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Al's column: Advantages of lead-gen systems

February 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 18

By Jason Goldberg

 

(Second  of two parts)

In part I of this article (FCNews, Feb. 5/12), I provided an overview of what constitutes a good lead management system. In this second installment, I will delve into specifics and talk about the advantages such programs offer retailers.

Accountability. Managers can now hold their salespeople accountable for tracking their assigned leads. They can calculate their RSAs’ close rates.  Furthermore, they can see if a lead has been neglected and for how long. And they can see how or why a lead was mishandled and potentially save a lead that is about to be lost. More importantly, they can use all this information to train their salespeople and correct negative behaviors.

Accessibility. A cloud-based lead management system lets dealers access a lead’s information from a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Being able to get valuable information about a lead while on the road or in the lead’s home can help RSAs close jobs more quickly and confidently.

Data to inform business decisions. Good lead management systems allow owners and their marketing teams to see which stores get the most traffic, which advertising mediums drive the most leads and which methods of contact (phone, email, website forms, etc.) are the most popular among customers. Users may choose to adjust their marketing budget, change the marketing mix, update their phone system or website, or even change staffing levels at different store locations, based on the information in the system. In short, retailers no longer have to make guesses about their business. Rather, they can now make informed decisions.

So, how can a retailer determine which lead management system is right for their business? When you’re shopping for lead management systems, dealers should consider the following attributes:

Ease of use. When dealers decide to purchase a new lead management system, they’re most likely going to be the one to train all their managers and salespeople on how to use it. To that end, they need a system that’s simple and straightforward, so they can get themselves and their staff trained quickly. More importantly, owners should want a lead management system that they’ll actually want to use. Remember: Instituting a new lead management system is useless unless everyone adopts it.

Effectiveness. Dealers should take the time to research all options to determine whether they truly work. For instance, ask the lead management system sales rep for the names of customers who have had success with the system, then call those customers and find out why they recommend that tool over others in the market. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of each system, then decide which would be best for the business. Remember: All lead management tools are not created equal.

Cost. Dealers should think about their budget and how much they can actually afford. Retailers should consider how many users are going to need access to it and if the business should be billed monthly or annually for a license. Additional fees to consider are costs for the initial system set-up as well as fees associated with integrating the lead management system with a particular company’s website.

Bottom line: A lead management system is valuable to any flooring retailer, big or small. Whether you’re spending $5,000 or $500,000 on advertising and other lead-generation activities each year, those dollars are going to waste if you do not have a system in place to ensure your leads are being taken care of once they’ve contacted your business.

 

Jason Goldberg is CEO of Retail Lead Management, a CRM software system designed specifically for the flooring industry. The company has sold more than 1,000 user licenses to flooring retailers in North America.