Over the past six months, I’ve observed a big surge in client requests for inbound response qualification from their marketing automation activities. Marketing Automation (MA) is growing in momentum! The requests have come from our long-time, established clients, as well as fresh, new prospects. People are finally getting it – they understand that they cannot ignore the responses to their marketing automation efforts and that these responses are diamonds in the rough that require WORK!
In some cases, we are being asked to qualify leads that came in directly to our clients, and in other cases we are the direct response center. But in all cases, we are removing the client’s burden of sifting through all the responses, incubating and nurturing them and, finally, qualifying and directing them to the appropriate parties for follow-up and sales.
One of the more difficult aspects of MA leads, are the fluctuations in volume — they can be hard to predict. At DMP, we have developed a flexible approach — with incremental staffing and billing to handle fluctuations. This enables clients to only pay for what they actually need and is quite helpful to the client who doesn’t want to assume a headcount.
Another challenge associated with these MA leads is that they run the gamut, from looky-loos , serious researchers , the competition and casual shoppers to the serious minded doing their due-diligence. They all have to be vetted.
In short, clients outsource the inbound qualification for the following reasons:
- Adherence to a formalized process, the discipline
- Nurturing and qualification
- Accountability & reporting
As for ourselves (the agency), we get the benefit of being able to qualify warm(ish) leads and helping to close the loop. It’s a win-win for all!