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Lead Follow-up Best Practices
Lead Followup Tips & Best Practices
Lead Followup Tips & Best Practices

Follow this guide to optimize and automate your lead funnel and make sure you're setup for success.

Updated over a week ago

If you're new to HTR's lead gen program, please make sure to review the intro guide below to make sure you are setup for success to maximize ROI:

1. Make Sure You Have a Solid Reputation

Remember that all leads are HTR users so when you contact them--you should expect that the first thing most will do is check your HTR profiles.

How does your reputation look? How do you stack up to other vendors in the category?

Having a lower ranking and weaker reputation means a higher probability that the user requests information from other top rated vendors. If those vendors respond faster and have a better reputation, the user may not be interested any more even though they requested information initially. Leads are less likely to engage when you reach out especially if they also requested info from other vendors to compare who have stronger reputations and come more recommended by hoteliers (aka. are ranked higher) on the platform.

KEY TAKEAWAY

Hoteliers are more likely to engage if you have a strong reputation

2. Tailor your followup based on the type of lead type

What was your messaging to the lead? Who reached out? Was their response tailored to the type of lead? Did they follow best practices for lead followup?

If your team is responding to all leads the same you will get low response rates because matched leads require a very different approach. Make sure your team knows the difference between direct and matched leads and has checked out (1) How to followup with matched leads+template and (2) Lead types and followup tips.

If you hard sell matched leads and don't tailor your followup towards them, they will likely become disinterested and not respond.

KEY TAKEAWAY

Matched leads require a more tailored followup approach

3. Minimize your time-to-followup by automating your process

Whether on your own website or on HTR, there is a direct correlation between time-to-followup and lead engagement and success rates which is why its absolutely critical to automate your process so that as little time goes by as possible between when the lead places their request on HTR and the time it takes you to reach out to reply to their inquiry and fulfill their request.

The more time that goes by from the time the initial request is placed to the time your team follows up the more likely a hotelier is (just like any user on the internet) to lose interest, change their mind, get busy, find another vendor...etc.

Your goal is to bring this time down to as close to instant as possible. HTR's Lead Follow-up Guide helps you implement a few simple (but critical) best practices to minimize your time-to-followup and close more deals.

Below are HTR's recommended best practices that will make sure you're setup for success:

Best Practice #1: ⚡️Activate Instant Connect

Set criteria for the types of leads that you want to target so that they'll get instantly accepted and forwarded into your CRM for immediate followup without delays or the need to manually check the dashboard.

Time Required: 1-2 minutes

Best Practice #2: ↪️ Enable CRM Forwarding

Turn on CRM forwarding so anytime you accept a lead all details are sent directly into your CRM and the opportunity is created.

Time Required: 1-2 minutes

Best Practice #3: 💌 Automate Your Followup with Nurture Sequences

Create nurture sequences in your CRM or marketing automation tool so that newly accepted leads get instantly followed up with and you have visibility and tracking for your sequences to improve them over time. Setting this up takes ~20-30 minutes (one time) and then your follow-up is in autopilot so you 'can set it and forget it' which:

  1. Save Time: Saves your team ~15-20 mins PER LEAD between manual data entry, tracking, followup, etc

  2. Improve ROI: Having automated nurture sequences in place means that your HTR leads will be followed up with nearly instantly. Your team's responsive to hoteliers in market for your solutions is directly correlated with success rates for all leads and will make sure you are not at a disadvantage if the lead also requested info from a competitor (NOTE: The average lead requests info from 3 vendors meaning if you are slow to respond and the other two follow best practices then you are at a major disadvantage)

Time Required: 30-40 minutes

Best Practice #4: 💸 Customize Your Metrics to Track ROI

Once you customize your metrics, the lead inbox will dynamically calculate things like average deal size and ROI as well as revenue and spend forecasts.

Time Required: 1-2 minutes

Best Practice #5: ♽ Make sure to followup at least twice

How many forms and demos do you fill out on a weekly basis? A lot, right? So do hoteliers! People are busy on the internet and fill out lots of forms and demos and when you respond to someone who did, often times you catch them at a time they're busy and they don't respond and then forget about your email. Thats why followup is critical and having a strategy in place to do so and track your followup is super important. How many times is your team following up with leads? Are leads opening your messages and just not responding? Or did they not open it at all? Do you have tracking setup to be able to know what's going on with leads?

KEY TAKEAWAY

Being responsive and providing timely service to meet lead requests is critical

4. Treat HTR leads as MQLs and setup lead funnel tracking to track ROI and optimize your funnel over time

If you treat HTR leads as SQLs (sales qualified leads) and your team is following up manually with each lead--it will not only cause costly delays that negatively impact your probabilities of success with each lead but it also means you won't have a marketing funnel with clear visibility and tracking to see how your funnel is performing and which areas need to be improved/optimized to know what's working and what isn't so that you can improve over time.

Once you've setup an automated lead follow-up funnel you'll gain visibility into each step in your funnel enabling you to identify engagement rates and performance. Here are some metrics you'll want to monitor in your email marketing or sales sequencing tool where you've setup your nurture sequences for HTR leads:

MQL Metric #1: Lead Acceptance Time

  • What: The time it takes from when a lead places their request to when you accept the lead in the lead inbox

  • Why: Delays decrease probability of being able to engage and convert leads and put you at a disadvantage to other vendors who are responsive and provide great service to leads requesting information on HTR

  • How: This is automatically tracked in the lead inbox and you can see the time-to-acceptance on each lead as well as your average time to acceptance in the

MQL Metric #2: Time-to-Followup

  • What: Time it takes from when the lead places their initial request to when your team actually follows up

  • Why: Same as above, delays kill engagement rates and put you at a major disadvantage to the competition

  • How: Use CRM Forwarding and follow-up automation to drop leads into targeted nurture sequences in your CRM that have built in analytics for open, reply and conversion.

MQL Metric #3: Open Rate

  • What: What percentage of HTR leads opened your outreach

  • Why: This will tell you if leads are opening/engaging with your outreach to know if you might have areas to improve in terms of things like subject line or sendability/email reputation

  • How: Automatically tracked if you drop leads into nurture sequences

MQL Metric #4: Reply Rate

  • What: What percentage of HTR leads replied to your outreach

  • Why: This will show you if there is room to improve your email content/messaging in the nurture sequences

  • How: Automatically tracked if you drop leads into automated nurture sequences in your CRM

MQL Metric #5: Conversion to Demo

  • What: What percentage of HTR leads booked a demo

  • Why: This will tell you if your sales playbook, nurture sequence messaging and strategy is working or if you might need to improve it

  • How: Automatically tracked in your CRM if you tagged HTR as the source when setting up CRM forwarding

MQL Metric #6: Conversion to Signed Contract

  • What: What percentage of HTR leads converted to becoming a customer and what was the deal size and lifetime value of these

  • Why: This will tell you just based on new business generate through organic leads on HTR alone, what the ROI of your lead spend is

  • How: Automatically tracked in your CRM if you tagged HTR as the source when setting up CRM forwarding

KEY TAKEAWAY

Treat HTR leads as MQLs and setup a dynamic marketing funnel that allows you to track ROI and optimize your messaging over time

5. Invest in growing brand awareness to boost matched lead engagement rates

If you were looking for a new car and then a company that you hadn't heard of reached out to you looking for a car, what would you do? The odds are you'd probably either:

  • a) Look them up online OR

  • b) Think its not worth even considering a car company that you hadn't heard of and just discard the email

Remember, matched leads didn't explicitly ask to connect with your brand, but instead they asked for matches based on data in the platform and said they were open to connecting with matching vendors. Therefore when you reach out in many cases they may have never heard of your brand so the more aware of your brand they are the more likely they will be to engage. Brand awareness campaigns can help boost success rates with matched leads.

Read more 🔽

On the one hand, matched leads are a great opportunity for companies with lower brand awareness because it puts you in the consideration set of buyers who wouldn't have considered you otherwise and in many cases may have never even heard of your company or products. On the other, you (a) should understand the risk of a buyer not being interested if they haven't heard of your brand and (b) should make sure you carefully craft your followup with matched leads according to HTR's best practices.

If you're a match this is great, but you also need to keep in mind that if the buyer doesn't trust your brand or isn't familiar with it, this is a potential risk when accepting matched leads. If you get a match and reach out but the user either hasn't heard of your brand (or you have a bad reputation) they very likely may not respond to your outreach (especially if it is aggressive and overly promotional/salesy).

If you have low brand awareness in the market and matches are not responsive to your outreach you should first iterate on your sales messaging and make sure you are following all recommended best practices, but it may also be worth investing in brand awareness campaigns both on and/or off Hotel Tech Report to increase brand recognition and recall.

KEY TAKEAWAY

Match leads are more likely to engage if your brand is known


FAQs

What is a lead?

So what is a lead...a lead is a verified hotelier who has expressed interest in your product and we have verified their contact information and manually researched/enriched the lead to make sure they are who they say they. The user (1) pre-qualified as a hotel tech buyer by the nature of just being on HTR (2) have filled out 15+ form fields (3) verified their contact information (4) been manually verified by HTR (5) explicitly requested intent and interest in your product. This is what you are accepting when accepting a lead and if any of this criteria is not met HTR offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

Is a lead a closed deal?

A lead is NOT a closed deal (that's why they are priced at $30 for example rather than an affiliate model which is typically 10-15% of lifetime revenue of the customer).

It is important to keep in mind that leads are leads, not affiliate sales/closed deals. You will not close all of them and that is (a) totally normal and (b) what you should be expecting (that is also why they cost $30-$50 and not hundreds or thousands of rev-share dollars). That said, you should get responses from most leads if you have a strong outreach and followup strategy in place following the below best practices.

What if I purchase a lead but the lead doesn't respond? Am I eligible for a refund?

The short answer is no, this does not qualify for a refund per our refund policy. After HotelTechReport has done the work to acquire, convert, enrich and verify the lead, they become a lead and are then sent to your vendor dashboard.

After that point there are things we cannot control that can impact response rate which is why we recommend going through our best practice guides to set expectations and a strategy to set your company up for success before getting started with leads.


Want HTR to help you audit and optimize your lead follow-up process to boost platform ROI?

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