Leads360 empowers B2C marketers with predictive lead management

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In the past few years prospects have empowered themselves with all kinds of web and social information, which has upped the ante for those trying to improve marketing/sales performance. One response in B2B circles is to invest in better lead management tools to generate and qualify leads, then hand them over to sales in a more “sales ready” status.

There’s been tremendous activity for B2B solutions, but B2C? Not so much.

But there is hope for B2C marketers. Recently Nick Hedges, SVP Sales and Strategy at Leads360 briefed me on what his company is doing to help B2C marketers improve lead management and ultimately drive top line revenue more efficiently.

One obvious difference from B2B is that B2C marketers are usually handling much higher transaction volume with small deal sizes. Efficiency is key. Some of Leads360 clients, for example, are in the financial services industry. Like mortgage brokers that buy many thousands of leads from LendingTree and other sources.

Time is money

Hedges says that leads have to be processed and distributed in real-time, and lead follow-up time is extremely critical. One MIT study found that:

The odds of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 100 times. The odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times.

This extreme time sensitivity is not something you see in B2B for large ticket items.

There’s more to the Lead360 solution than just distribution, and this is where there are some similarities with B2B. You shouldn’t just dump leads on sales reps and let them sort them out, although Hedges admit that some of their customers still do that. More sophisticated customers use lead scoring based on predictive modeling, using a combination of information the consumer supplied, plus supplemental data provided by 3rd party services.

That predictive score, along with data about sales rep performance, helps the system decide which leads get top priority and even which rep gets assigned. All designed to improve the close rate, of course.

So if you’re interested in refinancing, live in a well-to-do zip code and have good credit, you can expect the phone to ring in 5 minutes from a sales rep anxious to earn your business!

Here’s a diagram that illustrates some of the differences between B2C and B2B sales and marketing processes.


Application and best practices

Another bit of helpful automation is trackable emails — a common feature in B2B solutions — but again, time is critical. If a consumer opens an email, a rep gets notified instantly and can place a call. This increased conversion rates by 30-100% in some cases, says Hedges.

One last thing I’ll mention is best practices analysis. Using its base of 5,000 customers and high lead volume, Leads360 can develop statistically valid “best practices” to increase conversion. Factors considered include email pacing, avoiding spam blockers and “tonality.” Great idea.

Leads360 has been offered as a SaaS-based solution since 2004. It was the outgrowth of a consulting firm building custom B2C “CRM” solutions, and got a big boost by the housing bubble and financing frenzy of the last decade. Now the company is positioned nicely to work in other B2C verticals, like online education (University of Phoenix, Kaplan, etc.).

Further reading:
* Leads360 Bridges Lead Generation Gap With Software Solution Designed For Businesses Marketing To Consumers
* B2B Marketing 2.0: How to Engage Social Buyers and Break Marketing/Sales Gridlock

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