Several years ago, while running a full-service marketing agency, our clients started seeing an increase in internet leads via form fills. Unfortunately, their sales teams ignored them or paid little attention because they were too focused on the old-school, “incoming phone call” approach.
We solved this problem by developing Speak2Leads (S2L), the first “form to phone” application. It’s a simple solution driven by two factors: speed and persistence.
We began stressing to our clients that internet Leads go cold fast! In fact, the odds of successful contact drop 100x after five minutes. But if a lead is contacted within 60 seconds, the odds increase almost 400%. Also, close to 80% of buyers will purchase from the first business to call them back. Alas, even though there’s overwhelming evidence for quick call-backs, only 1% of all internet leads are called within 60 seconds.
Speed is important, but it only goes so far. On average only about 40% of leads answer the first call, not matter how fast you call them. This is where persistence comes in. The numbers say it all: 80% of leads get too few calls. 48% never get a second call. And 90% of leads take up to six attempts to connect with.
When our clients implemented S2L and saw how well it leverages speed and persistence, they noted immediate conversion spikes. Some by as much as 300%!
It soon became apparent that businesses were expending too much energy acquiring new leads, and little to no energy optimizing their “return on lead” investment.
After seeing success after success over a three-year period and enjoying the acceptance and enthusiasm shown by sales reps towards S2L, we decided that “Lead Response Management” was a business that demanded our focus. We rebuilt our application from the ground-up on an agile platform, and in 2010 Speak2Leads was born.
What it does
Based on predetermined parameters Speak2Leads calls a sales team the instant a new lead arrives, and announces the lead’s name and the nature of their inquiry (other parameters exist too). The salesperson is prompted to “Press or say 2” to call the lead, and the lead’s phone number appears on caller ID. For increased receptivity, we can easily change which salesperson/team the lead is routed to based on the lead’s area code.
Calls can be distributed to the sales team in a variety of ways, from round-robin to step-ringing to multiple numbers simultaneously. If the entire sales team is on a call when a new lead arrives, we can “pause” the lead until someone hangs up and then release it to an open phone. Or it can reroute to a backup call center.
Leads arriving after hours are parked and activated the next business day. Also, leads no longer need to be “assigned to an owner” to be addressed properly. With Speak2Leads, most of our clients tell their reps they “own” the lead once they “speak to it”. This way, every incoming call is privy to the sales team’s available resources. Moreover, Speak2Leads automatically changes a lead’s status in Infusionsoft from “New Opportunity” to the next stage so that the requisite marketing automation can change with it.
There’s a fine line between “persistence” and “annoying”. S2L knows what the best call intervals are and we prompt the sales team at the perfect time/day until the lead is reached or six attempts are made, whichever comes first.
Sales reps no longer need to keep track of who they called or who they need to call, because we provide a prompt to leave a voice mail at the right interval. And once a rep speaks to a lead, S2L stops calling the sales team. Mission accomplished!
Create Task Purpose: Creates a Call Task associated with the Contact and includes the speak2leads call results. The Call Task will show up under Completed Tasks and include the call results in the Action Description and Creation Notes.
Apply Tag Purpose: Applies a tag to the Contact based on the outcome of a call sequence. The tag enables an Infusionsoft workflow to be triggered.
Apply to the Infusionsoft contact based on the outcome of a call sequence. The outcome can be: successful connection made, final call (regardless of call result), final call (no connection made)
How we built it
Our application was built using a LAMP architecture (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP) and integrates with Infusionsoft's API via the PHP helper library.
Although the Lead Response Management niche isn’t top-of-mind for most businesses, we’re proud to have stuck to our guns all these years. Slowly but surely the lightbulb is turning on and more and more businesses are realizing that S2L is a valuable sales-boosting tool.
Challenges we’ve encountered
The biggest challenge is continuously adapting the application to fit almost every business sales process/situation. We release new features every 4 - 6 weeks and we’ve already exceeded over 1,000 new features.
What we’ve learned
We’ve learned a few things. 1) Simplicity trumps complexity. 2) Built-in automated reporting features are essential to demonstrating S2L’s value. 3) It’s vital to streamline the on-boarding process so that the client can experience their “aha” moment ASAP.
What's next for Speak2Leads
New Infusionsoft integration features will be released soon. These include:
- Apply to the Infusionsoft contact after every call.
- Automatically assign the lead to the rep who makes first contact.
- Ability for a salesperson to record a call summary after speaking with a lead, transcribe the speech into text, and post it in the “Notes” section of the lead record.