In this eSales Hub video, we the impact covid has had on lead volumes and what has spikes sales coming out of a lockdown, so you can be better prepared to generate more sales.
eSales Hub’s call analysis platform provides real-time enhanced data, enabling clients big and small to generate more leadsm, lower their media costs and provide real-time customer insights into the performance of their business. By mapping lead volume across all types of clients, we’ve spotted a trend that enabled you to spike sales before your competitors. Watch the video or read on as to how you can help skyrocket sales in the next few weeks.
The effect of Covid-19 on lead generation volumes
In this blog, I want to talk about how you can take advantage of the business opportunities presented by the COVID-19 lockdown easing.
But first I want to take you through some data that plots all the leads we generated for our clients over the last 14 months because the trends are really interesting.
Our data shows that it’s not coming out of lockdown that causes a spike in sales, but announcements that we’re going to come out of lockdown.
I’ve put together all of our lead generation volume from our clients in automotive, healthcare, home services, estate agency, legal, and financial services just to give you an idea about the difference in lead volumes.
We did well coming out of January and February 2020 but as soon as we’re starting to talk about a lockdown you can see we’re already getting uncertainty in the marketplace – fewer people are searching on the internet and lead generation plummets during lockdowns.
That’s purely down to a drop in internet searches and a drop in demand. If you can’t consume those products or there is an inability to deliver those products because of the restrictions you’re not going to get as much demand.
But what is really interesting is the spikes in lead generation volume are coming because of the talk about coming out of lockdown.
The conversation changes from the lockdown itself to ‘when are we going to come out?’ and the Government making announcements about the lockdown easing. It definitely has an impact.
The lead volume is pretty consistent when a lockdown does ease, but your biggest spikes in activity are coming from when the announcements are made.
There’s a lot of pent up demand and it’s estimated that £250million has been saved during this lockdown because people are not spending their cash.
Tip # 1: Plan Ahead
If you want to set your campaign live to take advantage of all this pent-up demand, you need to be thinking about getting going two to three weeks before lockdown ends, otherwise you’re going to lose out on the massive opportunity of generating huge volumes.
I think our most successful clients are the ones that went live three to four weeks before lockdown ended. The first week was just them testing their systems but three weeks, two weeks, one week before they really did see lead volumes spike.
This running start enabled them to really start coming out of that lockdown slump a lot faster by filling up their diaries, selling products, and almost having a back order system in place so they can maximise the opportunities presented by the pent-up demand.
If I’m going to start my campaign early one of the things I do is think about what offer I’m going to go with. A couple of our clients had post-lockdown offers that helped them hoover up more of the available market.
It depends on what your strategy is. It might be that you wait for customers to come to you, or you may think it best to get your diary or order book as full as possible.
It is vital to check what your competitors are doing. Are they going are they live yet? Can you steal the march on them by going live a little bit earlier? Will an offer take market share away from them?
These are all things that you need to consider when you start your campaign strategy.
Tip # 2: Get primed to take inbound calls
Be prepared for a jump in call volume once lockdown eases. If you have planned your lead generation campaign in advance you are going to get a lot more calls.
Part of this is customers face uncertainty in terms of what they are allowed and not allowed to do.
‘You know that bed I ordered, is it still available? Can it still be delivered on the day you said you were going to deliver post lockdown?
‘I know my product’s been delayed, but when will it now arrive?’
Businesses must make sure sales teams are not clogged up with customer service calls, because if they’re taking customer service calls they’re not going to be able to answer the phone and close sales calls – it is as simple as that.
That may mean you have to draft in more people or resources. Start thinking about it now, don’t wait for the problem to happen
You must also test your phone system with a ‘dummy run’ to make sure it works. There is no point driving a load of all volume and not being able to take those calls.
There are four key performance indicators for me:
How many calls you’re missing
What’s your wait hold time?
How many customer service calls versus sales calls are you getting?
What is your sales conversion?
How can eSales Hub help?
Our AI-powered system enables us to tell our clients how many calls they’re missing in real-time, what the wait hold time is, how many customer service versus sales calls they’re getting, and what their sales conversion is.
It’s incredibly important because you could be being flooded with customer service calls and think ‘brilliant, what a great sales day!’
But the next day you find out that the sales weren’t there because they’re all customer service calls.
Our tech categorises those calls for you using artificial intelligence. It scans the call to establish what the outcome is, so you can see in real-time what’s happening in your business and plan better for the peaks and troughs that you’re about to come up against when the lockdown eases.
Tip # 3: Don’t forget Google My Business
Google did some research recently and discovered 57% of people said that once restrictions were lifted they were more like spend money at a local business than before.
I think one of the things that lockdown has done is forced people to buy locally because of the travel restrictions.
Google My Business often gets overlooked because it’s free, but what we found is that it drives more calls from your customers than location pages on your website – particularly for some retailers and service operators.
We also found that there’s a high proportion of returning customers compared to new customers, so the last thing you want to do with people that find you from Google My Business is not service them correctly.
The experts at eSalesHub can optimise your Google My Business entry for the best results. For example, with Red Driving School we increased their sales by a factor of five within six months.
There is a lot of opportunity within Google My Business and you can make it as complex or as simple as you want to.
You’ve got to make sure your company name and location is correct, the descriptive text is optimised correctly for the keywords and locations you want to appear for, and your photo and video content is relevant.
You can upload your questions and answers using Google My Business to inform customers of the best number to call if they want to buy a product or if they’ve got a customer services inquiry.
These are great tools that you can use to segment the calls so the customer knows which team to speak to.
You should also make sure that you respond to anybody who leaves you a review.
But what we find very, very effective is using the offer cards. Every time you upload an offer card – which is free to do – you simply get a good spike in leads.
I can’t stress enough that you can develop a hell of a lot of call volume by optimising your Google My Business. It is something not to be ignored, to review, and to have a think about.
In conclusion, internet searches increase once an announcement on lockdown easing has been made, not the date of the restriction being lifted. You need to be thinking about going live with the lead generation campaign two to three weeks before those lockdown restrictions are lifted because that is when your clients are searching for your products and service.
The last thing you want them to do is to go to your competitors.
Call volume will soar once lockdown is eased so you will get a spike in sales leads and then it will double as soon as we’re out of lockdown – but get yourself ready now!
Remember, 57% of people said that once restrictions were lifted they were more likely to spend money at a local business than before.
A lot of people are going to be searching locally so you must make sure that you’ve got your location pages and your Google My Business optimised.
Don’t forget 70% of people call a local business when it is searched for on Google, so it is important to make sure you can answer the phone when a potential customer calls you.
That’s why omnichannel strategy is really important because it’s not just about online bookings. Online generates offline sales as well and being able to track those is why you need a platform like eSalesHub.