How to Generate Telephone Leads in the Internet Age

Most people reading this blog already know what a sales lead is; but we’ll go over the main points just to be clear. A lead is, quite simply, contact information through which you can get in touch with a person who may or may not be interested in buying your product or taking advantage of your service. By calling, e-mailing or direct-mailing this person, you are figuratively knocking on doors in the hopes of generating a sale.

Generally, we classify leads into three separate categories:

  • Cold leads: These are contact details, and you have no idea whether or not the person is going to be the least bit interested in the pitch.
  • Warm leads: These are more targeted leads, in that the people they represent fit the right demographic and stand a stronger chance of being interested in the pitch.
  • Hot leads: The most promising of the bunch, hot leads represent people who are currently on the market for a product or service like yours. Conditions are right for these people to make that purchase.

Are Telephone Leads Still Relevant?
In today’s information age, many understandably assume that telephone leads simply aren’t relevant anymore. They think that e-mails and social-media marketing have made traditional telephone marketing all but obsolete. This is certainly an important issue worth pondering; however, it ignores one of the most aspects of modern communication: People crave human contact.

Texting, e-mailing and even sending texts have certainly become primary modes of contact in the 21st century. But even so, people still talk on their telephones. Not only that, some are going to respond more positively to a real human voice than they are to an easily ignored e-mail or SMS. With an accomplished telephone marketer representing your company on the phone, the chances of that potential customer saying ‘yes’ increase significantly.

But the quality and personality of your outbound callers is absolutely critical. No one likes to feel like they are being pushed around or talked down to. With warm and personable salespeople manning the lines on your company’s behalf, a telephone marketing campaign can be a powerful sales tool.

Tips on Generating Telephone Leads
With the above in mind, we are going to offer a few tips on how you can generate more warm and hot leads for your company’s phone marketing campaign.

ü Hire a service.
There are countless services out there that are solely devoted to generating leads for their clients. Some are devoted to specific media – such as e-mail leads or telephone numbers. Others offer broader ranging lead-capture services.

What’s important is that you work with a firm that knows your specific industry. When it comes to collecting telephone numbers, what you want are warm to hot leads that have a decent chance of converting into a sale. These are not like e-mails that you can send out more or less indiscriminately and hope that at least some of them end up in the right inboxes. Each call costs money to place and requires total devotion from the associate on your end of the line. You need these leads to be solid, so shop around for a reliable lead-capture service.

Allow potential customers to opt-in.
It’s always a good idea to have an opt-in form on your website that allows site visitors to voluntarily give you their contact details. One effective way to accomplish this is to offer something free to them in return. This could be a download – such as an e-book in which your company shares some complimentary expertise or even access to a special deal or promotion.

It’s best not to make handing over your telephone number obligatory in order to receive your company’s free offer. Make it optional instead. Some people will enter the number simply because the field is there; others may genuinely want to receive updates or calls about important services from you. As anyone who leaves their number in this case did so whilst visiting your website, it’s safe to assume that these are at least warm leads. Some of them are undoubtedly hot.

Include a contact form on your website.
In the above point, we talked about giving something away in exchange for the opportunity to surrender contact details. In addition to that, it’s also wise to include easy access to a contact form on your website. You may even want to consider actually inserting a visible contact form on each page.

You see, this contact form is a way for your prospective clients to get let you know that they would like you to get in touch with them. They’re literally asking for you to contact them in this case. They may provide an e-mail address, a phone number or both. The point is, these are red-hot leads, because these people are asking you to call them.

Advertise online.
What you may not realise is that people who click on your online ads don’t always purchase your product right then and there. It’s easy to get hung up on pay-per-click (PPC) conversion rates by measuring them strictly through your analytics. However, some of those potential customers who clicked on one of your ads may end up calling your sales office. They could convert to a sale right then; but even if they don’t, you still have a chance to capture their contact info for future reference.

Tracking inbound phone traffic is complicated, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it simply is not possible. However, these services exist. Kissmetrics is a good example of an analytics firm that offers inbound call-tracking services. This is a great to figure out how your online campaigns and telephone sales are related, and could ultimately serve to establish synergy between campaigns.

Conclusion: Hire the Right Team

At several points in this post, we’ve reiterated how important it is that you have the right team representing you. This applies to those helping to source your leads as much as it does to those manning the phone lines. But armed with warm leads and professional outbound callers, your company’s phone marketing division could become one of its most valuable.

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