“Our technology allows you to know more about the shopper by capturing shopper profile information through their interactive experiences,” says Amy Peck, VP of Marketing Services at PERQ. “It then creates personalized experiences tailored to each shopper, which results in deeper engagement and naturally makes them a higher quality lead.”
To make the most of this influx in detailed leads, clients must decide how to prioritize and personalize the lead follow-up process. Here are some ideas on how to better nurture PERQ leads so you can close more sales.
Ways to Personalize Lead Follow-Up
Aside from the obvious tactic of including a person’s name in all follow-up interactions, there are many ways to utilize consumer data to personalize your sales approach.
“We’re delivering the results of a conversation the consumer just had with your website,” says Doug Stump, PERQ’s National Sales Director. “All you have to do is pick up that conversation and run with it from there. It offers a different level of engagement.”
We encourage clients to really examine a shopper’s profile before reaching out by email or phone. If you understand exactly what it is they’re looking for online and identify where they’re at in the buying process, you can deliver the most relevant information to help them along.
“You can take a high- vs. mid- vs. low-funnel shopper and communicate accordingly with them throughout the process,” Peck says. “This builds trust and will drive them through the phases of the funnel, all the way to purchase.”
The furniture sales team at Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, makes an effort to reach out to every website visitor. “When possible, we call each one to personally thank them for spending time on our website and to invite them to our store,” says co-owner Jeff Giagnocavo.
If the shopper indicates they prefer email over a phone call, Gardner’s owners send a personal message to the prospective customer. “The world has no time or attention spans for generic ‘Dear customer’ type greetings and communications — those are shallow and ineffective,” says Giagnocavo.
Prioritize Your Lead Follow-Up
Ideally, your sales team will follow up with every lead. Just by interacting with your website and entering information, the consumer made the first move to engage with your brand and is likely to respond to follow-up messages.
“Treat all leads equally,” advises Caitlin Berger, Client Success Manager at PERQ. She says one multifamily property company she worked with to analyze data found 40 percent of online prospects who leased with the company only went through the new customer welcome and maybe one more website experience.
“So, don’t discount that new welcome data, even though the data isn’t as rich,” she says. “But, of course, if you’re inundated with leads you have to prioritize based on the info you do have.”
While the level of personalization Gardner’s offers isn’t feasible for every company, especially when facing a sharp increase in leads, it’s a promising approach once you’ve identified the most timely and qualified leads to pursue.
“If you’re inundated with leads you have to prioritize based on the info you do have.”
To figure out which leads to follow up on first, find shoppers who indicate they’re ready to buy now and move swiftly to reach them while they’re still engaged in the process.
For the majority of buyers still in research mode, evaluate additional information gathered from interactive online tools, such as budget and personal product preferences, to decide whether they’re a good match for your company.
Be Patient but Persistent with Potential Leads
There’s an advantage to being patient when following up on limited lead data. Avoid targeting a website visitor after they submit initial information.
Even if the shopper quickly exited the website, they may return later to do further research and assessments. Think about how you shop for things online, bouncing between browsers and juggling multiple tasks at once.
“People tend to go through multiple experiences, so wait a little while,” Berger says. “You can miss out on valuable lead data you could have collected.”
On the flip side of being too aggressive, some clients are hesitant to follow up with leads more than once. “It’s OK to reach out again if they don’t respond to your first message, unless they explicitly ask you to stop,” Berger says. “They gave you their contact information. People get busy and need a reminder sometimes.”
Nurture Leads Through Entire Purchase
As Peck noted, it’s important to nurture shoppers all of the way through the sales funnel. After helping consumers perform research and narrow their choices, offer them a custom incentive to entice them to buy.
“Be creative! If they show they’re interested in coffee shops, make your lead follow-up personal and maybe send them a Starbucks gift card if they schedule a tour,” Berger says. “Deliver a specific, custom incentive that really stands out.”
Closing the sale doesn’t mean you’re done working on that lead. “It doesn’t end there,” Peck says. “Stay in contact with customers and collect critical feedback, drive referrals and positive reviews.”
At PERQ, we serve companies across three industries: auto sales, furniture retail and multifamily property rentals. While they’re all very different in terms of what they sell and their standard lead management process, our clients share many similarities.
Consumers buy these big-ticket items only after doing in-depth research and scoping out several places. They are purchases meant to last.
“The way to success, regardless of vertical, is to engage shoppers on your site,” Peck says. “Educate them by offering the information they want, all while collecting actionable data that allows you to personalize all of your interactions and follow-ups with them.”