From the first time you connect with a prospect to the time you close the sale, the right lead nurturing techniques are vital to sales success. A great prospect nurturing process takes into account the needs and the readiness of all leads, providing them with the attention and information suited to their position in the sales process.
Establishing a Lead Nurturing Process
A good lead nurturing process keeps leads interested and moves them quickly through the sales funnel, according to LingoTelemarketing, a UK-based telemarketing provider. For insurance agencies, steps to achieving this might include:
Implementing marketing strategies that increase company visibility on a variety of platforms (such as search ads, social media and the agency’s website) so that prospects know the business’s name before making first contact.
Increasing agency “like-ability” with useful, credible and current marketing materials such as emails or online content.
Following up with online insurance leads in a timely manner and demonstrating superior industry knowledge that in turn gains consumer trust.
Monitoring the lead’s actions and following up regularly to maintain interest and encourage movement through the sales funnel.
While technology may play a part in any of the steps, insight into the sales process as well as attention to leads are the true requirements for success.
Scoring Leads Economically
Not everyone realizes the importance of lead scoring. DemandGen describes it as a “tactic to make the sales team more efficient using qualification and prioritization.”
Effective insurance lead scoring requires gathering insights from both the sales and marketing perspective and then compiling a profile of an ideal lead. From there, marketing works at generating qualified leads and sales works on closing them. What defines a qualified lead? According to Oracle, there are two components:
Fit – Is this the right person to be talking to? Is it someone who could feasible be in the market to buy insurance and would be a decision maker. (While an 18-year-old could be candidate for insurance, if they’re living at home their parents are likely the true decision makers.)
Engagement – Has this person interacted with your website, emails or company lately in a way that would indicate they’re in the market and potentially ready to buy? If you’re cold contacting lead they will have a much lower engagement score.
Using a scale of one to four to rate each lead on those two criteria provides the data needed to create a graph with an X-axis and a Y-axis for scoring leads. Oracle suggests then defining action for each group:
A1 leads, with ideal fit and maximum engagement, go directly to sales
A3 and A4 leads, with good fit but minimal engagement, are nurtured over time
C1 or D1 leads, with high engagement but low fit, merit a conversation to evaluate their interest
Scoring leads will help agents focus their efforts, leading to a better use of time and a higher potential for completing sales.
Knowing When to Fold
Anyone in sales recognizes the power of persistence. Nonetheless, sometimes giving up and moving on makes the most sense. The trick is recognizing when to walk away. Despite being hardwired to resist accepting no as an answer, hearing “no” early can save time and money, especially if the prospect is not a good fit.
When all signs show it is time to give up on a lead, make a clean break. Be gracious and always remain professional no matter the circumstances. There may come a future opportunity for doing business with them.
Nurturing All Demographics
No matter the reason for connecting with clients, from initial contact to following up, use the approach best suited to each client. This entails properly identifying the demographic, by location, age, gender, industry amongst other considerations. Gen Y, or millennials, grew up with computers and are highly responsive to Internet campaigns. They process information quickly, are brand loyal and respond well to innovative marketing and advertising as well as humor, according to Entrepreneur.com. Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1975, are tech-savvy, love to shop, value knowledge and want to know why a product is a good value. Boomers are marked by their ability to evaluate advertising as well as their dislike of being labeled as old. Knowing what makes a target demographic tick results in lead nurturing success.
Learning from Losses
Walking away from a deal need not be a total loss. Use the opportunity to see if you can improve anything for the next prospect. Some requests will be outright unattainable (like a severely discounted price) but others might surprise you.
Sales Rep: I’m sorry we couldn’t make this work, but I can’t match that offer or provide you with the options and services you’re looking for.
Customer: I’m sorry to hear that.
Sales Rep: I do want to thank you for your time and I hope you’ll keep me in mind the next time you’re in the market or if it doesn’t work out with your current insurance provider. Are there any notes I can take away that might help me be of better service in the future?
Ending the conversation on a productive note signals to the lead that you’re dedicated to providing the best service possible. It also gives you valuable real world insights that can help you set yourself apart with your insurance leads.