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How Finance Businesses can Identify their Most Valuable Leads

By Natalia Selby, Mediahawk

Financial services are one of the largest sectors in the global economy, but where there is money, there is stiff competition.

So, getting prospects to choose your business over a competitor can seem like a daunting task. But if you know where to look for the most profitable leads, you’ll cut down the time you take to chase hot leads, save your resources and make your marketing much more profitable.

Here are five ways you can identify your most valuable leads.

Track all inquiries, especially calls:

Although digital has driven most of the customer journey online, the proliferation of mobile has significantly increased the number of calls to a business.And guess what? 65% of businesses consider phone calls to be their most valuable, highest quality score of leads. And that’s because a phone call has an enormous purchasing intent. This is especially true of purchases that are considered more complex than clicking add to cart and going through the check-out process. Buying something like insurance, personal or business finance or setting up an investment are mostly dealt with over the phone as prospects will want a more detailed quote and they usually have questions that require further clarity.

So what about when a prospect does pick up the phone? How do you know what they are calling about? And indeed, if they convert over the phone, how do you know which piece of marketing led to the call? If you’re not using some form of call tracking, the answer to both of these questions is that you simply don’t know.

So let’s look at the knock on effect of not tracking where your calls are coming from. Say someone searches for finance. They see your Google ad at the top of the results on mobile. They click through to your site but have a few questions or need reassurance over a few things they can’t see on your landing page so they click the click to call number. Your friendly sales agent takes the call, answers their questions and they convert. How do you attribute that conversion? Yes your pay per click campaign is driving leads but you won’t be able to attribute that conversion to your PPC campaign as the click to call button isn’t tracked and synced with call tracking.

This problem is magnified if 20 other prospects take this same journey in a month – that’s 20 sales call conversions that haven’t been attributed to a PPC ad. This means when you start evaluating and planning budget allocation it will look like PPC isn’t pulling its weight, when in actual fact, using a first click attribution model, PPC is working the hardest to drive leads. Given the limited data you have, you cut this spend and your leads and sales drop. Your boss isn’t happy and you have to go back and try to find out where the problem is.

In order to see the true picture of your leads it’s imperative that you track calls and link up the software with all of your advertising. This means you’ll be able to see which channels are driving calls – your most valuable leads! Call tracking for financial services can show you the value in your call data.

For even better attribution, utilise a call tracking provider that integrates with the updated Salesforce Lightning CRM. As you’ll be able to see all of the relevant existing information the moment the call comes in and will then attribute any further interactions with the lead’s profile. This will mean shorter time spent digging through data to find what’s meaningful. Plus, you can also bulk import leads who have engaged a number of times with certain marketing to your remarketing platforms and activity.

Set up prospect profiling

Prospect profiling provides you with an up-to-date picture of each potential prospect or lead. The data helps you determine the characteristics of buying personas for your product or service, helping you to focus your marketing and sales resources on the most valuable leads.

To set up correct audience profiling there are four key stages:

  • Segmentation – splitting your audience into targeted groups that align with your goals
  • Messaging – using your consumer insights to shape your marketing messaging
  • Engagement – identifying where and when to place creative and materials
  • Measurement – arguably the most important part of audience profiling so you can optimise ongoing campaigns and drive greater ROI.

You can read about how to carry out audience profiling in Hubspot’s handy beginner’s guide, but the most important thing you can achieve from this task is using the data to glean insight, such as: where are your converted leads coming from? Which marketing materials have they engaged with along their journey?

The consumer journey is much more fragmented yet consumers continue to demand consistency. For example, someone looking to get a mortgage might first see your mortgage product on a comparison site, click through to your website, look at your social media channels, and then reviews. Your challenge is to ensure a seamless experience across these interactions and this is where audience profiling helps you deliver targeted messaging in the format that your different profiles want. For example, a younger user looking for a mortgage product is also a heavy social media user and alongside their peers, you might discover with your profiling that there are on average 3 interactions with your social media accounts and ads before a prospect closes.

Tracking each touch point will show you what matters most to this audience group and you’ll be able to deliver accurate and targeted messaging to ease these leads through the conversion process. Audience profiling will prove to be invaluable at pinpointing how and where your high value prospects are hanging out online.

Align resource to where these profitable prospects come in

Once you have all of the information from the tracking of your profiles, you can then feed this back into your marketing to understand where your most valuable leads are interacting with you online and do more of the same.

Utilise the insights specific to your audience profiles to elevate your brand in the right way and to boost engagement.

For example, a finance provider might find that the majority of people come in first via their blog. They’re looking at articles about“how to improve my credit rating” and “how to find the best financing option”. To engage with this group more, encourage them to sign up to your newsletter to receive more of your content but also be sure to generate more great, helpful, fresh content on your blog to continue to attract prospects onto your site.

Furthermore, you might find that repeat business as a finance provider is the biggest source of your income. Audience profiling might have highlighted that repeat customers respond best to a telephone call as a courtesy reminder that their policy is up for renewal as opposed to an email. The trick here is to do more of the personalised marketing and direct communication.

Tracking all of this activity will provide your financial business with a wealth of data you can dip into to aid crucial decision-making about where to allocate resources and warm leads to follow up.

Filter out with contact forms

You can also filter out less-engaged prospects at the very early stages of the purchase journey using your contact forms. For example, someone downloading your guides might be doing so just for research purposes, yet as you’ve captured their data for the download, this will be triggered as a lead within your CRM system. To avoid wasting time on people who are looking for research purposes, why not be upfront. Utilise drop-downs in your forms to ask people what their enquiry or download is for.

You can also qualify leads by using what might seem like very generic, yet insightful, fields such as “how many employees are at your business”, “if they’re a B2B organisation”, or ask for the lead’s business location or phone number. This can provide invaluable data for your agent’s follow up and help you sift out spam leads from your CRM.

You could also include a dropdown for new and existing customers as research suggests that warmer leads are existing customers or clients. Studies have shown that it costs as much as 5 to 10 times more to acquire new customers than to sell to recurring ones, and current customers spend up to 67% more on average than new customers (source)

Ask people who download guides to subscribe to your email list

In the finance sector the average lead time to close can vary between two weeks and 6 months, dependent upon the cost and stakeholders. During that period, it’s important that you keep your business at the front of your prospect’s mind. The hard sell isn’t going to cut it at this stage; remarketing from the Google Ad network will build familiarity, but an even sweeter spot is your prospect’s inbox.

Those leads that read your blog content, or better still, download a guide or PDF from your site are warm leads. Be sure to include a newsletter sign up box within your download form so you can get their consent to continue to send them useful information.

You can then drill down through your email lists to see who has been opening your emails and clicking through to your site. You can up your remarketing strategy to these leads both on social and on the display network, but also be sure to personalise the content that you send them. For example, if a prospect is looking for a particular mortgage such as buy-to-let, it would be irrelevant for them to receive information about first time buyer products. Place them into a segmented list to receive buy-to-let content and this will ease their path to conversion.

Once you’ve implemented these tactics, you’ll be able to mine your leads much more quickly and deliver even better targeting to ease these warm prospects through to conversion.