I have been talking a lot over the last 60 days about technology and leads. Both of these things are great but they will not get you sales by...
The Secret to Turning Merchant Services Leads Into Sales
We have spent years building up to the system we have today. Learn our secrets to success in merchant services lead generation and nurturing.
There are only two things that stunt the growth of merchant services sales teams. The first thing is activating their new sales partners. 2 years ago we activated about 1 out of every 15 to 20 sales people who “joined” our team which is an industry standard. Today, we activate about 12 out of 20 or more than half. This is a result of our sales coach model and our intense focus on training. The second area that holds back many teams is a lack of leads or the presence of junky leads. After years of testing and investing in lead generation, I am excited to say that we have finally cracked the code and I can share our “secret sauce” publicly on this blog because frankly, none of our other competitors could copy our strategy even if they had a step by step guide because they lack many of the basic building blocks.
Step #1 – Create a territory strategy that is integrated with a top notch CRM database. Creating leads as a stand alone activity is a waste of money. Unless a system exists to ensure that the leads created are geographically close to an active sales partner a lead will just be a distraction. Two big reasons for this are call masking and accountability. Today we purchased our first batch of local numbers. On March 1st we will have one phone number for each sales partner that we own. This number will be in their area code and when we call their territory, our system recognizes this and uses the local number on the caller ID rather than a corporate 800 number. This drastically increases the contact rate and reduces resistance at the beginning of the call. In addition, you must have a CRM system so that the sales partner can track and update the lead records.
Step #2 – Collect email addresses with permission to subscribe. Some of our competitors try to cheat the system and purchase email addresses, then they spam potential clients. What a terrible way to start a client relationship! Our call center is focused 100% on speaking with a decision maker and then getting that person’s permission to email them an introductory email from their local expert. If you are a subscriber to our marketing platform, you will get a link to a landing page where you can upload a head shot, enter the contact info you want to provide to your clients and enter a short bio about yourself. We will use this information to create an “auto-responder” email. Every time our call center gets a new email subscriber in your territory, our system will automatically email them an introductory email that introduces our brand and you as our local expert. You can collect email addresses as well in the field and add them to the database so that they get your intro email as well!
Step #3 – Use targeted nurturing processes to create interest. As a sales partner, why would you drive all over creation to follow up on a lead that may or may not really be interested? We have experienced this over the last month as we tried to create more of an “Appointment Scheduled” lead and there is simply no way to ensure a high level of interest based on a 30 second phone call. A much better indication of interest is how a person interacts with the emails we send out after the call. After we send them your introductory email, we start the very next day by sending them quality content about how to improve their business using our services. We have various lead nurturing campaigns that we are updating and improving every day for each of our services and even for specific business types so that the emails they receive are emails they will want to open and click on.
Step #4 – Provide online intelligence to the sales partner in the field. Here is where our state of the art technology comes into play again. We built our CRM on the force.com platform which is without a doubt the best CRM technology available today. Once a new email address is added to our system and we start sending them emails and engaging with them online and through social media, we have an “Intelligence” section in the CRM where you can see in real time every interaction. You can see every email that they receive, every time they click on an email, visit our website or engage with us on social media. You you see all of this within minutes, so you can take action to convert your lead into a sale at the right moment. Imagine walking into your client’s location the same day that they opened your introductory email or calling them at the very moment they are visiting the pricing page on our website. This system is in place and we are excited to announce these upgrades to our system this Friday at 3pm EST!
Have a great day in the field!
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