Do you plan to permanently transition your business to a remote office?
Well, if you are, you should work towards positioning yourself for success. Working remotely may be convenient for many people for different reasons but it brings a unique set of challenges that you’ve already likely experienced over the past year compared to working from an office. You should address these challenges immediately with your team, especially as it relates to managing leads for your business.
We’ll discuss how remote-based businesses can better respond to and qualify leads quickly and efficiently.
Respond, respond, and respond
Research from HubSpot’s consumer report explored the impact of lead responsiveness, or the lack thereof, for businesses. It spotlighted the negative consequences for businesses who aren’t responding promptly to new leads and existing clients.
Specifically, the report found:
- 82% of consumers expect an immediate response to a sales inquiry.
- 82% of consumers expect to be responded to immediately and 90% of consumers expect it on a support request.
- 80% of consumers say they’ve stopped doing business with a company because of a poor experience.
A lack of a quick response to a new lead can be the result of many different reasons. These reasons can include communication channels that your clients use that aren’t being properly attended to, a limited number of staff members on your team to respond quickly, or you’re a solo practitioner managing different responsibilities and unable to answer in a timely manner. All of these reasons can be valid to you but your leads are likely to be more unforgiving. And this can be even more difficult when your team is working remotely and not sitting next to each other to immediately alert a colleague.
As a business owner or manager, you should be asking yourself right now, am I doing the best that I can to quickly respond to my leads?
It may sound like a silly question but it’s sillier to spend thousands of dollars marketing your business to generate and acquire leads but not immediately respond to them. Believe it or not, many businesses are guilty of doing so. Your leads may email your business in response to the discount promotion that you’re currently offering so it’s important to always be monitoring the relevant inboxes and be ready to respond with useful information quickly. In short, you should be responding to your leads quicker than you can say “You’ve got mail!”
If you’re a solo practitioner or small business with a limited staff, you might not be able to always monitor every communication channel throughout the day as you may be busy with existing projects that are likely producing revenue for you and your firm. Fortunately, if you are stretched thin, you can always outsource some of these responsibilities that’ll help you with your growth strategy.
Outsourcing to a virtual receptionist service will enable your business to have 24/7 coverage to respond quickly to every inbound call, chat, and message that you receive. In today’s demanding economy, it’s important for your business to be available 24/7 even if you’re not working because you’ll never know when your next largest client will reach out to you to learn more about your firm. That’s why it’s important to capture and respond to leads at the point of inquiry regardless of day or time.
Qualify leads quickly
While responding to leads promptly is important, it is also imperative to qualify them in a timely manner so you’re able to move them along your sales funnel immediately.
When you’re working remotely, especially with a limited staff as a small business, you need to ensure everyone is trained to correctly qualify new leads as potential new clients because you may only have one opportunity to speak with the lead so it’s crucial to put your best foot forward. This means not only providing them the appropriate training on qualifying leads when speaking with them but also the requisite tools to do so in a remote work environment.
If your team is busy with existing projects or billable work, you can always look to outsource your lead qualification and new client intake to trained professionals. This will free up your staff to focus on productive work uninterrupted for your business and tasks that closer align with their strengths.
As you start pushing remote work as a permanent solution for your business, start thinking more about your lead responsiveness and qualification processes and how you can improve it, whether internally or outsourced.
Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. Smith.ai’s 24/7 virtual receptionists and live chat agents capture and convert leads by phone, website chat, texts, and Facebook. You can follow Smith.ai on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube.