How to Overcome Lead Generation Hurdles

Call blocking and flagging. Expanded federal and state rules restricting sales outreach. Bad actors spamming consumers with excessive content and making life tougher for legitimate sales teams. Outdated technologies that significantly slow down the speed to lead.

5 Lead Generation Stumbling Blocks

  1. Lack of tech to get past call blocking and spam flagging
  2. Inaccurate or incomplete lead data
  3. Slow reaction to interested leads
  4. Inability to monitor lead management KPIs
  5. No understanding of state and federal regulations for telemarketing

These are just a few of the challenges that have been thrown at the world of lead generation in recent years. And they are all significant contributors to frustration among sales agents. This is why call centers that prioritize lead generation often experience low morale and high rates of burnout and turnover, factors that drive up labor costs while eating away at the bottom line. 

Like front-line salespeople, team managers are hardly immune to these longstanding headaches.

But these managers can turn life around at these struggling call centers if they make smart investments in technology that powers growth, including new forms of artificial intelligence. Many are doing just that. 

Here are the five major hurdles that sales teams face, along with tech- and people-focused solutions forward-looking managers are using to surmount them.

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Insufficient Tech to Connect Sales Teams With Leads

The inability to reach prospects is the most challenging hurdle for sales professionals. And because of voicemail systems and calls flagged as spam, reaching prospects is harder than ever.

These are two top contributors to low contact rates. They are also two that can be solved if one’s call center software incorporates specific features. Caller ID reputation management helps maintain pristine caller IDs for telephone campaigns. When it comes to voicemails, technology that can accurately detect answering machines can save countless hours of agent time.

Automated lead management to recycle leads and automate cadences can also improve contact rates. Omnichannel outreach, which can include conversational AI, can ease the burden of repetitive tasks like lead qualification, freeing up the sales team to focus on genuine conversation and converting interested prospects.

 

Incomplete or Inaccurate Data 

A centralized, up-to-date marketing database is the cornerstone of lead generation. The success of campaigns often comes down to the quality of this database. 

Lead vendors are the main suppliers of leads for many companies. These vendors can offer data-rich leads that include documented and written consent. While there is more up-front cost, agents waste less time on consumers who aren’t interested and make more sales, which is the payoff.  

Using the best leads is only half the battle. Call center managers need to use sophisticated data analytics to monitor the performance of leads and give detailed insights on how campaigns perform in both real-time and historically. This is how to create a database that positions teams for success.

 

Slow Response to Interested Leads

For companies that generate their leads by qualifying interested consumers, time is of the essence and success often comes down to striking while the iron is hot. A sales team’s slow reaction to a qualified lead is a huge stumbling block  — and too many companies today stumble over it.

For example, a solar company may place ads and other online enticements about residential solar panels that come with a contact form to get more information or find the time for a specialist to come out to the house. This is a qualified lead. A consumer might well be filling out more than one company’s contact form.

Beating competitors to the lead means contacting the consumer as close as possible to the timing of the form submission. Speed to lead is a significant hurdle to sales in many industries, including insurance and home services. This is an argument for arming the sales team with dialing technology with built-in speed and power to connect with those leads in seconds. 

 

A Murky View of Performance

The basis for strategic decision making should be tracking the right lead management KPIs. Knowledge is power, so managers must monitor lead performance on a list level to determine which sources of leads are most effective. 

This type of analysis requires analytics tools to measure agents’ performance and data, noting in detail the ROI by lead source and list vendor. Contact centers should shop around for technologies that give them accurate insights into performance and remember that some tools are worth investing in. You wouldn’t see a Formula 1 driver filling their tank with the cheapest gas on the market. Likewise, sales managers should use the tools that work, not the ones that can be found at a discount.

Further Reading 4 Tips for Leading a Remote Sales Team

Not Understanding Regulations

Staying up-to-date and responsive to evolving regulations for telemarketing and any outreach to consumers means outfitting sales teams with knowledge, strategies and effective tool sets. Helping them stay within the bounds of the law, which changes frequently, is necessary for successful call center operations.

Tools to accomplish this include settings that prevent salespeople from calling during blackout dates and times, as well as reviewing the number of calls allowed in a given period. Call center software should include built-in law monitoring tools, as well as manual dialing options for companies that take a conservative approach to customer outreach.

Using technology to stay ahead of fast-changing laws is a far better solution than learning about legal and regulatory changes the hard way.

Reaching leads and converting them into sales is a challenge today that some call centers are finding too daunting, so they struggle with low sales figures, burnout among sales teams, and a high staff turnover.

However, call centers that use automation, robust dialer engines, conversational AI and other software purpose-built for sales will be more efficient and competitive, as well as more effective at growing revenue, attracting and retaining the best talent. They will also reach more contacts and seal more deals.

The five main hurdles to success are not insurmountable. With the right combination of technology and the human touch, sales teams can overcome the many obstacles of regulations, scammers and call blocking.

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