The First of Three Tactics to Win With Internet Leads That No One Shares

There’s a misnomer in our world about internet leads, and it’s written all over Facebook and proclaimed by many agency owners and their agents: “Internet leads suck!”  To compound this perception, many of the big lead vendors seem to add fuel to the fire, with mysterious pricing, inconsistent delivery, and dubious data.  

Is there any credence to all this? Is the disdain for this lead source warranted? Maybe, but my opinion is that it’s for the wrong reasons and here’s why:  Agents appear to lack effective processes to properly build a lead-closing machine; there’s a disconnect between agent expectations about various lead types, filters, and performance; and finally, many agents lack an understanding of what specific metrics they should track and measure to effectively create a feasible cost per sale.  This article, the first of three in this series, will shed some light on the proper tactics to support an effective strategy for developing an effective internet sales machine.

In the twelve years that I’ve been an agency owner for a large captive carrier, I have spoken with, interviewed, and consulted, many agents who have both failed and succeeded with this much-hated pipeline filler.  For the most part, agents who have not been successful with internet leads seem to cast blame in the wrong direction.  Most agents, including myself (for many years), blame the lead provider.  A powerful shift occurs with the epiphany that the common denominator across success AND failure is the same: the lead vendors.  So then, the question begs, if some can be successful, and yet others fail, with the very same lead vendors, it must not be the leads themselves, but the process by which the leads are worked.

 I’ve found, over the course of making over 11 million dials, that most agencies lack a systematized process to follow up on leads.  68% of the time (the first Alpha for you statisticians), your typical live internet lead will take between eight and 21 dials to close—this is the hard data.  For the most part, regardless of lead vendor, this has held true over millions of dials.  When the bulk of leads closed take OVER eight dials for new business to be won, it’s imperative that a highly organized and trackable process is in place. 

 From that same data set (n=11,000,000), we also have found that “good” leads have a first-day contact rate of about 15 percent.  Let that sink in. To achieve a positive outcome for your TeleFunnel’s entry point, the winning metric means connecting on 15 out of 100 dials.  This makes for a lot of downtime, even with a fast and fully TCPA compliant dialer.  Agents must breakthrough and understand that the need to put the right players in the right positions is critical.  In the game of building your TeleFunnel, dials are the highest quantity activity, requiring the lowest skill set. This knowledge is crucial to moving “leads that suck” from the first or second dial (the average times the average agents call leads) to making eight to 100 dials on a lead.

 In my agency, once we had calculated the enormous number of daily dials we needed to make in order to reach our goal of $200k+ in premium per month, we knew mathematically, that we needed 5000 or more dials per day, as a team, just to hit all of our leads from today, yesterday, and the leads from the prior 88 days.

 We were in a race to move these leads—our agency’s latent equity—closer to a sale.  With this realization, we sought to ensure we could guarantee the dials we needed without burning out our agents and ensure they were on the phone doing their most important activity, quoting, at least 10 new households per day and following up on unclosed quotes.  After weeks and months of consistency, training, and oversight, we were writing $5000-20,000 or more a day.  We had handled the first important piece of the equation.  We’d created a systematized process to create predictable results. There have been ups and downs, but the words du jour is persistent consistency


In the next article, I’ll take you into the metrics that need to be examined and the necessary baselines to hit to ensure your TeleFunnel machine is well-oiled and functioning properly.

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