There’s a need in the market for a technology-enabled business services startup that specializes in calling inbound leads and qualifying them immediately in a pay-per-action manner. Most companies do a poor job of getting back to prospects that raise their hand for the first time in a timely manner. Think about this: when you fill out an online form, how long does it take for you to hear back from someone? In my experience, I expect to talk to someone within 24 hours of filling out a form, would prefer to talk to someone within an hour, and usually hear back in 2-3 days, if I’m lucky.
It isn’t that companies don’t want to follow-up on their new prospects instantly, it is that it is too costly to staff a dedicated person to do it and existing sales and marketing teams already have competing priorities. Studies have shown that the sooner you get an inbound lead on the phone after they request information, the higher the chance of closing the deal. That’s right — let a lead linger and every hour you wait the chance of them buying from someone else goes up.
Here are some ideas on how the business might work:
- Pay a fixed cost per lead called and qualified (e.g. $50) as well as a bonus for the desired outcome (e.g. an additional $25 if a web demo is scheduled on the phone)
- Allow for hot-swapping the call from the person qualifying the lead to a sales rep
- Provide a set of standard questions to qualify the lead as well as simple next steps.
- Use an extremely friendly, well-paid onshore call center
- Interface with leading marketing automation, inbound marketing, and CRM products to process leads
- Partner with marketing agencies, appointment setting firms, and marketing technology products as the indirect channel
- Sell directly to marketing managers and sales managers espousing the benefits of timely follow-up
There’s a marketing opportunity for a technology-enabled business services company to fulfill this need and provide more timely call-backs to new prospects. Everyone wins: sales and marketing close more deals and leads get to talk to a company representative faster.
What else? What do you think of the business idea?