The “pounce controversy” lives on! I noticed one thing about the commentary on the article; I’m not sure we’re thinking about the role of the phone in the right way. Let’s be clear: the single most effective conversion method to date is the phone. Period.
Look, everyone knows I am as much into lead nurturing and sales 2.0 as anyone else. I believe there is a completely fresh narrative underway for how we engage customers – but you can’t forget one thing: everything you’re doing (marketing automation, nurturing, email, value-added research) is aiming to accomplish one thing: get the right people to TALK to you. I agree that the lead nurturing movement makes us smarter and more efficient, but in all the posts out there on the Web today, there is little if any mention of the phone’s continued role in the conversion process. If you can get the right contact on the phone, you do it, because all your goals (buyer-vendor relationships, conversion, etc.) are still met by phone today.
So I ask the question: When you consider conversion, are you thinking of how your programs increased “phone connects?”
When it comes to the pounce controversy, there is a nice use case. A prospect responds to a relevant offer and hits your Web site. That is the perfect opportunity to connect. Of course you can use chat, email, etc. to pounce, but for the sake of this article I just want to walk through the pluses and minuses of calling that person right away. Keep in mind why I think getting to the prospect right away is critical: the person is currently on your Web site, thus, technically already engaged with you and your likelihood to connect is high (yes, you can actually call with your company name appearing on caller ID). That’s good. Ask your lead follow-up team how many darn calls it takes to get a buyer engaged, if ever.
Now, here are your possible outcomes:
1. They are ready to talk and work with sales: win.
2. They have a great conversation with you where you actually frame your value prop and send them some value-added information. A lasting first impression is made. They aren’t ready to work with you so you put them in the nurture campaign: win.
3. They tell you to go to hell. They would have told you that anyway: lose.
The downside is not that painful considering the upside.
1. The phone still works.
2. For it to work, we need to get our phone resources connected with the right people (NOTE: if you sent an email to someone, I hope you sent it to a targeted list).
3. New technologies should increase our connect rates, NOT keep us from talking to people.
4. The phone is your best weapon in the lead-conversion rate war.