Generating leads can be challenging, especially if you’re a small business owner. Without ten or 100 leads, there is a lot that goes into obtaining just one lead. But what’s worse? Creating a plan, paying for a successful ad campaign, driving traffic to your website, generating leads… and then losing those sales because you don’t have the right communication and lead nurturing in place.
Most businesses are moving away from the fragmented lead nurturing world and adopting an integrated digital lead nurturing and communication strategy. However, this can be difficult for small businesses that don’t have the resources or time to put some of these systems together.
Fortunately, technology has given us multiple possibilities, and now we can do a lot about it.
For small business owners, I’ll show you the program I created to help you communicate and nurture your leads and how to make it a success.
Learn more about how you can optimize your lead nurturing system
But first, let’s look at three major trends that make it difficult for small businesses to create an integrated lead nurturing system.
Here’s a quick overview of three problem trends and the actions you can take to address them
Small business robbing top trends leads
The first trend is speed to lead, which is the time it takes to respond to a business prospect from the moment they become a lead.
People today expect instant communication, but research indicates that they are not getting it. And it’s really hurting businesses that don’t address it.
According to Velocify, responding to leads within the first minute increases conversions by 391%. Other related research from the Harvard Business Review reveals that contacting a lead within the first hour makes you seven times more likely to qualify that prospect.
But who has time to do that? Especially when you need to respond quickly during work hours, nights and weekends.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to sit around all day responding to everything immediately, but people expect at least one answer.
Do they want to know if you got their message? If anyone is going to get them back? What is going to happen next?
Does speed make the difference in sales?
Organizations that recognize the importance of speed to leadership have a huge advantage. According to eMarketer, 51% of leads will work with the company that contacts them first.
Think of yourself as a buyer. If I have a new project to repair my house, for example, I can contact three companies and without worrying too much about price, the first one that answers will probably get the job. We are at a point where speed has become more influential in certain situations than price.
You can also make sure that if you respond quickly, you can charge more. The most profitable companies today have built momentum to lead one of their highest priorities, and they’re raising their prices because of it. What if the speed of your leadership is your differentiator?
Now think of all the different channels that people can put you through to request a quote or consultation Or how many areas are you not paying attention to because you can’t monitor them or you don’t have time?
Google Business Chat, for example, is one of the functionalities that Google recently added. Instead of calling you, getting directions to your business, or visiting your website, customers can send you a message and ask you a question or get a quote.
But you also have phone, voicemail, email, website forms, website chat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM, SMS and the list goes on. Do you monitor and respond to all of them?
Now companies have to respond almost immediately, although nobody has time to monitor a ton of different apps and places.
As a business owner you need to think strategically about how you are going to use all the tools available to generate leads for your business and also be realistic about what you can handle.
SMS overtaking email
SMS has become the de facto choice for many of the people we do business with. In fact, 48% of people say that SMS is their preferred channel for receiving updates from a brand. Two to one SMS over email.
I guess there may be generational gaps in these statistics, and of course, certain industries are more prevalent than others, but the trend is real.
Mobile is now overtaking desktop in terms of website visits. In the same study, E-Marketer found that mobile devices are driving 45% of web leads today And if people use a mobile device, it’s a whole lot easier to just send a text message to start a conversation.
Businesses need to be able to not only monitor and respond quickly but possibly move a portion of those responses to text.
For example, the graph above is website traffic data for a home service business. 54% of their traffic comes from a mobile device, which really illustrates the benefits of shifting part of the marketing strategy to text messages.
Of course, I’m not talking about the spammy text messages we all get. I encourage you to use SMS to create a better experience for those already in the customer journey and close to becoming a client. Or even create marketing campaigns to re-engage past customers who have gone cold. People who already know you, but haven’t heard from you in a while.
Personalized website journey
The bar has been raised. Your website can no longer be a brochure that only describes what you do and how you do it. People today expect personalized content experiences and real conversations within your site.
They want to engage with content that is highly relevant to them as quickly as possible. Most of us serve multiple markets and multiple categories, which means you have to help people find what’s right for them. And that’s where the customer journey begins, many people get a referral, Google your business, and then end at your website.
Ask yourself: Is your site designed perfectly for those who visit or need help from them?
Technology is getting smarter day by day. Our website chat is an example of a typical personalized website journey. And it starts with a simple message, “Welcome, John Zants, how can we help you today?”
It knows who I am, and this kind of personalization has come to be expected because technology makes it so easy. We can now direct our prospects to the most relevant content for them based on the answer they just typed.
A unified lead nurturing system
Let’s face it, if you need to answer a bunch of places immediately, you need some automation. You need some technology that can help you do that.
Lead Spark, is a way to integrate your messages, automate follow-ups (even on weekends), get instant Google reviews to build social proof, reactivate one-time customers, turn website visits into chat conversations, run activation campaigns, capture more leads , and more
For example, an automated follow-up that acknowledges a key message and starts a conversation to explain what’s going to happen next in the customer journey. Turn search into text chat.
If you spend money on advertising, if you spend money on SEO, and then you waste some of that money because you’re not responding quickly to some of the leads that are coming in, to me that’s worse than not figuring out how to get the lead in the first place.