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4 ways to increase online lead conversions

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The No. 1 challenge I hear from agents is that the phone isn’t ringing with new prospective customers.

The reason for that is obvious, most consumers initiate shopping online. Many agents try to generate or buy leads online, but the results are dismal so they give up. There are agencies who build big books of business from generating or buying online leads, but they don’t treat that consumer like a yellow page or referral quote. The consumer changed so if you want to succeed online, you have to rally your agency to change as well.

[Related: 5 things the fastest growing agencies have in common]

Here are 4 tips to help you convert more online consumers:

People: If your office is full of gatherers, you’ll need to invest extra time in getting them to believe that they can convert online leads. Helping them set goals for outbound calls or hiring a part-timer to call for you is a great start. Personal lines has historically been reactive in the sense that clients called us and then came to our office. We never left our desks because most quotes were inbound. A new hire doesn’t need insurance experience but should have sales experience or the personality to be a sales person. If your agency called 100 to 200 prospective clients per day, the entire dynamic of your agency would change and the phone would ring more than it does now. When the phone rings, we write more premiums.

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Speed: The No. 1 driver of conversion is speed. If you receive a quote request that sits in your inbox for an hour, then send to someone else that sits on it for an hour, you’re not going to write that piece of business. If you have a process in place that gives you the ability to contact that lead within seconds of receipt, your chances of conversion increase by 391%, according to a study by Velocify. This is not guesswork, but real data taken from 4 million converted sales. As you build a sales process, focus on speed first and foremost.

See also: 50 best ways to generate leads

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Process: Whether it’s manual processes, spreadsheets, software or a whiteboard, you need to measure the speed, cadence, contact rate, quote rate and of course conversion rate of your efforts. The initial focus is speed, but the rest of the process is follow-up calls, emails, text messages and what to say when we make contact.

We can’t print a lead, hand it to Johnny and assume it’s being processed according to agency best practices. This should be managed and measured daily to ensure we’re maximizing our marketing spend. Over time, you’ll know how to distribute leads based on risk profile, territory, line of business and so on. The goal with a sales process is to eliminate guesswork and gather enough data to make decisions moving forward. Automating the process is the best way to go.

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Belief: This could easily be No. 1 because if we don’t believe that we can convert online leads, we’re 100 percent right. If we don’t believe we can write policies from online sources, we’re right. If you believe a certain segment of leads have no chance of converting, you guessed it; you’re right.

Let’s focus on what we can do. We can sell insurance products to people that are willing to listen. We also believe if someone requests insurance online, that we should do everything possible to make sure that person gets the best rate, service and experience they could ever imagine. We also believe that data doesn’t lie so if we have the right people and processes, we will win.

Many agents are growing and writing profitable business from consumers starting research online. There are also agents struggling to find a formula that works so they can grow in this ever-changing market. Online shoppers are going to multiply in the coming years and local agents can play a major role in finding them the best coverage for the best price.