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Archive for July, 2010


Friday, July 30th, 2010

Earlier this week, Leads360 released a study to shed even more light on the best methods for working leads in the most efficient way possible.  Our previous studies have pointed to two primary drivers in increasing the ROI on your leads.  The first of these is speed to contact, with calling in the first five minutes proving to be essential to closing any lead.  The second was making six total follow up calls for each lead, the optimal number of call attempts to ensure that you have the best chance to make contact without overtaxing your sales staff.  This most recent study, now demonstrates that the timing of each follow up call is also important to converting your leads at the best possible rate.

By further analyzing over 20 million customer inquiries, we determined that not only was it important to get in all six call attempts, but also making each call attempt at the right time is also crucially important.  The first three attempts should all come on the first day, striking while the iron is hot and the lead is fresh.  The first call should take place within five minutes of receiving the lead as this makes it 22 times more likely that you’ll close that lead.  The second attempt should then follow at between 30 minutes to two hours later while the third attempt should come at two to four hours after receiving the lead.  The fourth attempt should fall on at some point on day three, the fifth attempt on day four, and the sixth attempt should be made on either day 11 or day 12.  Drawing from the data in the study, making your calls inside the prescribed windows can improve your conversion rates by anywhere from 94% to 500% for each call verses calls attempted outside of the prescribed times.

Check out this study and all of our previous research by going here and here.

Leads360 at eduWEB Conference

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Leads360 is attending the eduWEB conference in Chicago this week. The conference has been a great opportunity to learn about some of the challenges facing schools in terms of making the most out of their enrollment opportunities.

We’ve been able to share information about how Leads360 Lead Management Software is helping all kinds of schools improve their enrollment. As people stop by the table we’re getting the opportunity to address the challenges facing admissions managers form both proprietary and traditional schools. These challenges include:

  • “We have no way of tracking lead and admission counselor performance”
  • “We use many systems for following up on prospective student inquiries. i.e., Different departments use different programs”
  • “We use a legacy system that has been cobbled together over time with no plan”
  • “We don’t know which lead providers sell the best leads”

It’s great to see people perk up when we tell them we offer our solution for these concerns.

Jeff Solomon, Founder and Senior VP, hosted a Topic Table called “E-Recruiting in Good Times and Bad: Strategies to Avoid Costly Pitfalls and Yield Measurable Results in Uncertain Times”. It was a good opportunity to speak to some of these and other common issues facing schools who struggle to manage their admission process with a failing set of tools.

Another common concern among schools is that they may start to struggle keeping their enrollment numbers up as the economy begins to improve. Leads360 provides admissions counselors with a best practice enforceable workflow to make sure that no lead falls through the cracks. At the same time it provides managers with analytics that display in real time the performance of enrollment counselors and lead sources. Leads360 has been helping companies maximize ROI through all kinds of economic conditions.

Where is follow-up when you need it?

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The other day I was perusing the Internets looking for an insurance quote when half way through the form I was distracted and wasn’t able to finish entering all my information. I really wanted the quote, but had something more pressing I had to take care of. I figured that I would come back to the page when I was done with my errand and finish the quote.  It’s now two days later, and I still haven’t finished getting that insurance quote. The browser has long been closed, and to tell you the truth, I don’t even remember which insurance company I was interested in. Today, I am still without the insurance I want, and a company is out of a sale. How did this potential opportunity for both parties become a missed opportunity?

It seems today that many companies are failing to see the big picture when it comes to properly preparing and responding to internet inquires. Looking over various “major player” websites I have noticed a particularly troubling commonality. Most of these websites seem unwilling or incapable of follow-up with qualified, interested, consumer leads. On nearly every insurance website I visited, a phone number and or email was not required for a quote. Worse yet, I had trouble easily finding a way to submit my contact information at all. I was literally trying to give them a qualified lead and they had no way of dealing with it. Now don’t get me wrong- I am not really a fan of pay walls, contact walls, or any other type of “wall” that makes you input information to find what you are looking for, but to not even make the opportunity available for a consumer when they may want to, is downright unintelligent. Without collecting this information, any justified follow-up is impossible. I went to the website for something specific that I want to purchase that sooner or later will require me disclosing my contact information anyway, so why not sooner?

Today there is an overwhelming generalization made by corporations when it comes to consumers and how they utilize the necessary tools of communication to inquire about a product or service. The Internet is the least understood of these tools. Most companies seem to generalize consumers into two categories, those who want to be walked hand in hand through the sales process (telephone inquiry) and those who want to do everything by themselves. (The Internet) These are the type of people who will research, fill out their information, and purchase a policy—all without ever speaking to a human being. The truth is, there is a third category of consumers that need a separate kind of attention. These consumers (like me) are people who may research on my own, but then want and sometimes require follow-up. I am a busy person who sometimes fails in the multitasking department. A subtle nudge by an actual person or by even an automated email, can make me turn from a lead into a conversion. If that insurance company had given me the opportunity to enter my contact information quickly and easily for a follow-up I would have, and they would have had a sale.

There is a real difference between spammy contact attempts whether made via phone or email, and a genuine contact attempt made by a company. Consumers want and respond well to genuine contact attempts and very poorly to the spam.  I think companies either think that consumers are completely turned off by any contact whatsoever or they simply don’t have the capabilities to respond and follow-up properly. Regardless they are losing out on a major segment of the consumer pie.  Understanding the differences between the two and acquiring the infrastructure to respond and follow-up are the first steps to addressing this.

Software as a Service is a Solution for Small Business Owners

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Here is a blog article that touches on some of the difficulties a small business owner faces when buying software. The man’s business is making conference tables. So admittedly, his business may not have much in common with the type of business that has the need for lead management software. But there is one area where his small business faces questions that are faced by any small business. That area is dealing with IT questions.

He points out that as a furniture maker, he bought tools 25 years ago that are still working, like his hammer. He anticipates that the hammer will work perfectly until the end of time. He has a hard time dealing with how quickly computers and software become obsolete. Moreover, he’s not quite sure what he needs to buy in terms of technology. This puts him in a position of possibly having to hire an IT consultant. But, rightly, he worries that the consultant may work on commissions and could introduce solutions that are not the perfect fit for his business, but cost a lot of money, and make him a lot of commission.

The solution to this problem is what Software as a Service is all about. I’ve posted recently about how the total cost of ownership of SaaS is lower than the cost of packaged software. And the situation that the above described small business owner finds himself in is a perfect example of why.

For example, Leads360 Software as a Service is software that runs in on any computer with an internet connection. There is never a need to upgrade the software, as it is continually being improved. You’ll never spend a dollar or another minute wondering, “Should I buy the new version of Leads360 or just make this outdated version work?” You’ll never need to buy servers to host software, because it’s hosted remotely. Leads360 software helps thousands of businesses manage upwards of 25 million leads. As such, it is an example of how Software as a Service companies are able to constantly upgrade their product in response to customer needs. Buying Leads360 Software as a Service is buying a solution that, like a hammer, will never be obsolete.

And perhaps best of all, you’ll never have to pay an IT consultant, take his recommendations and wonder if you were taken for a ride. All that is worth the price of admission, but Leads360 Software as a Service even goes one step further. The built in templates have pre-configured best practice workflows that are proven strategies for contacting more leads quickly and staying in contact to ultimately close more deals. These templates are the customizable, but having them as a starting place is equivalent to a hiring a business consultant with a proven track record to help set up your workflow.

Software as a Service delivers a much bigger package than packaged software.

Twitterview with eduWEB

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Leads360 founder Jeff Solomon was recently “twitterviewed” by Shelley Wetzel, the Conference Director of eduWEB for their conference website. Leads360 is currently preparing for the eduWeb conference in Chicago and we are excited to showcase our education enrollment solution!

To read the full interview, click here.

For more information about eduWEB, check out their site here. See in you in Chicago, July 26th-28th!

Victory is the Triumph of Strategy

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The interesting thing about this article in the New York Times called, “What Economists Can Teach World Cup Coaches” is the following sentence: “…evolutionary finance regards financial markets as a competition not so much among individuals as among strategies.” It goes on to describe how distinct soccer strategies enjoy periods of dominance during which they appear to be unbeatable. It reminds us however that in soccer, as in financial markets, winning strategies cannot remain winning for long. It is the nature of the competitive landscape that the castle of victory is elusive, and one cannot hope to walk the same path to its doors more than a few times.
In soccer, as in business, strategies that are foolproof, and cannot be defeated do not exist. Everyone who competes is vulnerable to loss. In a certain respect the reigning winner is most vulnerable to loss. It is their strategy that is the most imitated, improved upon, scrutinized, and analyzed for weakness.

Whatever your business is, a winning strategy is likely to include getting more customers and cultivating relationships with customers before your competitors do. There are a few basics that any winning strategy is likely to include. To name a few:

• Finding qualified customers
• Successfully initiating a relationship with customers before your competitors do
• Maintaining contact with customers who are slow to close
• Rewarding agents who produce

So this raises the question, how does a business strategy get created and refined? The unfortunate reality is that too often, business strategies are created un-strategically. It is not uncommon for companies to create their strategies based on:

• Hunches
• Egos
• The ability of a given decision maker to state his case persuasively
• Indecision and randomness

On the other hand there are companies using Lead Management Software. One example of Lead Management Software, Leads360, ships with built-in best practices templates that are effectively out-of-the-box winning workflows. These strategic workflows are developed by industry experts based on the analysis of over 20 million leads. And every component of the out-of-the-box business strategy is customizable.

Lead Management Software provides companies with simple, powerful tools to collect and analyze data generated by their work. Not only does LMS help agents work leads; improving speed to contact, qualification rates, and close rates, LMS equips decision makers with tools to course correct and make quick changes any part of their business strategy that is underperforming. From lead sources, to internal lead routing, to team and individual agent performance; LMS gives business owners and managers all the hard data they need to refine their strategy and workflow.

Lead Management Software is a strategy in a box that can be continually refined based on real data. World Cup coaches would be lucky to have such a resource.