Not all leads are created equal—some are prospects who have the means and motivation to buy your product; others aren’t. Being able to quickly and correctly determine which is which is essential if you want your conversion rate to go up.
An outsourced call center can qualify leads on a 24/7 basis and provide real-time, efficient, high-touch lead response. Here’s a step-by-step process for working with a call center to get that capability.
- Plan your strategy. Develop a list of questions a call center agent needs to ask to determine the quality of the lead. The questions will show how well a prospect matches your criteria for a customer. The ones that match well are good leads to pursue; pursuing the ones that don’t is probably a waste of your time.
- Know your thresholds. Does the lead meet your threshold for quantity ordered, dollar value of order, ordering frequency, and other criteria? If yes, take the next step in the sales process. If not, decline the opportunity to pursue it.
- Know the dollar value of a good lead. Before committing time and resources to pursuing a lead, calculate what the dollar value is to your company of converting it. If you can convert the lead, but it doesn’t meet your requirements for profit margin, you may still want to walk away.
- Fine tune your lead criteria. Monitor information gathered from your call center, analyze which leads turn into sales, and fine tune your criteria to include more good leads and filter out bad ones. Make the criteria more closely reflect actual customers. Repeat this process often—even weekly is not too often.
Example—Qualifying Leads for Car Loans
One of our clients makes loans to individuals who use their vehicle as collateral. The client does not want to be bogged down with staffing and managing the lead-qualifying function; they would rather have their staff speak only with qualified buyers.
To determine if a caller meets the requirements for a loan, our agent starts by capturing each caller’s name, address, phone and e-mail information. Then, to determine the potential amount of the loan, the agent needs to assess the value of the vehicle, which she does by asking questions to find out the make, model, year, and mileage; whether there are any liens on the vehicle; and how much is owed on it. Based on the responses a caller provides, our agent can reject them at any point. If the caller meets all the criteria for a loan, we pass the information on to our client, who contacts the caller.
Example—Qualifying Leads for TruGreen
To generate leads, TruGreen runs TV ads and sends direct mail asking homeowners to call a toll-free number to set up an appointment to meet with a TruGreen technician at their home. Just as in the previous example, our client does not want to staff and manage the lead-qualifying function; they would rather have their staff visiting homes to provide quotes and sell services. So when callers respond to the ads, they reach Global Response.
Because TruGreen doesn’t want to enroll customers in zip codes outside its service areas, our agents eliminate leads coming from those zip codes. For qualified leads from the right areas, we inform the caller that a representative from their local TruGreen office will contact them.
If you have better things for your sales and marketing staff to do than qualify leads, consider outsourcing this function to a call center that’s set up to provide real-time, efficient, high-touch lead response and send only the best leads your way. That way, you’ll make sure no lead is left behind.