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Archive for the ‘Leads’ Category

Intelligent sales velocity – the next frontier of consumer sales automation

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

By Nick Hedges

April 10, 2021 — I’m fortunate in my position at Leads360 to meet with a lot of smart sales executives — many of them Leads360 customers. I find these discussions invaluable for learning from executives experiencing the consumer sales revolution first hand.

What I hear and observe is consumer behavior is continuously evolving, influenced by the web, mobile and social. This evolution is creating a demand for flexibility and ongoing optimization of sales processes. In this Sales 2.0 world, it is no longer good enough to respond quickly. In order to compete for consumers, companies need to respond with a high level of intelligence.

Our approach – Intelligent sales velocity – for companies that compete for consumers

At Leads360 we are laser focused on optimizing high velocity consumer sales environments. By their nature, these are very data rich environments that lend themselves to continuous optimization. In such a fast moving environment, we deliver a flexible, cloud-based sales automation solution to help them keep up with consumer demand and expectation for a timely, high-quality experience.

As our customers continue to innovate and evolve their sales processes to meet demand, we are committed to supporting them with ongoing innovation of Leads360 and Dial-IQ. Today we are proud to announce a big leap forward in the innovation of our sales automation suite – introducing the markets first, full-featured intelligent dialer solution, fully integrated with a comprehensive sales lead management platform.

Our dialer solution, Dial-IQ, now boasts Dial-IQ Inbound and Dial-IQ Multi-line. Dial-IQ Inbound ensures sales makes the most of every call opportunity, routing calls to the right rep and ensuring every inbound call is tracked and followed-up on based on an optimal contact strategy. Dial-IQ Multi-line helps sales teams reach prospects faster, prioritizing the right lead to call at the right time, while also intelligently scaling the number of lines used based on sophisticated business logic.

The addition of Dial-IQ Inbound and Multi-Line ensures business logic is built into the entire sales process. We’ve left no stone unturned in solving the problem of how sales teams handle and track every sales opportunity and we encourage you to take a look – on us.  To celebrate the launch, we’re offering a free 30-day trial. You can find out more by clicking leads360.com/dialer. Click here for today’s press release.

Cupid! Make me a Match, Find me a Catch!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

February 14, 2021 — WANTED! Cupid! To help create sales chemistry between prospect and agents!

Companies spend a significant amount of money marketing their services or products to drive desired behaviors in prospects. They work hard to help the customer learn about a product or service, identify with the brand promise and finally to trust the company enough to reach out. The customer finally fills out a form requesting more information and receives a call back only to get a sales rep on the phone that lacks product expertise based on their unique needs, doesn’t understand specific local requirements, etc.

For many consumer sales organizations their one goal is to get leads into the hands of producers as fast as possible, the flaw in this is they aren’t able to definitively take into account skills or attributes possessed by leads or agents that may increase conversion. Many distribution models today simply rely on pure randomness, intuition, or structural and campaign-based guidelines.

Ask any salesperson, and they will tell you an instances where they seemed to “connect on a higher level” with a lead – a connection that more likely than not led to a closed sale. Maybe a bit of Cupid luck but what if you could ensure Cupid’s magic worked more often than not, proactively matching a lead to an agent based on this hidden chemistry?

Enter skill-based routing (SBR), rigorously analyzing a sales agent’s performance against lead attributes and then matching leads with a skilled sales representative who has historically converted leads with that attribute at a higher rate.

Leads360 recently partnered with a handful of clients to develop and test skill-based routing. The result of the test was a significant improvement in agent performance with skilled reps more than doubling their conversion performance. It is important to note too that these “skilled” reps are not necessarily the best reps in the organization; by and large, these are average reps with no special performance or remarkable talents. The key is leveraging data to identify the “chemistry” and to automatically match reps with leads they are most likely to close.

Learn more about skill-based routing and download the full study here.

Study: Weekend leads convert 20% better than weekday leads

Friday, February 10th, 2012

February 10, 2021 — Are weekend leads worth the money?  More importantly, is it worth staffing weekends to take advantage of these leads?

A recent study suggests the answer to these questions is YES and YES. Leads generated over the weekend convert 20% better than weekday leads, even if you do nothing more than buy them and work them during the typical workweek. What’s more, if weekend leads are worked with the same intensity as their weekday counterparts they have an even higher chance of converting. This is according to a new study conducted jointly by Leads360 and QuinStreet that looked at the performance of nearly a quarter million leads over a one-year period.

Weekend Leads by the Numbers

Contrary to what some may think, the findings from our research suggest more serious consumers are using discretionary time on the weekend to get work done and expect a timely response from lenders.  Therefore, those lenders that staff up and more aggressively work weekend leads could gain an edge on competitors.

If a company works weekend leads with the same intensity as weekday leads, the weekend generated leads perform even better. If a weekend lead is contacted it converts 32% better, if it is quoted 51% better and if it is contacted in the first 5 minutes, it converts 100% better than weekday leads.

Despite the solid performance, fewer than 29% of lead purchasers in the study purchased more than 10 weekend leads per month and less than 4% had a significant weekend lead buying strategy purchasing more than 100 weekend leads per month.  What’s more, weekend leads aren’t getting worked as hard. Response times to weekend leads were an average of 71% slower than weekday leads.

To learn more, download the study here.

2012 Forecasts for Insurance, Mortgage, Higher Ed

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

January 19, 2021 — Ah, the New Year.  January always offers a chance to move forward with a clean slate and an eye for the future.  In that spirit, here are some blog posts that offer a look forward to 2012 and some predictions and previews for what the year has to offer in private-sector higher education, mortgage and insurance.

#1 - Five reasons why for-profit schools are here to stay via @washingtonpost – In this column, Jay Mathew’s begins his look at the future of for-profit education with a clear and definite bias against the institutions, and initial reluctance to review the book titled “Change.edu: Rebooting for the New Talent Economy” written by Kaplan’s Chairman, Andrew S. Rosen. While the book didn’t shake Mathew’s feeling completely, he noted “Rosen convinced me that for-profit educational ventures are here to stay.” He went on to detail five reasons why. http://wapo.st/sSAwCQ

#2 - The Mortgage Battlefield of 2012 via @NatlMortgagePro – John Walsh offers up his predictions for the embattled mortgage industry from the frontlines of the struggle, including continued low rates and the reemergence of innovative products. http://dlvr.it/12P29W

#3 - Experts 2012 Rate Outlook via @MortgageNewsMND – Rob Chrisman gives an overview of mortgage rates and industry predictions based on outlooks from industry experts Freddie, Fannie and others. Predictions anticipate a similar year to 2011, with HARP 2.0 and expected low interest rates throughout the year likely to have a positive impact. http://tinyurl.com/cwl8zfe

#4 - Three Ways Insurers Will Compete on Data in 2012 via @insurancetech –  highlights how analytics is likely to change insurers approach to underwriting, claims, and risk management in 2012 http://ow.ly/87ZXG

#5 – Health care reform you can expect in 2012 via @Bankrate – The piece looks at what patients, doctors, and insurers should expect from the pieces of the affordable care act going into law in 2012. http://bit.ly/zuUE7U

#6 – Insurance Veterans’ Forecasts for 2012 via @ijournal – The piece discusses the future of the industry in the coming year with nine different industry leaders to get a better grasp on what to expect. http://bit.ly/yjGcS0

#7 – 3 Key Challenges Facing Agents in 2012 via @ijournal - In this podcast with Bob Rusbuldt, CEO of Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Bob articulates what he believes are the three biggest challenges facing independent agents and brokers in 2012. http://bit.ly/z6gNSb

Inspiration from our sales team to yours

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

December 29, 2020 — Motivation and inspiration for selling can come from many places. To give you some fresh material for the “inspirational” section of your sales portal or even better, your Leads360 homepage message (hint, hint :-)), we conducted a poll of our sales team asking them for motivational sayings, quotes, movie lines, or whatever else they could think of that might inspire them. So from our sales team to yours – happy New Year and happy selling in 2012!!!

  • “We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.” -Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross
  • “Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur
  • “Whether You Think You Can or Can’t, You’re Right”-Henry Ford
  • “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky
  • “Big team little me.” – author unknown
  • “Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck!” - Gil Perreault
  • “Patience; this is the greatest business asset. Wait for the right time to make your moves.” – J. Paul Getty
  • “Only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted.” -Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross
  • “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • “Show me the money” - Jerry Maguire
  • “Sell, sell, sell, my kids need money for college.” - David Villarama
  • “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” - Steven Wright
  • “Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” - James Baldwin
  • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
  • “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense” – Matt Wolcott @Leads360!
  • “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” — Author Unknown
  • “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”- William Jennings Bryan
  • “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart

Working Weekend Leads Could Give you a Leg Up

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Find out how to maximize your weekend lead buys

Dec. 6, 2011 — In today’s competitive mortgage environment, working nontraditional work hours may give you a leg up on your competitors. A new study from Leads360 and QuinStreet found weekend leads perform better than weekday leads in certain key metrics.

As the mortgage industry evolves, lenders will need to adapt to meet the needs of busy consumers. Many consumers have more time on the weekend to catch up on their to-do lists and are less likely to be distracted by day-to-day responsibilities. So while it may seem like a hassle to work weekends, the opportunity may be worth it.

Are you maximizing your weekend lead buys? Attend our FREE webinar sponsored by Leads360 and QuinStreet to see how you stack up vs. your competitors on weekend leads purchased and how to properly contact and manage weekend leads based on research findings. Click here to register for this FREE webinar on Wednesday, December 14, 2020 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST!

Five KPIs every sales manager should track to increase conversion rates

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Every sales manager needs to track performance of their sales and marketing efforts and when it comes to lead management, understanding how leads perform and why one lead converted over another is critical.

Numerous studies and our own research have shown that contacting new leads quickly can dramatically impact conversion rates. Therefore, number one and two on our list of “must track” key performance indicators (KPIs) are speed-to-contact attempt and speed-to-contact. The other three come in the order all leads must go through, and when used together, these KPIs can be powerful in helping to measure the performance of sales processes, campaigns, lead sources, and more.

Here are the top five KPI’s every sales manager should track:
1. Speed-to-Contact Attempt – How much time it takes to call a lead for the first time regardless of whether or not the call is connected.
2. Speed to Contact - How much time it takes to contact a lead for the first time.
3. Contact Rate - The percentage of leads that have been contacted (meaning a sales person actually spoke to a lead on the phone)
4. Qualification Rate - The percentage of leads that have been qualified (meaning the lead is a fit for your product and could buy within the next 90 days)
5. Conversion Rate - The percentage of leads that have been converted to customers.

Company #1:
Dashboard company 1
Company #2:
Dashboard company #2

Above are examples of two dashboards, from two separate companies, tracking the top five KPI’s. Let’s drill into these numbers a bit and see what we can learn.
As you can see, company #2 is performing much better than company #1. So what’s going on, for company #1 the qualification rate is low at 14.8%, while the contact rate is relatively high at 70.2%. This drives one to conclude the quality of the leads is poor. The sales manager in this instance may want to drill into this data to determine where the lower quality leads are coming from. For company #2, contact relative to qualification rate is where we’d expect.

Now, if we look at the conversion rate of 2.7% for company #1, again this isn’t a great conversion rate, a sales manager might be scratching their head wondering why. The lower conversion rate is likely tied to one of four things or a combination of these (1) the company is not competitive in the marketplace (2) their sales people may need more training (3) lead quality may be poor as noted above, or (4) the poor speed-to-contact may be factoring into the conversion rate.

Company #2 on the other hand is performing much better on their speed-to-contact metrics, which could ultimately be having a positive impact on their conversion rate.

As you can see, the power of these four KPIs together can provide valuable insights into your sales processes, campaigns and more. Leasd360′s innovative lead analytics and sales lead tracking software makes it easy to monitor key success metrics. We make critical data useful, simple and actionable.

Hey AdTech, how important is lead conversion?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

The 2010 AdTech show in San Francisco was a hotbed of on and offline marketers primarily for B2C companies. Quite simply, there is no shortage of companies that will take your money and drive clicks and maybe even leads, but do they really care what happens after that? I’m not sure that they do. In speaking with nearly a dozen marketing service providers, that incidentally offered only a slightly varied product, I found a sharp lack of concern about conversion. Well, I shouldn’t be that harsh, they care, but not that much.

Obviously if you ask about how well traffic converts, of course you can’t beat it. But in my experience the real test of quality comes in how much effort the marketer is willing to put into conversion after the lead has been generated. That means they need to care about what their clients actually do with the clicks or leads. That means they need to care about a part of the process they don’t make money from. Of course, any shrewd lead generator knows that when clients get better at this part of the process, they buy more leads; just ask Matt Coffin from LMB. But everyone I spoke to at AdTech didn’t give a “#%!!@$&” about it. Some were even quite vocal about it.

It’s sad. For us it’s sad because we aren’t likely to get referrals for their clients to use our lead management software. I can pretty much guarantee they will convert more leads and subsequently spend more money, but why would they want that. Somehow the success of the lead generation industry, and it’s embracement of lead management software hasn’t quite permeated to online marketers at large. Maybe it’s no surprise that all the lead generators decided to stop participating in AdTech; maybe AdTech is still stuck in the 90’s.

Everyone Loves a Quick Close

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The path to a successful sale is fraught with obstacles. Not a few of which are inside our own heads in the form of assumptions and erroneous beliefs.

Before we wave our fingers at the salespersons’ tendency to favor the quick close and not follow up on leads well, let’s first acknowledge that this behavior is commonplace for a reason. It makes sense. And in a world without a dedicated Lead Management Solution, it may actually be considered a best practice. What behavior am I talking about specifically? Salespersons are ‘hooked’ on the quick close. If one lead in a hundred is the one that is going to close quickly, why would you spend time on the phone with the ones that aren’t? Since the salesperson’s skill set and experience equip them to recognize when they have a lead on the line that they can close, why wouldn’t they just keep burning through calls, until they get that feeling that they have a ‘live one’ on the line? Wouldn’t you? Choosing a path other than this would mean that the ‘live one’ winds up on the line with one of the other salespeople.

Three obvious problems with basing your sales approach around the quick close are:

  1. There is a margin of error. The lead may be a ‘live one’ that can be closed, but the sales agent can’t see it
  2. It ignores the fact that 40-50% of leads will eventually close, even if they don’t close right away
  3. Slow closing leads represent 77% of total sales

If those pieces of data are not persuasive enough, consider one even more critical fact: It’s not necessary to choose one or the other. With Lead Management Software, salesmen do not have to choose between chasing the quick close and nurturing leads. By using Lead Management Software, Salesmen can turn and burn calls, while funneling leads that are not quick closers into a nurture cycle.

A lead nurture cycle serves as an automated bidirectional reminder.

  • It sends emails to the lead: “Don’t forget about this company, this sales agent, when you’re ready to buy, we’ll be here!”
  • It sends reminders to the Salesman: “Don’t forget about this lead, when they’re ready to buy, you have to be there!”

Research in neuropsychology shows that one way the human brain organizes information is by retracing the steps that lead to a desired result and trying to replicate them. Your sales agents have for so long gotten positive results by working according to the old rules: Burning through calls as fast as they can to get to the one they can close. And Lead Management Software doesn’t require that sales agents ‘learn a new way to work’. Instead, it harnesses the sales agents enthusiasm for connecting to new leads while automating the more easily overlooked tasks of following up with leads that are not immediate closers.

The new lesson that salespersons are learning while using Lead Management is this: There are a lot more deals to be closed outside of that fish that just flops into the boat.