5-Minute Marketing Masterclass: How to expertly follow-up with online leads

5-Minute Marketing Masterclass: How to expertly follow-up with online leads

Learn the best way to follow-up, qualify, and win new clients from our sales team

Despite the well-known fact that the sooner you reach out to a lead, the more likely they are to convert into a client, surprisingly 57.1% of businesses wait longer than a week to respond to a lead. [1]

When it comes to business-to-business (B2B) selling, quickly and expertly following up with online leads is essential to building relationships and onboarding new clients. 

Join us to talk about the importance of following up with online leads—and how to do it—with expert advice from our sales team. 

Why are online leads important?

Every online lead should be given equal amounts of attention as someone that contacts your business any other way.

“Rather than thinking of online leads as just another email to reply to, think of them in the same way you would as someone walking up to you at a conference or giving you a call on the phone,” says Hugo Azzolini, President at Different Perspective. “This person is already interested in what you offer, and they’re asking for your help. With the right follow up, you can transform them into a loyal client.”

Plus, with the increased reliance on digital marketing efforts and the prevalence of remote work, online leads likely dominate a large portion of your total leads, so they can’t be ignored or potential clients will turn to your competitors instead.  

How to follow up with online leads

Our number one piece of advice? Don’t let your online leads get cold!

Try to follow up with customers promptly after they contact you, when their intent is at its strongest. The longer you delay, the higher the chance that they’ll lose interest or find another company to help them instead.

In fact, a recent study on lead response found that conversion rates are eight times greater in the first five minutes, compared to a lead that was contacted between five minutes and 24 hours later. [1]

“When a prospective client is reaching out to you online, there’s more urgency because they’re contacting a lot of different companies—including your competitors—at the same time,” advises Greg Ezell, Director of Business Development at Different Perspective. “Aim to respond to an online lead as soon as possible. A fast response is unexpected, and it’s a great way to get their attention.” 

If you have a marketing agency or in-house team investing time and money in digital efforts like Google Ads or SEO campaigns to generate your leads, a quick follow up is even more important to bolster their success. 

Our top tips to follow up with online leads

  • Always call the lead when you have their number. It breaks the digital pattern, and avoids the risk of the email ending up in their junk folder.
  • Once you’ve spoken to them on the phone, keep the dialogue open by sending a personalized follow up email where you outline the next steps.
  • Don’t automate the sales process right away: people can tell. This is a crucial time in building your business relationship, and AI can’t replace contact with real people.
  • Even if a lead isn’t ready to close yet, being responsive and helpful is still beneficial to your business because when they’re ready to sign a contract in the future, they’ll be inclined to work with you due to your communicative nature. 

How to qualify online leads

It’s inevitable that some of the leads you generate online will be unqualified. They may be spam, or they may simply not be a good fit for your business. 

Use your initial phone call to qualify (or unqualify) your online leads. Some qualifying questions to ask include the following:

  • Does the company match with your target audience?
  • Does their budget align with your prices?
  • Can what you offer solve their business challenges?
  • Can the person you’re talking to make purchasing decisions?

“We actually have a checklist of questions that we ask all our online leads,” says Hugo. “It helps us quickly learn about their business, decide if our services can help them achieve their goals, and whether we should say yes or no to the project.”

What to do with unqualified leads

“Don’t just ignore them! Still make the effort to follow up and explain why you’re not able to help them right now,” recommends Greg. “Ask if they would like to be added to your email list. You never know, one day they or someone they know could be the perfect fit for what you offer.”

Seeking support for your sales team?

Sales begins where marketing ends, and we’re here to be your trusted marketing team! 

After 19 years in business, our team of Orlando-based digital marketing experts are well-versed in helping B2B organizations like yours develop marketing strategies that drive brand awareness, educate prospective buyers, and support your sales team. 

Through our ongoing agency support services, your organization can grow and expand into new audiences via a variety of marketing tactics such as search engine optimization, social media, Google Ads, and email marketing.

Ready to reach your full business potential?
Schedule a meeting with a marketing strategist. 


1: InsideSales | Lead Response Management Study 2021

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