BUSINESS FEATURES INDIA

Indian SaaS companies struggle with inbound lead response

Given the kind of investments that companies make in digital marketing, money goes to waste if inbound leads are not tapped, says Texo’s Varun Mittal

By Guest Contributor

As Indian SaaS companies are aspiring to leave a global footprint, their sales growth can make or break their goals. Companies who respond fastest as compared to competitors always have first-mover advantage to close sales.

According to Harvard Business Review, companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries (inbound leads) are nearly seven times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later.

Inbound leads are the prospects who have shown any kind of interest in your products/services by making contact at any stage of buying and, as such, are a valuable resource for any business.

We at Texo surveyed 90 funded SaaS companies; the observations were quite shocking as far as their inbound lead response is concerned.

Only 26 per cent companies (24 out of 90) cared to respond to these leads. Given the kind of investment companies make in digital marketing, money goes down the drain if inbound leads are not tapped efficiently. Even if the leads are contacted, the time to respond makes all the difference.

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Inbound digital marketing – a must for generating leads!

Organisations rely significantly on inbound digital marketing for their businesses. B2B companies invest from US$25 to US$500 for generating an inbound lead, while B2C companies invest from US$5 to US$25 for the same. The money spent goes to waste if inbound leads are not responded to in an efficient way.

The important questions for you to answer are: How many of your inbound leads are never contacted as they get lost during data transfer to the sales team? How many inbound leads are loosely passed on to sales reps to contact with incomplete or wrong information? How many of them are contacted when the prospects have lost interest in you or chosen a competitor?

The answers to these questions will define the ROI (return of investment) of your inbound marketing efforts.

However, the good news is that if you are effective in inbound lead response management, you are on top of your business as chances are higher in converting inbound sales leads than outbound leads for which investments are even higher.

Timing is everything

We, the Texo Team, conducted a survey on funded B2B SaaS companies in India to analyse their inbound sales readiness. Ninety companies were identified as funded. Web forms on the websites of the identified companies were filled and the responses were logged.

We analysed the data collected and have come out with interesting insights on the current state of inbound sales processes in these companies or any other B2B company. These insights may be used as a reference point for improvement through process, people and/or technology.

Insights

We found that eight companies chose to directly call the prospects and four companies chose to directly send personalised emails without sending an auto response.

Four companies sent personalised emails along with an auto response.

Overall, only 26 per cent companies (24 out of 90) responded to inbound leads, out of which 67 per cent (16) adopted calls as the mode of contact and 33 per cent (eight) used email.

Only four out of 90 companies responded in less than 10 minutes. And only seven companies responded in an hour.

Here is an infographic that explains the analysis.

How to efficiently manage your inbound leads

Marketers and sales reps have to align their engagement strategies with respect to a prospect’s buying stages. But what can they do about the 70 per cent of the buyer’s journey that they’re missing out on? They are not able to correctly judge the prospect’s buying stage when they make contact and hence are unable to employ an effective engagement strategy.

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So, can a tool like Sales Engagement Hub integrated with marketing automation tools help marketers and sales reps keep pace with their buyers? The level of interest may vary depending on the buying stage the prospect is in, and, hence, different prospects need to be addressed differently.

Factors to be considered for engaging with inbound leads are response time, mode of communication, information to be shared and frequency of follow-ups and so on.

A prospect in the consideration stage would prefer information about products, solutions, services and case studies, and would need longer follow-ups over email (preferably) or calls.

However, a prospect in the decision stage would be more interested in having information on solutions and pricing and would need consistent follow-ups (shorter) over calls (preferably) or email.

Thus, Sales Engagement Hub integrated with marketing automation tools helps sales reps and marketers in effectively engaging with prospects.

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, please send us an email at writers[at]e27[dot]co

Image Credit: My Life Graphic/Shutterstock

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