Getting leads and converting them to sales is at the heart of what every business needs to do to stay viable. MSPs work hard on all kinds of marketing to make people aware of their services and products.
Once you get a new lead, the excitement can quickly turn sour if that person never purchases anything. While getting them interested is the first step, the second important step in the process is converting them to a sale.
This is done through lead engagement tactics. And if you don’t do this right, you could be losing 50-60% or more of your leads. I’ll go through several proven ways you can complete that second step successfully to drive more revenue.
Tips for Engaging Your Leads So They’ll Convert to Sales
From the point someone first finds your company and thinks you might have something they need, there are several things that can happen.
They may not see anything they like and move to the next search result. They may be very interested and click to sign up for managed services right there, or they may reach out to you with questions.
While you can’t control everything a new prospect is thinking or how urgently they may need technology solutions, you can control how you engage with them.
Do you answer questions only when they ask them? Do you have a personalized lead nurture campaign set up in MailChimp or another email system? Do you make them feel appreciated on social media?
According to HubSpot, 74% of companies state that converting leads to sales is their number one priority, even higher than generating new lead traffic.
Graph by HubSpot.
There is a lot you can do to engage with leads, and as a result, increase their interest in what you have to offer.
Businesses that engage with leads well, generate 50% more sales-ready leads than those that don’t. Additionally, the efforts spent nurturing those leads pay off in a better ROI once they buy.
Here are several proven ways to drive lead engagement for conversions that you can deploy to grow revenue for your IT business.
1. Connect While Their Interest Is High
Attention spans seem to get shorter every year. Technology may have made it easier to do a lot much faster than 20 years ago, but it’s also created a lot of “shiny objects” that can redirect a person’s attention in a split second.
Someone focused on their need for a cloud backup and recovery solution an hour ago, might now be intensively interested in a yoga video or some crisis that just came up at work.
You need to reach out to them initially while their interest in your products is at its peak level. This is generally when they’re on your site or social media page looking around or asking questions.
How does this translate to your engagement?
Answer inquiries quickly.
Don’t wait an hour because you’re in the middle of something to answer an email, or that lead’s interest may have waned by that time. Another scenario is that they may have contacted another IT provider that did follow up with them fast.
It’s been found that businesses that respond within five minutes or less to a new lead inquiry are 100x more likely to convert them to a customer.
Use a Chat & Chatbot on Your Website
When people are on your site and looking around at your offerings, they will usually have questions that if answered can drive their decision to purchase. If not answered, they may never make that decision.
Someone won’t always contact you through your form or phone number, but if given the opportunity they will use a live chat. Adding a live chat to your website can improve your chances of answering a sales-related question right when that person’s interest is highest.
79% of consumers prefer live chat to other forms of contact because it gets them an instant response to a question. They won’t even mind an automated chatbot if that chatbot is helpful.
Most MSPs can’t dedicate one person to watching the website chat all day, so a chatbot can help you engage with those hot prospects without a customer support rep needing to be there 24/7.
Chatbots can be programmed with common questions and answers. They also learn over time through customer input. Chatbots can also be used to initially field questions and then can transfer the conversation to a live representative as needed for more complex questions.
2. Track Leads in a CRM (Not Your Email Inbox!)
Many IT business owners still keep track of leads in their email clients. They may make a mail folder for new leads and route them there, but this is an easy way to miss important follow-up interactions. You can’t as easily search for a lead and see their engagement journey if you’re not using a CRM (customer relationship management) program.
A CRM can be connected to your website contact form so leads come in and create a record automatically. There are many free CRMs out there that you can use to organize leads, categorize them for personalized follow-up, and chart their lead journey.
Using a CRM also centralizes the lead information. So, when a person calls in, the employee taking the call can cross-reference the CRM to see if the person has a contact history. If you keep all customer contacts in your email platform, it’s much harder for your team to connect the dots and engage with the person in a knowledgeable way.
3. Notice & Engage With Prospects on Social Media
Social media has become a significant part of the sales journey for potential customers – both B2C and B2B. It’s important to engage with leads that connect with you on your social media pages, and by “connect” I mean have any kind of interaction, including:
- A share of your post
- Following your company page
- Reacting to your post via an emoji
- Commenting on a post
- Reaching out to contact you through a direct message
- Mentioning you using your @name
Social media is becoming just as important an engagement channel as your website contact form, so you want to follow the same rule of responding quickly. This can be something as simple as a DM saying “Hey, thanks for following ABC computers! I’m the owner, Joe. Feel free to reach out anytime with tech questions.”
If someone comments on your post react back with a reply or a thumbs-up emoji. If you notice someone interacting with your page, they will notice the fact that you did that. It will make them more likely to reach out to you for their IT needs.
75% of Twitter users and 59% of Facebook users have used social media sites to reach out to a company
Another benefit of engaging with your prospects on social media is that it helps build your MSP business reputation as a modern company that is attentive to its customers on all digital platforms.
4. Send Personalized & Relevant Messages
Don’t send a generic follow-up message to your prospects if you want to personally engage and have a better chance of a conversion.
People like to be noticed and feel that their needs are important to the business they’ve reached out to.
One way that you can send more personal follow-ups in a time-efficient way is through lead segmentation. By adding one or two fields to your contact form you can capture details like what the person is interested in or whether they have a residential or commercial need.
Using that, you can automate an appropriate follow-up email that is more personalized and addresses exactly what they may be looking for.
Another great way to personalize your engagement with leads and clients is through Thank You cards. While these are usually sent after someone has purchased something from you, they can also be sent to prospects that attend a webinar or sales event to thank them for their time.
That personal touch goes a long way towards making your MSP business more attractive to a prospect than another one.
5. Offer Something Helpful (Free Guide, Cyber-Alerts, etc.)
When someone reaches out to you, give them something of value back. For example, in your 2nd lead nurture email, you could send them one of your free guides, your latest sheet of new cyber-alerts to watch out for, or a link to your free phishing training video series.
When you provide something helpful for leads, they’ll be more likely to want to work with your company because you’ve made a good impression.
6. Don’t Over Do It by Bugging Them Too Much
Speaking of good impressions… there is too much of a good thing. While immediate and regular follow-up is good, you have to balance this with not bugging the person too much.
I once worked with a company where the owner drove follow-up over everything else, always wanting to know the last time a lead had been contacted. The poor salesperson ended up calling a particularly good prospect continuously until they got their number blocked. That turned a previously interested lead into someone that the business never heard from again.
Be mindful of people’s time and follow-up in a helpful, rather than annoying way.
7. Put a Repeatable Lead Engagement Strategy in Place
Once you get your lead engagement strategy in place, write it down so it can be automated where possible and is repeatable. This improves your overall lead conversions because you are engaging with everyone in a consistent way.
Putting a repeatable process in place also allows you to offload some of the follow-up tasks to your team, and ensure that your marketing and lead conversion engine keeps running efficiently.
Lead Engagement Can Significantly Boost Your Conversion Results
Putting a little effort into your lead engagement can bring huge returns when it comes to your conversion rate and resulting revenue.
Do you have any lead engagement advice? Share your tips in the comments.