David Meerman Scott wrote Real Time Marketing and PR. Gary Vaynerchuk wrote The Thank You Economy. Both critically acclaimed authors, are evangelists for the social movement. Each with a unique story to tell, both with a similar takeaway value:
One to one engagement with as many prospects, current clients, former clients, and non-prospects, as humanly possible, is now essential to the success or failure of an organization. The future of lead generation, demand generation, and lead management all hinge on our ability as an organization to act as a human being, respond quickly in real time, and engage socially.
Prospects, leads, and most importantly, existing clients, want to be acknowledged quickly and appreciate it when you do. Please and Thank You has never gone further than it does now within a climate where each person you speak to has 150 Friends on Facebook, 500 Twitter Followers and 250 LinkedIn Connections.
Social Media provides us with the most opportune way to leverage the shift we are experiencing, into a real time and “thank you” driven, marketing and lead generation future.
The shift is not optional for everyone looking to grow their lead generation capabilities. If you aren’t using social media to; participate in conversations, pay attention to the mentions surrounding your company and industry, engage prospects, and get your message out as far and wide as possible, you are missing the boat and better catch up fast.
Sure we might see lulls in the usage of Social Media. Twitter might not even last forever. But remember this;
When the internet was perceived to be a fad from 2000-2003, Blockbuster made a decision to ignore the capabilities of Netflix. Borders decided to ignore the capabilities of Amazon.
How are those two organizations doing today?
What are your competitors doing that you aren’t, and can you afford to ignore this?
We are living in an era where there is more content created in a 48 hour window than there has been from the beginning of time until 2003. Fact! You can’t just write blogs, push out whitepapers, conduct webinars, and drop your leads into a cookie cutter 7 step lead management process and a drip email campaign that is sure to be deleted as fast as it is received. Lead management is now a continual, real time activity, that you must be able to adapt to in real time.
Content + Email + Telephone + Real Time + 1 to 1 + sales techniques + social media= Success
Over the last few days I have personally submitted 20:
- Requests for Quotes
- Form Completions For White Papers
- Contact Us Forms
The sampling of companies which I submitted these requests to, range from a wide variety of industries, as well as inside and out of the Fortune 500.
Each of the 20 forms that I completed contained my telephone number.
1 company responded to me within 24 hours of submitting my contact information. 1.
The intriguing part was that the company who did respond (other than the automated thank you for your inquiry notes I received), contacted me via telephone within in 7 minutes of submitting my information.
The company who responded is one of the largest providers of insurance and is contained within the Fortune 100.
I told the rep that my intentions were not what he thought they were, but in fact a research experiment on response times. He briefly chuckled, and proceeded to explain to me that it was ironic I said that because his company was testing out this new initiative which he was a part of. The initiative identified a market share which they were looking to capitalize on and made a conscious effort to be the fastest to respond to inquiries, because in his words; “It stinks when you call someone back and they have already made their choice to go with someone else.”
This philosophy is industry agnostic and can be scaled to companies large and small.
7 Questions That You Should Be Asking Yourself Right Now:
- Does our organization have the ability to be human?
- Are we utilizing a centralized or decentralized approach to our marketing and lead generation initiatives and can we afford to leave things as they are?
- Do we have a Twitter strategy?
- Are we content marketing and engaging prospects and customers through LinkedIn?
- Are we visible on Facebook?
- How fast are our Sales Reps responding to inbound leads?
- Are we saying please and thank you to everyone?
Lead Generation, Demand Generation, and Lead Management receive over 350,000 annual searches within Google, Bing, and Yahoo combined.
But based on these numbers below, I am confused:
- The odds of making contact with a lead increased by 100 fold if the lead was contacted within 5 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes
- Less than 5% of companies respond to a lead within 24 hours
- 45.2% of companies’ sales teams never responded at all
Terms describing the handling of leads are searched over 350,000 times annually, conveying to me there is quite a bit of pain surrounding the topic, and solutions are being sought after. However, less than 5% of companies respond to a lead within 24 hours?!
Are you one of those 350,000 searches? Are you in that 5%?
How fast will your sales organization say Please and Thank You to grow your lead generation efforts?