12 Aug Leads for Less: Building an Effective Strategy on a Limited Budget
On our blog, we’ve often written about the benefits of prioritizing quality over quantity when tracking down leads. Of course, quality leads – meaning prospects who are qualified, certifiably contactable, and have affirmed interest in learning about your policies – don’t automatically translate into sales. Many other factors come into play such as the agent’s communication skills, their willingness to follow through consistently with a lead, and their ability to close. However, starting out a set of quality leads does guarantee an enormous head start to those agents who find them, and saves agents a lot of time that might have been spent building up a large volume of leads.
In the end, the success of your business will rely on the ratio between the amount of time and resources you put into attracting prospects, and the number of prospects that become real paying customers. To calculate how much you’re actually investing in lead generation take a lot more record keeping than most agencies actually take the time to do. The amount of time agents spend refining their target demographics, searching out prospects that meet their criteria, making a first contact, following through with additional calls or emails and talking through their sales pitch must all be factored into the calculation.
To assess your return on investment, careful tracking and consistency are key. If you’re generating leads on your own, the cost per lead must be meticulously quantified – and this includes the cost associated with following through with leads who don’t yet have a confirmed interest in purchasing an insurance policy. Generating leads internally is an ongoing process – a one-time effort to procure quality leads followed by a period of waiting to see how those leads pan out will generally result in unpredictable gains during your sales cycle and a scramble to start generating leads again. When you’re making your lead generation plan, it’s important to remember that this will be an ongoing cost and an ongoing effort.
One way around this headache is to employ an external lead generation service that will deliver premium leads based on the criteria you put forth for your target region and demographics. A lead generation service will also deliver leads at a reliable volume that changes in accordance with shifting demands around the country, so that agent’s sales efforts can stay aligned with market trends. This eliminates the possibility of overspending on lead generation and sales efforts when demand dips, and allows them to take full advantage of expanded sales opportunities when the market is up.
Once an agent has their leads, the next challenge is contacting the prospects at the right time. Many agencies experience considerable losses in revenue due only to the fact that their agents’ time is wasted on phone calls that don’t get picked up. A helpful alternative is using a call transfer service in conjunction with lead generation. Using a call transfer service means that those prospects are delivered right to your phone lines, live and ready to speak with an agent. 78% of sales go to the first company to speak with a prospect, so getting opportunity to have calls delivered to your desk during the working hours you’ve established is a surefire way to improve your closing ratios and save valuable time and money.
ZipQuote customers have reported, on average, a 42% decrease in cost per policy after using our services. Thanks to the quality of the leads we can provide to agents, our customers have also secured written premiums that are around 14% higher, seen their quote rates rise by an average of 28%, and their policy rates rise by an average of 78%. Clients who employ our call transfer service have improved their closing ratios by around 11% and improve their policy rates by an additional 76%.
Whether your agency is on a limited budget, or just trying to improve the cost-effectiveness of their lead generation strategy, pushing for a greater number of leads in your funnel is never going to deliver real results. With a strong push for higher quality leads and strategies for connecting with those leads quickly and effectively, the benefits of slowing down and increasing your standards will soon become apparent.