If you haven’t heard, following up with an inbound lead immediately after they raise their hand vastly increases your chances of success.

Imagine yourself walking into a car dealership, telling a salesman that you’re interested in a new car and him responding:

“Awesome, thanks for your interest. I’ll call you in about 2 days and we can chat then.”

...wait what? 2 days?!


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Studies show that the average response time for leads is 42 hours and also claim that your chances of getting in touch with a lead are 100x greater when you try to contact them within the first 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.


Anyways, you get my point.

Lead response time is generally poor and if you don’t follow up in the first five minutes, then you might as well kiss your lead goodbye.

This represents a great opportunity for those uber-responsive sales teams who are looking to gain an advantage over their competitors, especially considering that 35–50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

For this reason, it’s not surprising that a lot of companies have started to build teams entirely dedicated to monitoring inbound leads and responding to them immediately.

But here at Troops, we don’t have anyone solely dedicated to this function. We’re a small, yet growing team where everyone wears multiple hats.

Given how critical lead follow-up is, we wanted to figure out an efficient way to make sure that we respond to leads in real-time.

Our ideal process would accomplish a few different things.


In a Perfect World…

  1. We would be able to immediately identify who new leads are
  2. These leads would automatically be added to our CRM when they sign up
  3. Our team would be able to see who’s supposed to follow up with the lead
  4. We‘d have some sort of accountability to this process so that no one falls through the cracks

To achieve this perfect lead world (leads for all!), we knew we needed a system that we’d actually use that also didn’t create too much unnecessary process. In our startup world, things move quick and there’s no time for busy work.


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So we went to the drawing board

...and what we found was that we spend a lot of time in Slack (we are building a Slackbot after all ). For our team, it’s the easiest place to be notified of something that requires immediate attention. So ideally, we wanted our process to be facilitated through Slack.

We then spent some time drawing out different workflows with various tools that required zero engineering resources and ended up with a process facilitated through Slack, using Clearbit, Zapier, & Troops.

As our CEO Dan always says:

There's no better way to understand your customers than by eating your own dog food

(Although I try to imagine this more as an In-N-Out burger than some Purina)

Anyways, after some serious whiteboarding, it was time to carry out the plan.


Immediately Identifying New Leads

Whenever a new user signs up for Troops, they enter their email on our website. We’re all about frictionless sign-up, so we don’t collect anything else besides email.


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When reaching out to these leads, we wanted to have context that isn't always easily discerned from an email address alone.

Specifically, we wanted to understand who the user works for and their role at the company.

Enter Clearbit...which analyzes email addresses and appends additional data associated with them. With just a single line of code on your front-end website, Clearbit can capture and enrich your leads' email addresses with company info, title, social context and more.  

Because they have a handy integration with Slack, Clearbit takes Erlich’s email address and pumps in data on him to our #customers channel in Slack.



And now, we can have conversations around important leads using Slack threads.

Getting These Leads Automatically into Our CRM

We needed Erlich’s record to get created immediately into our CRM because we wanted the ability to track and log activities against his record. This helps you understand if you're already talking to someone at Pied Piper or whether your team followed up accordingly.

To do this, we implemented Zapier, which lets you create automated tasks (Zaps) between different business systems. 

The Zap we created gets triggered when a new email address is entered on our website, which gets collected in our database. Zapier then automatically creates a Salesforce record for the new user.

But we understand that different orgs have different ways of automating record creation, so feel free to substitute your own process here. 




Ownership of Follow-up

In our case, a majority of our leads come from existing accounts. Because we don’t want to engage a lead if we're already talking to someone else at the same company, we used Troops’ Search, which lets you find and view Salesforce records in Slack. 

Think of this as your Salesforce search bar living in Slack.

Specific things we look for when new leads come in includes who owns the account and if there has been any activity on it.


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And yes, you're able to customize which Salesforce fields you would like to show, like his phone number, contact status & lead source.

From here, we’re now armed with all the info we need to appropriately follow up with Erlich


Great, but Are People Actually Following-up?

Now you might be thinking, “OK Dan, this is cool and all that I can get insights into new leads, but how do I make sure my team actually follows up with them?”

Ahh, I thought you'd never ask...

What we did was create a report in Salesforce that shows new leads that have not been followed up with in the past 24 hours and emailed it out to the team.

But something was still missing...


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Because we use email mainly for external communication and Slack for internal communication, as you might too, emailing this report didn’t go with the flow of how we operate. We wanted to surface this report in Slack so that we could have a conversation around the report and hold each other accountable if someone wasn’t following up.

Enter Troops’ Reports...which brings your existing Salesforce reports into Slack. You're then able to schedule these reports to be sent to any Slack channels. 

For us, we scheduled our no-follow-up report to be sent to our #customers channel at the end of every day. This drove daily accountability for the whole team as you didn't want your name to appear on that report EOD.

And if you want to look at this report throughout the day, you're able to pull it up on-demand by using a slash command, similar to Troops’ Search (or /giphy as I'm sure you're familiar with).


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Why This Can Be Impactful for You Too

After 30 days of running this process, we’ve seen that our team is following up with the speed + consistency that’s required and hope that you can achieve the same.

If you don’t have...

immediate insights into who your lead is

a way to view Salesforce records or reports in Slack

unlimited engineering resources

an efficient and accountable process around lead follow up

...implementing a similar process to the one outlined above can lead to quick and impactful wins, like engaging with your leads before your competitors have the chance. 

How does your team stay on top of following up with leads in a timely manner?

Is Slack or any other tools a key part of your process?

If you have any additional questions on how this can work for you, feel free to shoot me a note or reply in the comments below ✌️


Scott Britton

Written by Scott Britton

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