Efficient management of leads, whether inbound or outbound, is key to maximizing your agency’s multi-channel distribution model. In part one of the series, we discussed inbound leads and team member profiles. Here, we dive into effective lead management and outbound (dialer) strategies to help your agency maximize close rates.
Lead management strategies
Any data lead (also known as a web lead), whether exclusive or shared, should be treated as a hot lead. These data leads have the shortest shelf life; for those buying web leads today you know no lead is truly exclusive so it’s a battle for first contact with the consumer. Consumers who fill out web forms are typically awaiting a response from an agent within minutes of hitting submit thus routing these leads to screeners or agents that are utilizing a CRM in an office or call center setting is the most effective method.
Keep in mind that the hottest leads are going to come directly through organic form submissions on your website. These potential clients are asking for specific information from you about your product and have most likely done prior comparisons to other companies’ offerings. Always make sure that organic leads are given the highest priority over purchased leads to maximize sales.
Recommendation is immediate contact using a preview or power dialer strategy. You do not want to use predictive on hot leads to prevent burning through or potentially abandoning these leads.
Business Reply Cards (“BRCs”) and Age-In leads qualify as warm leads. Age-Ins are typically those turning 65 within the next 12 months however many agencies are choosing to purchase 62 and 63 year old lead profiles to start the conversation early and be top of mind when that consumer ages into Medicare.
Keep in mind warm leads are not consumers that are waiting by the phone for your call, as they do not know when you are going to receive their reply in the mail or that you have purchased a lead list. If you need to prioritize your leads, warm leads can be prioritized below time-sensitive hot leads.
Aged leads are typically prioritized under Hot and Warm leads however it does depend on how your agency defines this category. Aged leads may be viewed as data leads purchased at a low price and are more likely to convert to a sale when nurtured over an extended period of time or leads that have already been attempted by your agency multiple times but not disqualified. Automated processes in your lead management system should be utilized to reduce aged leads from being ignored by agents or lost due to disorganization.
Remember to nurture leads all year long and keep that consent to contact alive if you are selling Medicare Advantage. Find a CRM that tracks consent so you never lose the chance to reach out to a lead.
Now that you know how to prioritize leads based on origin, what can you do to maximize your close rate? That’s where dialer strategies come into play.
Dialer strategies are a key component of your outbound sales strategy. Based on the type of lead, certain dialer strategies will be more effective in your agency sales efforts.
Preview dialing allows an agent to view the lead prior to dialing. This strategy makes the most sense when lead or customer research is required prior to making a call. This is not the recommended approach for a sales agency due to the inefficiency that manually dialing creates including your agent deciding when to dial and potentially who to dial.
Progressive dialing eliminates the need for manual dialing and other repetitive tasks that can be involved in preview dialing. Progressive is ideal when detailed record review is not necessary prior to the call. This strategy still has a one-to-one relationship but eliminates your agent dialing the phone number and searching for the next lead to dial when he dispositions. Progressive dialing paired with a CRM that distributes the next best lead allows your agency to maximize agents’ time.
In order to use predictive dialing successfully, you must have enough leads and a large enough staff to maintain a constant workflow, and you run the risk of fines if you do not monitor the call abandonment rate. Predictive dialing builds an algorithm based on statistical data points to achieve a desired abandonment rate. Multiple numbers are dialed at the same time with the theory that only one of those calls will be answered and then sent to an agent. Certain programs, such as Medicare Advantage, do not allow the use of this strategy, so be extremely cautious.
Before you move forward, know the pros and cons of the three dialer strategies:
Want more? Read Part One of our multi-channel distribution series discussing insurance agency roles and workflows for lead management.
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