The 7 Deadly Sins Of Inbound Lead Handling For MSPs

Mike StodolaMSP Marketing

Today, we’re going to talk about the seven deadly sins of inbound lead handling. The average MSP is making some common mistakes that are causing them to miss out on potential monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Below, we discuss what the mistakes are, how to avoid them, and some strategies you can use to improve your inbound lead process.

1. Not Answering The Phone Live

Your best leads don’t leave messages. When they don’t receive a live answer, they call your competitor. The top 20% of MSPs, the best in class, answer their phones live 99.1% of the time. The average MSP answers their phone live 86.7% of the time and is therefore missing 14 calls out of 100. Missing this first touchpoint can spell lost opportunities.

New MSP clients can be worth as much as $40,000 in annual recurring revenue (ARR). Our members report an average of $1,800 to $2,200 in MRR from new client acquisitions. Every lead represents significant potential revenue so think about who you’ve got answering the phone right now.

2. Auto Attendant Hell

No one wants to be kept on hold for up to a minute or even longer before reaching a live person. While auto attendants streamline calls, an over-complicated or unreliable system can deter potential clients. No one wishes to navigate through prolonged automated responses, especially when seeking immediate solutions. In fact, from listening to our members’ calls we’ve noticed callers being kept on hold for up to a minute or even longer before reaching a live person, a definite deterrent for many potential customers.

Most inbound callers have an immediate problem and are looking for an immediate solution.

Bonus tip: Don’t qualify the opportunity (what they are calling in about), qualify the person. One of our Producers Club members shared a story about a call they answered for a broken laptop. At the time, the person only needed help with their work laptop but, over time, it led to over $300,000 in new business.

3. Not Using Inbound Scripts

Inbound scripts ensure all interactions with leads are consistent and thorough. Without structured conversations, interactions can become disorganized. If a call comes in and they say, “hey, what are your hours?” Do you want the person answering the phone to just say, “9 to 5,” and hang up? That’s not ideal. They didn’t get any information. They didn’t capture who called, why they called or if there was an opportunity. You just lost a lead even though you answered their question. The person answering the phone gave great service to the person on the other end except, they don’t realize their job is not to answer their question, it’s to get their information and see how they can help them. This is why inbound scripts are so important.

Inbound call musts:

  • The phone must be answered live by a trained person
  • The phone must not ring more than 3 times before someone picks up live
  • The person answering the phone must speak clearly and identify themselves
  • The prospect should NEVER be put into voicemail
  • The prospect should be transferred directly to a salesperson or other trained individual

4. Not Asking For Their Information

Make sure whenever a call comes in, you are gathering as much information about that person as possible. Grab their name, email, company information, and location. If it’s a real person looking for help, they will gladly give you this information. Make sure to put all the leads that are coming through into your CRM as well.

Here’s how to get the most out of your first interaction with a potential prospect:

5. Forms That Don’t Work Or Don’t Connect To Your CRM

Double-check that all of your online forms are working and are connected to your CRM. We recently went through all of our member websites and learned that a staggering 17% had forms that didn’t function correctly. Make it a point to check your forms as often as possible. It could have all worked a week ago, a day ago, or an hour ago, but WordPress plugin updates and integrations can break daily.

6. No Or Slow Offline Follow-Up

A B2B marketing company similar to TMT for auto dealers tracks their scheduled appointments by time-to-follow-up. After they get an inbound lead, how long does it take someone to follow up with that prospect? They found that if they call the prospect back within 3 minutes or less, they book an appointment 70% of the time. If they take 10 minutes to call back, they book an appointment 50% of the time.

You don’t have fifteen minutes to get back to people, you don’t even have 5. When they call, you need to have someone call back IMMEDIATELY.

7. Slow Online Follow-Up

Delays in email responses or other online interactions can lead prospects to question the MSP’s responsiveness and potentially explore other service providers. If someone fills out a contact form on your website, they expect a quick response. Make sure your forms are sending notifications to you and that you or a member of your sales team is following up as soon as possible.

Inbound lead handling is a challenge, demanding attention to detail, quick responses, and a structured approach. By being cognizant of these “7 deadly sins” and actively working to address them, MSPs can ensure that they harness the full potential of every lead that comes their way.

Want more strategies for growing your MSP past the $1,000,000 mark? Join us for a half-day masterclass with Robin Robins by clicking the button below.