Related article: How to automatically forward leads into your CRM

Leads are great, but if you don't have a systematic approach to respond in a timely and personalized manner where you can automate your followup and track your progress--you won't be able to learn what's working and what's not.

This article will guide you through 6-steps to setting up your lead followup for success so you can spend 1-2 hours now so that you can (a) increase lead conversion and (b) save dozens of hours on manual followup and tracking.

I. Here's what we're going to be using Zapier to automate:

  • Lead is captured: HotelTechReport gets your company a lead and your team is sent a notification email
  • Review + accept the lead: You login to your vendor dashboard to review the lead details and accept the lead
  • Automation sequence is triggered: Once you decide you want a lead and press accept, the automation sequence will be triggered
  • Inbox receives: The lead is automatically sent to your Zapier email parser inbox (this is called, the 'trigger')
  • ∴ Actions triggered: Once the trigger even occurs, you will be able to trigger automated 'actions' (eg. add contact to your CRM, create followup to do item for your sales team, add the contact to a list to send on an automated followup sequence, etc)

II. 4 Critical Reasons Why You Need to Automate Your Lead Followup if You Want to Gain Visibility and Improve Performance

  • Save time: Setting up automation takes 30-45 minutes upfront but then you save hours of your team's time on followup going forward
  • Strategy, consistency and experimentation: If you're changing who responds, how quickly, when they respond and what they say--its impossible to learn what's working and what's not. Automation allows you to standardize your funnels and learn which types of leads work best, which outreach messaging works best and more.
  • Improve response rates: Remember that the user has to verify their contact info and HTR has to manually review and verify all leads so sometimes it can take up to 48-hours before a lead arrives in your inbox. When they do, you want to make sure to followup as quickly as possible so setting automation allows you to instantly followup with leads as soon as you accept them and there is a direct correlation between lead response times and success rates.
  • Track performance: As Peter Drucker once said, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." By setting up automated followup sequences by lead type you can gain visibility into not just which leads were HTR leads, but which types of leads from HTR were the most successful, which outreach messaging was the most successful and more. Without automation you can't successfully identify what's working and what's not to improve response rates and conversion over time.

III. 6-Easy Steps to Automating Your Lead Followup

Step 1: Create a free Zapier account

The first step is to create a free Zapier account that you'll use to setup your automations

Create a free Zapier account

Step 2: Create the Zapier parsing email

In Zapier there are two main things 'trigger' and 'actions':

  • Trigger: This is the event that will happen that will 'trigger' the automations
  • Actions: These are the automated 'actions' that will happen after the 'trigger' event occurs

In this step, we will setup a Zapier email parser that will receive your lead details and serve as the 'trigger' for your automations.

IMPORTANT: Make sure to download the sample email and use this formatting (not this one in your dashboard)

Step 3: Map your fields

Map the fields in Zapier so that it knows where each field will appear in the lead forwarding emails from HTR.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you downloaded the sample email and sent it to Zapier for parsing and mapping (not this one in your dashboard)

Step 4: Rename your Zapier inbox and plug the email into the CRM forwarding field in your vendor dashboard

Remember, the Zapier email is basically an inbox that we are spinning up for the sole purpose of receiving your leads. So now what you will want to do is plug that email into the CRM forwarding field in your lead inbox and turn this feature on by toggling the switch. After you do, anytime you accept a lead, that lead's details will be sent to the Zapier email and your automations will be triggered.

Step 5: Setup your Zap and simple actions

Now that you have created your Zapier inbox, setup forwarding from your vendor dashboard and mapped your fields...the world is your oyster! Here is a quick intro to setting up actions with your parsed data.

Step 6: Setup paths for each type of lead (eg. price quotes, demos and matched leads)

We recommend setting up 3 key flows based on inquiry type:

Flow #1 (Price quotes): Filter in Zapier for leads with the 'inquiry type' field= 'RFP Proposal request' OR 'Request quote'

Flow #2 (Demo requests): Filter in Zapier for leads with the 'inquiry type' field = 'Request Demo'

Flow #3 (Matched leads): Filter in Zapier for leads with the 'inquiry type' = 'Matched lead'

Advanced paths: Eventually if you want to further personalize your followup based on hotel type (eg. boutique, resort, branded, etc) or hotel size (eg. under 200 rooms) you can do so easily. More paths means more complexity and more to manage so we recommend starting with the 3-core flows first and running them for 6-months to see if you still think additional flows are necessary. If so, please reach out via the live chat and ask for the exact field options for hotel type and size.

Still need some help?

Reach out via the live chat on Hotel Tech Report to setup a free coaching session.

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