Phone Insurance Leads: Why You Need A System
If you’re an insurance agent in the 21st Century, then you know how important it is to have a foot in many different marketing portals. It’s recommended that, for productivity and conversion purposes, you partner with a quality lead referral system, but you should also consider the possibility that a client finds you first.
After all, if you’re busy and active in the community, your name is bound to be out there, and when it is, you’ll get phone calls trickling in. But before you resolve to pick up the phone yourself and return every missed call, keep this in mind.
“Not every incoming call is sales-ready or should even be connected to a live agent,” writes Katherine Buchholz in her excellent column for Business2Community. “Studies show that only 19% of inbound calls are high-quality sales leads – most are not. Therefore marketing should work with sales to answer two questions: What is the definition of a qualified phone lead? How should phone leads get assigned?”
Buchholz recommends a three part system that includes qualifying the lead, routing it, and scoring; and it can work even if you’re the only sales agent that works for the company.
Qualifying The Lead
In recent blogs, we’ve spoken a lot about the importance of outsourcing and automating mundane tasks. When it comes to outsourcing, this function can be a good one in that it acts as a human buffer between the potential client and your phone number. Insurance leads don’t really like automated systems, but they’ve come to expect them to some degree, so if you can have an assistant, who picks up the phone, knows the difference between an interested lead and a wrong number, and responds with courtesy, you could set yourself apart from the competition. However, you might want to consider automating this part of the business. Yes, I said people don’t like it, but they’ve come to accept it. Provided it’s a short message that says something like, “Press 1 to speak to a sales agent; press 2 to speak to an operator,” any annoyance the caller feels will be fleeting. It could also weed out a large portion of the misdials.
Piggybacking on the qualification part, you do need a solid system in place for routing the calls to the appropriate person. The automated technique mentioned above works great for this, because you can set it up to go directly to your mobile phone. That way when the phone rings with a strange number, you can be a bit more confident that the person you’re about to speak with is interested in a policy. Human virtual assistants are good for this, too, though you might run the risk of annoying them with the 81% of people who misdialed or are uninterested.
Buchholz urges agents to score each phone call. To do that, you have to come up with your own set of metrics for determining what is right and what is wrong for your business.
“Call scoring can be as simple as monitoring call duration or examining call recordings, or as complex as using keyword spotting technology to scan a conversation for specific keywords and automatically scoring the call based on who said them,” Buchholz writes.
Dialogtech, formerly Ifbyphone, is one of the premier keyword spotting technologies on the web, and it can take much of the guesswork out of this seemingly complicated part of determining a phone lead’s viability.
Inbound phone leads can be profitable additions to your business, but as with other types of leads, you need a system in place for realizing the ones that are worth it and the ones that are wasting your time. With a little organization and a lot of getting your name and contact details out into the marketplace, you could be well on your way to maximizing efficiency and income.