When you’re in the business of channel marketing, you’re always looking for ways to improve your lead management process. After all, the more leads you generate, the more customers you’ll eventually have. What businesses often overlook is the importance of quickly following up with those leads. Unfortunately, most channel marketers we speak to at BrandMuscle are managing leads through email and complex spreadsheets. Do you know what doesn’t help your partners quickly react to new leads? Email and complex spreadsheets.
According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a lead are seven times more likely to qualify that lead than companies that wait 24 hours or longer to follow up. So if you want to increase your chances of turning leads into customers, your channel marketers need to make sure they’re following up quickly.
Here are three tips to help your partners follow up with leads faster:
The first step is to set up a system for tracking the leads you pass along to your partners. This should be an automated system that pulls in data from your various marketing channels and puts it all in one place. Often, your corporate CRM system is too expensive to license out to all your partners, so you need a slimmed-down version that is easy for your partners to adopt.
The important thing is that both you and your partners have a way of tracking and updating the leads in a timely manner. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing track of leads and missing out on opportunities to turn them into customers.
Another way to ensure you follow up quickly with leads is to set up a notification system so your partners know as soon as a new lead comes in. This could be as simple as an email or text message alert that goes off whenever a new lead is generated.
Again, the important thing is that you have some way of knowing right away when a new lead comes in so your partners can follow up while they’re still fresh in their minds. Leads tend to go cold quickly, so the sooner your partner reaches out, the better.
Finally, it’s essential to make sure your partners know how to handle leads properly. This includes everything from ensuring your partners reach out to leads in a timely fashion to training customer services reps on how to best follow up with leads who have already been contacted.
You should also put together a script or template for partners to use when following up with the leads that you or corporate passes to them so they know exactly what to say and do. The goal here is to make it as easy as possible for partners to follow up quickly and efficiently so they can turn more local leads into customers.
In today’s competitive landscape, you can’t afford for your partners to wait to follow up with leads. Give them the tools and techniques necessary to be successful.
Contact BrandMuscle to chat about how we can help you manage your leads at the channel partner level.
Vice President, Product Management