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Instead of constantly hitting the refresh button and writing emails, the sales reps at CBC Settlement Funding hope that a new sales lead maintenance engine will help them focus on what they do best: closing deals.
CBC, a finance company similar to J.G. Wentworth and Peachtree Financial, purchases structured payment policies -- such as an annuity or a court settlement -- that are generally stretched out over years and offers lump sum payouts. While the payouts are typically long, the marketing opportunities come in short bursts that require quick approaches and even quicker responses.
Using Shuttle, a lead collection, tracking and distribution software designed by Lunar, CBC reps get push notifications for leads generated by calls, live chat, web visits, query emails and marketing vendors. The software can track sales leads, coordinate follow-up emails, nurture campaigns and alert the sales team if a lead gets lost along the way.
That kind of automation on the frontlines is vital to increase business and limit missed opportunities, said Mike Aiello, director of sales operations for the niche finance company.
"Hitting refresh, refresh, refresh doesn't sound like a heavy lift, but in the competitive marketing place, response time is everything," he said. "We feel that this technology will help us close more and get leads that weren't followed up on in a timely manner."
For CBC, that means narrowing the close rate from one in five to the goal of one in every three or four now that Shuttle is on board, Aiello said.
Forms simplify sales lead tracking
Deployed on Salesforce's API, Shuttle enables digital marketers to collect, distribute and track sales leads to Salesforce, Pardot, Slack, email and other platforms using analytics and logic-based routing, said Jon Robinson, president of Lunar.
On the back end, Shuttle's drag-and-drop form builder makes it easier to onboard new vendors and create branded interfaces without having to rewrite code or hire developers, he said. And mishandled or misrouted pieces of data trigger error warnings and are stored until they complete their journey.
Mike Aiellodirector of sales operations, CBC Settlement Funding
Robinson said his team considers Shuttle the world's smartest form. Other form builders collect information from websites but miss tons of benefits, he said, like tracking detailed information from visitors and combining that with referring URLs and pages visited. Shuttle replaces a product like Gravity Forms, adds behavior tracking similar to Google Analytics and lead-routing capabilities similar to platforms like Lead Capsule.
Can you track sales leads without Shuttle? Sure, Robinson said, but you'll wind up with a fragmented system that requires more custom forms and logic coding than you probably want.
"We fuse it all together in one easy-to-use application, and you don't need a developer on hand," he said.
Lunar is a division of Launch That, a digital marketing agency that developed the technology behind Shuttle four years ago. About a year ago, the company moved ahead with Shuttle and created Lunar and its Salesforce consulting service.
Robinson stopped short of citing growth projections, but he said "anyone with a website is a potential customer [for Lunar's Shuttle]."
"We have many different marketing campaigns ... for people to contact us and figure out a financial solution," Aiello said. "Real-time information and follow-up is super important."
Centralized lead workflow controls funnel
A lot of CBC's marketing vendors were using their own setups to relay and track sales leads, sometimes mismatching or losing data before it reached CBC. Shuttle helped centralize that workflow into one hub with one dashboard. Instead of pushing all leads into Salesforce, the new software enables customized funneling.
"Salesforce has an app to fire off an email or do templates but couldn't accommodate an email drift campaign to reach out and nurture leads over three to five days until a deal is potentially closed," Aiello said. "We needed a little more."
But fear not, Robinson said, automation doesn't remove people from a high-touch business like sales. Rather, it reassigns tasks that don't necessarily fall into a sales rep's core competencies.
"They're the ones who should be talking with people and closing sales, not sending emails," he said.
This was also a relief to the majority of the reps Aiello had initial conversations with. "They want to be free to sell and do what they do best. It's one less thing to worry about."