Connecting Corporate to Field: Addressing the Lead Follow-up Opportunity (Webinar Highlights)
December 18, 2019
A couple of weeks ago I hosted a webinar featuring Corina Roy, assistant vice president of field digital at MassMutual, and Jim Kerley, chief membership officer for LIMRA and LOMA, to discuss advisor and agent lead follow-up. As those of you working for an enterprise know, this is not a topic for the faint of heart.
The home offices of financial services companies spend a massive amount of money on lead acquisition each year. Research shows that financial services firms spend approximately $200 per lead, and the industry spent roughly $2.6 billion on leads in 2019. Jim noted that the quality of the leads are continuing to improve so while they may be expensive, they’re more valuable to agents or advisors. But are those advisors and agents following up as quickly as they need to, to secure the business?
The State of Lead Follow-up Today: Financial Services
Based on a quick poll of webinar audience participants, it’s a mixed bag as to how quickly advisors and agents follow up with inbound leads. Over 50% say it’s within 24 hours but statistics say that those who attempt to reach leads within one hour are nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who wait even just over 60 minutes.*
Today’s consumers expect an immediate response, or close to it. But as Corina shared, getting advisors to the point where they are aware they have a lead and can easily follow-up quickly takes work. After putting both a framework and technology in place to ensure leads are being distributed appropriately, you still need the insights to continually improve your lead distribution program.
Communication, Data Capture, and Tracking Along the Customer Journey
“One of the challenges that we have is that our advisors, while we have a captive agency system, they’re entrepreneurial. So we don’t have one tool set for all of our advisors to use,” says Corina. Indeed, Jim agreed that integration between systems is one of the biggest challenges not only between corporate and the field, but even within the home office.
These system silos are where the breakdown starts to occur. There are several distinct points along the client advisor journey where there’s an opportunity to capture data and increase your ability to close business. But if your advisor or agent doesn’t reach out quickly when that lead first comes in, you may never get that chance.
The good news is that along each step in the journey data can be captured to enhance your lead program. Corina shared that every time you capture full lead life cycle data, you’re able to learn and refine your program to source better quality leads and share best practices – including on how quickly the field should follow up and engagement tips and tricks.
Jim added, “I think the other thing that I think this slide illustrates, especially the first three steps, is how important it is to nurture a response, especially through various social media platforms…The more that advisors understand that the journey first and foremost is to validate and educate and engage a customer, the lead will eventually turn into a request.”
Make it Easy, Make it Turnkey – for Advisors and Agents
“I must say turnkey 30 times a day,” says Corina. She feels it’s imperative to understand that advisors or agencies processing that lead may be the individual or their back office; they may want to do it on a desktop or prefer mobile; it could come in by email or phone, and believes in enabling all of those activities and channels across the board. Just like customers have specific preferences that we need to cater to, advisors have their practice or system and it’s marketing’s job to make them successful.
The best way to make advisors and agents successful is to make things as easy as possible. Corina points out that identifying a lead without context is not enough. In fact, she believes it’s critical to go a step even further and let the field act on the lead, wherever they are, with a simple button click. She also emphasizes field readiness (enablement) and constant communication with the field to ensure they understand what these opportunities are, how other advisors are interacting with them, and what some of the best practices are.
Watch the Webcast On-demand
Thanks for reading this blog. Check out the entire webcast here.