It's time to panic! An extensive report in 2018 showed 55% of surveyed companies took 5 days or more to respond to lead inquiries. This does not bode well after reading another survey that shows the odds of contacting a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drops 100 times. The odds after 5 days must be horrendous! It's not just statistics - it also makes sense. The sales team need to strike when the visitor's interest is highest and the focus is on your product.
Fighting the Competition
A key factor that delays a visitor's inquiry is their need to explore other options so your website is unlikely to be their only stop on their path to satisfaction. It's frightening how easy prospects can find competing products and services using Google (which suggests that comparison keywords like "versus", or "vs" are a necessary addition to any website). Of course, one trick is to do the comparison on your website so at least you retain the visitor.
Sitecore and Salesforce
So, a fast lead response time:
- Takes advantage of the visitor's enthusiastic state of mind - probably as high as it will get
- Motivates the sales team who know the lead is fresh
- Reduces the odds that visitors will look at other products
By the time the sales team receive a lead in Salesforce, the clock is already ticking. Of course, this makes a good case for web chat and opening a dialogue with a prospect while they are still on the website. There are other cheats for speeding up the qualification process and this is where Sitecore comes in. Sitecore websites collect browsing data on each visitor so the content delivered to the individual can be continuously tweaked to better match their tastes. This personalization data can be pushed to a Salesforce lead at the same time a visitor submits a web form so the sales team can quickly understand the nuances of the prospect before a sales call. This has several positive outcomes:
- Reduces the lead response time which increases the number of sales
- Tells the salesperson more about the prospect which also increases the number of sales
- Provides the sales team with website browsing statistics so they can better provide marketing support
Further to this, the S4S integration lets the salesperson tweak the content delivered to lead when they return to the Sitecore website in a future visit.
A Wakeup Call
Yes, this is amazing, but it requires the attention of a salesperson to respond to the lead inquiry - and fast. So what must we do? The answer is to implement some rules in Salesforce. There are a few ways to notify a Salesforce user (in order of simplicity and reverse order of capability):
- Lead Assignment Rules - Notify by email (or add to a queue)
- Workflow Rules - Notify using an Email Alert Action
- Process Builder - Notify by email or Chatter
Of course, with the 5-minute clock ticking, is email fast enough? Perhaps an Ahooga Horn would be a better option (which reminds me of Ring My Bell alerts in Salesforce). But lacking that we can resort to more modern technologies like Google's Gmail SMS Alerts triggered by an incoming email or direct alerts from Salesforce as discussed in this Salesforce forum post. Alternatively, if you are keen to roll up your developer sleeves you can use the EMP API, a new Lightning service is for listening to, and processing events.
Prospective buyers demand instant attention, it's now an embedded global expectation. Using Sitecore Salesforce integration, we have seen that technology makes this possible but we still need to resource a response team according. What we do know is that the evidence clearly shows that a very fast, well-informed response will bring huge rewards. We just need to make it happen.