Lead collection is among the most challenging tasks most businesses face. Marketing efforts help spread the word about what you do and why prospective customers should consider your products or services. But actually connecting with those prospects and getting them into your sales funnel is tough.
Are you among the many entrepreneurs and small business owners wondering how to generate leads? If so, here’s a look at the types of leads you need to start capturing, as well as a few strategies for boosting your lead capture efforts.
Three Types of Leads You Need to Capture
To improve your lead capture efforts, you need a good starting point. Start by focusing on these three lead types:
- Television, radio and other broadcast leads: Many marketing plans include advertisements on television, radio and other broadcast media. The challenge is that television and radio spots can run at all hours. If your ads include a toll-free number, you need a structure in place that allows callers to speak to a real person, no matter the time of day.
- Overflow leads: If you use a toll-free number, it can be hard to keep up with calls even during regular business hours. When your in-house phone representatives are overwhelmed, many callers listen to the phone ring and ring and ring, and others are directed to a voicemail inbox. To boost your lead collection efforts, it’s important to have a method for capturing these overflow leads.
- After-hours leads: Not all after-hours calls are generated by broadcast advertisements. Many are just prospective customers calling after 5 p.m. because that’s when they spend time researching products and services. If you can have in place an answering service that speaks to these prospects at night or on weekends, your lead capture numbers will grow accordingly.
There are many other types of leads that would be nice to capture. But if you simply start with the three types listed above, your business will start to seize a huge opportunity to convert more prospects.
The Pain Points Holding Back Lead Capture Efforts
A virtual receptionist service is among the best lead capture tools you can implement — especially if your company leans heavily on toll-free numbers when making offers to prospective customers. However, there are two primary pain points when establishing a live answering service:
- Answering after-hours: As noted above, many people research products and services after 5 p.m. If they call a toll-free number, who will speak to them? Also, many broadcast advertisements air after hours. Again, who is going to answer those calls? Roughly 80% of consumers will choose the vendor that answers first.
- Answering quickly: It’s not just about having people answer calls 24 hours a day — it’s also about people answering calls quickly. Your toll-free callers have little patience for sitting on the phone and listening to ring after ring. If you can answer their calls more quickly, your lead capture efforts will improve.
The Value of Live Answering
At VoiceNation, we provide the live answering service that so many small businesses need. We offer highly trained experts who can handle every call, no matter the hour or day. We have developed our own proprietary technology that ensures we answer each call within 10 seconds. Best of all, our live answering service is available at a fraction of the cost of a business establishing its own in-house answering service.