Generating leads for your SMB clients is the bread and butter of most marketing agencies that work with small businesses. Whether lead generation is a component of your web development services, social media strategy, or PPC campaigns, it’s a way for marketing agencies to provide concrete value to SMB clients.

The problem for many agencies is that simply delivering leads isn’t enough. Small businesses don’t always have the capacity to respond to leads on time or do what it takes to convert leads into customers. When they don’t, the leads, and therefore your services, have less value to your SMB clients and they’re less likely to stay with your agency in the long term.

That’s why it’s critical for marketing agencies to offer support for SMBs through all sales funnel stages and provide tools that help SMBs convert leads into customers. We’ve put together some tips to help you get started.

Serve the lead in an app

The biggest challenge is making it as easy as possible for your client to respond to leads.  Leads may come in while they’re in the middle of another job or on the go, and simply don’t have the capacity to sit down and write an email. Serving leads in an action-ready environment like an app, where it’s easy to respond or send a quote, is the best way to overcome that challenge.

Help SMBs retain leads

For SMBs, retention is often about creating a personal connection with clients and customers, finding ways to make them feel special rather than like another face in the crowd. The problem is that most SMB staff can’t really remember every customer they’ve ever served. Plus, not every SMB is a one-person show and different employees may interact with the same client over time.

SMBs need help managing their records and tracking their existing customers so they can personalize their communication and create that sense of familiarity that customers love. It’s also important for managing leads—nothing feels more impersonal than sending a returning customer a message designed for new customers.

Offering your SMB clients a simple CRM solution can help. Many SMBs are overwhelmed by enterprise CRMs, so it’s important to offer them a CRM designed especially for the unique needs of small businesses. With the right CRM, it will be easier for them to track leads and customers through all sales funnel stages. A user-friendly SMB CRM can also help your clients track pending payments from returning customers.

Give them tools that’ll help convert leads into customers

Leads don’t equal money, and as a marketing agency, you’re a cost for an SMB, often one that they can ill afford. If your SMB clients can’t convert leads into customers and payments in their bank account, they’re going to start asking themselves whether working with you is the right choice. A recent vcita survey showed that 67% of the small businesses that outsourced marketing services in the past year switched providers within six months or less and most switched because they didn’t see revenue-driving results. So being able to show the value you provide is imperative for your agency’s success.

The best way to convince them of your value is by giving them tools that help them convert the leads you deliver into paying business, starting with things like customer segmentation and email nurturing campaigns for new leads. In fact, according to the SBA, the adoption of new technology increases the likelihood of the SMB to survive and thrive. And 76% of SMBs that adopted new technology said they did so in order to increase customer satisfaction.

Pave the way for them to convert leads into customers into money in the bank. When you’re accountable for the money that comes into their bank account, it’s easier for your agency to prove ROI at the end of the month.

Travel the funnel with them

Running a small business can be a lonely endeavor, which is why it’s so important for your clients to feel like you’re their partner, not just a simple service provider. That goes for lead gen too. Don’t just pass off the leads, stay at their side through all sales funnel stages.

When you can show them the entire funnel, from lead to customer to money in the bank, it’s easier to show them the immediate ROI of your services.

Help your SMBs respond to leads on time

Let’s say that one of your clients is a plumber. A potential customer has a leak, does a quick online search for local plumbers, clicks on a search ad you created, and submits the lead gen form you embedded on your client’s landing page. Boom.

The problem is that the lead isn’t going to wait around for the leak to become a flood. If your plumber client doesn’t get back to them right away, they’ll move on to the next name that came up in the search results.

You have to send those leads to your client in real time, in a format they can’t miss, otherwise, the leads simply won’t be relevant by the time your client gets around to them. Emails won’t do the trick—you need something prominent like a text or a push notification on their phone that’s sure to get their attention. That way they can respond to leads when it matters and secure the business, which will demonstrate your value to them.

Expand your digital portfolio

Adding relevant digital tools to your solution portfolio can give your SMB clients the 360 support they need and show the fruits of your lead-gen efforts. A business management platform can serve agencies and their small business clients to help capture, nurture, and convert leads to loyal customers with features like:

  • In-app push notifications that ensure your clients never miss a new lead.
  • Lead-capture and scheduling forms that easily integrate with your client’s websites
  • An SMB-focused CRM that lets your clients send quotes and messages in a click, segment clients, and differentiate between new leads and returning customers.
  • Email marketing tools to help them nurture new leads and convert leads into customers.
  • An easy-to-use payment management, scheduling and reporting system.

Seamlessly expand your services from lead generation to conversion and offer more value to your clients with platforms like inTandem by vcita.