How to use agile marketing to manage leads through sales conversion
Kate Cox, chief marketing officer at Moneypenny, explains how to effectively manage leads through to sales conversion by channel.
The Covid-19 situation is causing huge fluctuations in demand for business products and services; some are swamped with demand and some are seeing significant drop offs. For business to keep growing through this situation it's important they use Agile Marketing techniques; dynamically. Spend marketing budget behind activities that drive success and pull back on ones that don’t convert as many leads as possible when demand is low. Kate shares her top three tips below.
1. Track fluctuating demand daily:
The Covid 19 pandemic has forced many businesses to manage massive volatility in demand. This is born out in the Google search stats with food and wine delivery, home office set ups and online education on the up with travel and restaurant sites on the down.
At Moneypenny, we believe businesses can be divided into three different types during this period:
Thriving, Surviving and Diving : A recent Moneypenny survey suggests that it is roughly divided into a third of all business in each group with 35% of the businesses surveyed saying calls had gone up and 42% reporting they’d dramatically decreased with the rest staying the same.
Marketing teams in each business type need to act according to the underlying demand curve. For those thriving businesses, it’s important that firms keep up with the underlying demand and marketing needs to be downweighted if it’s causing the business to run ‘hot’ and not keep up with operational capacity or upweighted if the business can keep pace with the upward trend.
For the diving businesses, it’s important that managing current customer needs are prioritised such as refunds and queries. For these businesses it might be possible to pivot towards groups of customers still spending with increased short term activity. Here at Moneypenny, we noticed that wine delivery companies were driving high volumes of live chat through our Managed Live Chat service as demand for wine delivery exploded, and so we spent time in our marketing team targeting these firms.
What’s important here is correctly identifying the natural daily demand for your product or service and any pockets of new interest from different customer groups: Google search interest is an incredibly useful yardstick for many categories as is gathering insights from front line employees in customer support and sales to enable quick pivoting towards growing demand groups and cutting spend to customers that aren’t spending at the moment.
2. Lean into your brand: Whichever category your business falls into:
Thriving, Surviving, Diving: It’s really important that you lean into your brand and make decisions in the best long term interests of your customer base. Emma Harris from the branding agency Glow London says ‘ Your brand proposition should be built around the positives you uniquely bring to the customer. In times of crisis this should be amplified, not forgotten, stay focused on who you are, don’t try and be something you’re not. It will fail’.
Within that brand wrapper: it’s OK to change your product and services to target customers as their needs change as long as they’re delivering the unique value that only your brand can bring. At Moneypenny we want to be seen as our client businesses’ second home and act as an extension to their team to support them during these times of changing demand.
This has meant that we’ve launched a number of new products during the Pandemic as our client’s needs have changed – for example our Digital Switchboard technology was launched for clients with high call volumes and no telephony systems available for remote working. This uses voice technology to direct callers to the business phone numbers directly through to the end employee. We have offered this free for 3 months to help businesses manage the transition to remote working.
3. Make sure every website visitor becomes a lead:
In B2B businesses using inbound marketing techniques, it’s especially important that when demand drops that as many website visitors become leads and then customers. Here’s a few ways we’ve found to increase leads quickly:
Prioritise phone calls: 56% of UK businesses say phone numbers are still the most important response channel with 45% of those phone calls being a new enquiry and this is increasing as customers do more research online and are very close to purchase when they pick up the phone to call a business. Calls convert at 10x the rate of clicks and are typically much more valuable conversions.
‘Customers who make phone calls are usually much further down the funnel, so they’re more likely to complete a purchase than those who are clicking during the initial research phases (Source: Invoca)’ . Displaying your phone number clearly on your website and encouraging customers to call you directly to get a consultation or a quote drives more calls.
At Moneypenny we love the call widget offered by companies such as Response IQ to quickly add a prominent phone call to action onto a website. ‘If a prospect enquiry is via a web form or live chat but you can get them on the phone, they’re more likely to convert. A study carried out by MIT shows that if you are able to get on the phone with your customers within 5 minutes of them enquiring, you are 21 times more likely to qualify them’ Response IQ Add Live Chat to your site.
This can be set up in hours and can double lead volumes on a typical B2B website as many visitors need to reassurance about the product and services and aren’t yet ready to commit to a call or a web form. Live chat allows them to ask questions to see if the service is right. It’s also helpful for businesses with global customers as managed live chat services can be managed 24/7 outside of normal business hours.
Track Everything: it’s important for lead generation and inbound marketing that website tracking is put in place that tracks channels all the way through to visitors, leads and customers. At Moneypenny we use Ruler Analytics as our tracking and attribution partner as they are able to track both calls through dynamic phone numbers on the website and live chat leads.