hour of receiving a query are nearly 7x as likely to qualify the lead as those who respond even an hour later – and more than 60x as likely as those that wait 24 hours or longer. Additionally, a company who responds to a query within 5 minutes is 100x more likely to make contact with a prospect than a company who responds within 30 minutes.
Depending on the size of your agency and the resources available to you, a 5 minute response time might not be possible. Take the time to develop a realistic goal and set the expectations for your agency.
Planning Makes Perfect
You’ve established your goals but how do you reach them? Developing an easy and repeatable workflow for lead responses can help streamline the process and cut your response time considerably.
A typical lead response workflow looks something like this:
Web Inquiry is Submitted > Automated Lead Alert Sent > Lead is Assigned (automated or manual depending on tech & criteria) > Lead is Researched (Web & CRM) > Sales Rep Calls Lead within Established Time Frame > Lead is Qualified > Follow Up is Scheduled
The key to quicker response times is efficiency. When a sales rep receives a lead, all they should have to do is search the company name and make the call. Make sure your inquiry forms gather all the necessary information up front to help streamline the process and insure time isn’t wasted trying to figure out who submitted the lead.
It is essential to promptly record the data and information from your follow up calls in your agency’s CRM system. Keeping updated notes on all your leads will help you tailor a sales plan to the customer and guide them through the sales funnel.
In addition to helping with the sales process, updating your records will streamline your lead response workflow! If you receive an inbound lead from a company you’ve called on before, your agency’s CRM system can be a one stop shop for account information and eliminate the need for any outside research.
All the work that goes into lead generation is wasted if you don’t have a follow up process in place. Develop a plan that best fits your agency and create realistic goals for lead response time to insure that you strike while the irons hot!
By: Tim Woitach