In my last article I wrote about lead generation and how to build a strategy that focuses on creating consumer trust. Sales can be closed today or nurtured for the future, but a focus only on the hot prospects of today not only removes great leads from the table, it destroys trust in consumers who are already interested in your brand. A strategic approach to lead generation helps to drive sales today and also creates a healthy future pipeline.
I want to turn my attention now to some of the practical tools that can help your agents to qualify leads once they have been generated. This is not just about contact center technology, but also the processes applied to ensuring that the most appropriate person handles your lead. I would break this broader process of qualification into four important and distinct areas:
· Align the solution to buyer profile
· Call routing
· Dynamic agent scripting
· Call tracking
Let’s explore each of these subjects in turn.
Align the solution to buyer profile
This is an important part of the lead generation process that helps to ensure the leads you create are usually qualified when they arrive. By building detailed descriptions of the criteria you need for potential customers you can direct marketing and ad spending to focus only on these consumers. In effect, this is a qualification process because your buyer profiles and advertising should only be focused on consumers who fit the profile of a prospective customer.
Call Routing Technology, also known as an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) allows for customer calls to be automatically routed to individual agents inside the contact center according to specific criteria. This is important because it is not efficient to just answer calls in the order that they arrive, however logical that may seem. You can route calls to a specific team at certain times of the day or route specific problems to agents with the right skills, or just use a round robin method to ensure all sales opportunities are evenly spread across the team.
Dynamic agent scripting
This ensures that the agent asks the right questions, but without sounding like a robo-agent – the script should be dynamic and have the fluidity of natural speech. The script dynamically changes based on customer responses, so the next question or action is based on previous customer responses. This approach allows you to ensure that the right questions are always asked and the agent is not just ad-libbing their interactions, but without the stilted impression of a fixed script.
This allows you to track where the calls came from. You might be using Google Adwords, a Click-to-call ad inside Facebook, and an advert on the side of a bus, but in each case you use a different phone number so as calls are received it is possible to identify where it came from. Because each channel is using a different phone number, although calls are all directed to the same central business line, the call tracking software can easily show how much your marketing team is spending per lead. If the spend on each of those channels is $1,000 per month and the bus generates just one call compared to Google generating 25 calls then it is easy to calculate that the Google leads cost $40 each, but the bus advert cost $1,000 for just one lead.
All these processes can be used together to ensure that once you are generating leads, they are handled in the most efficient manner possible – and in a way that is most likely to convert them to sales. These methods are proven to dramatically improve the lead qualification process and that really is the difference between closing sales or handling enquiries.
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