How to Manage Inbound Leads Like a Pro
Posted On Mar 29, 2019 in Article by

Short of a direct referral, inbound leads are the cream of your sales crop.

After all, an inbound lead means that your marketing’s working. Someone saw your advertising in a local paper, got interested in your website offerings, or clicked on a digital ad and they’re right on the cusp of buying your services.

The important thing now is not to lose them.

Here’s how to manage inbound leads to give you the best shot of closing your next deal.

Start Using CRM

Field service software that also functions as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is essential for managing your inbound leads with any success. Yet, somehow, more than one in five salespeople don’t even know what CRM is, according to inbound marketing giant HubSpot.

This is despite the fact that CRM pays back between $5.60 and $8.71 for every dollar spent on them, according to Nucleus Research.

Those are no-brainer numbers, yet many contractors are still using spreadsheets and other old-school methods of tracking, contacting, and selling to prospects.

A great CRM will let you know where your leads come from, add notes about their needs, upload photos of the work/jobsite/equipment, put them into a timeline for follow-ups, and make your sales process more efficient overall.

Integrate with Your Customer Profiles

If you’ve created customer profiles to help get new leads in the first place, a CRM can help you seamlessly manage those leads and tailor your end of your sale process to that profile. (And if you haven’t created customer profiles yet, we’ve got a blog to help you get started).

The thinking here is that if you’ve already identified a new inbound lead, you can use their customer profile – their demographic data and your knowledge of the types of preferences these customers have – to both close the deal and provide valuable upsells.

Use Quick, Accurate Estimates to Close Deals

Your newest inbound lead may have already gotten a quick estimate on your website or submitted a form request for one. Either way, estimates are one of the most common asks for any new potential customer and their prospective contractors.

Speed of response is critical here. You want to be able to get back to the new potential customer within 24 hours at the least with a detailed, thorough estimate.

In fact, one Harvard Business Review study suggested that leads are 60 times more likely to close if responded to in the first hour compared to the first 24 hours, so even that’s being generous.

Your comprehensive field service software will help you do that, since it can store your most frequently used items, templates of common jobs, and costs of materials and labor.

But the biggest benefits of being quick in responding to your new customer is that it allows you to both open up a line of dialogue beyond the static sell (they’re actually speaking to a human now – or emailing with one). Because the estimate is often an early make-or-break point as a customer is price-shopping, speed enables you to either decide on each other or part ways so you have time to move on to the next lead.

Every lead you close is money. But deciding not to pursue an opportunity can be as well. Every lead you determine isn’t going to close quickly is money in the form of time to move on and cultivate the next lead in your pipeline.

Build for the Future

By “move on,” of course, we don’t mean “drop forever.” Not every inbound lead is ready to close this week or this month.

This is where cultivation comes in. Your CRM will help you place these leads into a pipeline and identify them and their interests.

You can note that they were interested in a certain service – let’s say a service contract – but didn’t have the funds yet. You can put them in an email funnel and even target them when your next deal comes around.

Ideally, you’ve profiled and impressed the person with your speediness and professionalism. Even if you didn’t make the sale today, by putting them into your system and setting up a pipeline of contact (email, calls, digital ads retargeting), they’re a warm lead that will become a future customer when they’re ready.

About the Author
Gabriel Pinchev is the founder and CEO of FieldPulse, field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. FieldPulse helps contractors go digital with tools to handle everything from customer management (CRM) and estimates/invoices, to scheduling and dispatching, team timesheets (with GPS location stamps), and much more – available in the office or on-the-go.