5 Strategies for Call-Based Lead Generation & Management (Based on 110+ Expert Respondents)

Author's avatar Sales UPDATED Jun 27, 2024 PUBLISHED Jun 27, 2024 23 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    How effective are your call-based lead generation strategies? Are they falling short of expectations? How can you improve your approach to convert more leads into customers?

    When it comes to lead generation, calls are still one of the most powerful ways to connect with potential clients – but managing these calls effectively and turning them into productive conversations requires a more nuanced approach.

    From reaching the right decision-makers to maintaining an organized follow-up system, the process can be daunting.

    So, what are some of the best practices to streamline your call-based lead generation and management strategies?

    To find out, we partnered with CallRail and surveyed over a hundred industry experts. Our goal was to uncover the most effective strategies businesses are using right now and to provide actionable insights you can implement in your own lead generation efforts.

    We gathered a wealth of valuable information on what works, from initial contact to closing the deal, and how you can optimize your call-based strategies for maximum impact.

    Let’s get into our findings below:

    Important Survey Takeaways

    For this report, we partnered up with CallRail and surveyed 119 companies since December 2023 – and the survey is still open. Out of these 119 respondents, 97 of them were agencies.

    Now, these agencies that took the survey (97 in total) reported currently serving over 10 clients with a high volume of call-based leads.

    Chart with data on the number of clients with a high volume of call leads

    How are they sourcing these call-based leads?

    Most survey respondents source their call-based leads through organic inquiries from marketing campaigns (68.52%), and social media and online platforms (59.26%).

    Chart with data on channels for sourcing call leads

    When it comes to the importance of metrics when evaluating the success of the call-based lead strategies, our respondents selected conversion rate as the most important metric.

    Chart with data on the importance of call lead metrics

    Now, talking to call-based leads doesn’t come without its challenges.

    Over 70% of respondents said that the most common challenges they face with call-based leads are lead quality and relevance.

    Chart with data on the most common challenges with call-based leads

    As for properly managing larger volumes of call-based leads, there are different types of technology that companies can turn to for help.

    Most companies in our research selected call recording and monitoring tools as the most effective in managing and optimizing large volumes of call-based leads. 

    Approximately one-third of the respondents haven’t tried utilizing AI for lead qualification. Worth noting, about 25% of the surveyed companies haven’t tried scripted calling approaches.

    Chart with data on tools for managing call leads

    When it comes to the most effective strategies for handling high volumes of call-based leads, our respondents put integration of multi-channel marketing strategies at the top of the list, followed closely by personalized call interactions.

    Chart with data on strategies for handling high volumes of call leads

    What about the tools for tracking and analyzing phone calls?

    Our research has shown that when it comes to tools that companies primarily use to track and analyze phone calls generated by their marketing efforts, almost half of the respondents opted for CallRail.

    If you’re also a company that relies on call-based lead generation, you can join our exclusive CallRail Benchmark Group for free. All you have to do is share your own data (100% anonymous for everyone) and check out instantly how others are performing.

    And if you want additional insights beyond call-based lead gen, you can use Benchmark Groups to find other relevant cohorts for all major areas of your business – from accounting and finance to marketing and sales.

    CallRail Benchmarks Group

    We’ve covered some of our most important stat takeaways from the research, so let’s check out some benchmark data from our tool that we prepared next.

    Let’s start with the total number of calls companies are reporting.

    According to data from Benchmark Group CallRail’s Benchmarks, the total number of calls companies had in April 2024 was 286 (median, 131 contributors). However, the results for the top performers are more than two times better—694 calls (also median).

    CallRail benchmarks: total calls

    The average duration of calls stands at a median of 2m48s, with top performers seeing an additional minute in their call duration at 3m49s. However, it’s worth noting that this metric can vary depending on the industry.

    CallRail benchmarks: average duration

    Want more call-based lead gen benchmarks like these to compare your performance with? Join our exclusive CallRail Benchmark Group for free and see how you stack up against competitors.

    5 Strategies for Call-Based Lead Generation and Management

    Companies have a wealth of strategies at their disposal to optimize call-based lead generation and management. These include personalized cold call scripts, effective follow-up strategies, and robust call tracking and analytics.

    But which of these strategies is a real needle-mover and can actually make a difference in your success rate?

    Below, we’ll check out which strategies our respondents use to successfully generate leads through calls:

    1. Personalized Post-Call Follow-Up System
    2. Using Call-Tracking Software
    3. Adding Targeted CTA Buttons on Landing Pages
    4. Leveraging Call Extensions
    5. AI Conversation Intelligence

    1. Personalized Post-Call Follow-Up System

    Ever had a great chat with a potential customer, only for them to disappear afterward?

    A personalized post-call follow-up system might be a good strategy to try and fix that.

    This system shows prospects that you’re not just another sales call—they matter to you. It builds trust and makes them more likely to stick around. Plus, it sets you apart from competitors who send boring, generic follow-ups.

    Guillaume Drew of Or & Zon is one of our respondents who talked in detail about this strategy and the success he had with it:

    “Initially, our call-based leads had moderate conversion rates, but we felt we could do better. So we analyzed our customer interactions and identified that adding a personalized touch could enhance the customer journey. We revised our strategy by creating a system where every call with a potential customer was followed up with a personalized email within an hour. This email contained details discussed on the call, additional information about the products they showed interest in, and sometimes a special one-time offer to nudge them towards a purchase.

    Additionally, we introduced a CRM tool that gave us insights into the customer’s previous interactions with our brand, enabling the call representative to have a more informed and personalized conversation. This change leveraged the knowledge we had about our customers to make them feel valued and understood. The results were outstanding. We saw a 35% increase in conversion rates from call-based leads and a notable improvement in customer satisfaction scores.

    From this experience, I learned that in the luxury market, customers expect a high level of personalization and attention to detail. By integrating this understanding into our lead follow-up process, we were able to significantly improve our lead conversion rates while also enhancing our overall customer experience.”

    PRO TIP: Understanding the context of a call can significantly boost your conversion rates. By identifying the keyword, landing page, or campaign that triggered the call (often possible through tolls with automated call tracking and transcription like CallRail), you can tailor your follow-up emails and conversations to the caller’s specific needs.

    2. Using Call-Tracking Software

    Using call-tracking technology allows businesses to monitor, record, and analyze phone calls to gain valuable insights into customer interactions and improve sales strategies.

    Usually, call-tracking software will provide detailed data on call sources, durations, and outcomes, enabling businesses to identify which marketing efforts drive the most calls and conversions.

    You can even use the recorded calls for training purposes to ensure that your sales teams continually improve their techniques.

    Sergey Taver of Precision Watches says, “using call-tracking software has significantly improved our phone lead results.”

    “By tagging each campaign with unique phone numbers, we were able to trace back the most successful campaigns and adjust our marketing efforts accordingly. This strategy helped us optimize our advertising spend and focus more on high-performing channels. From this experience, I’ve learned the importance of data-driven decision-making in marketing, as it allows for more targeted and efficient campaigns.”

    Sturgeon Christie of Second Skin Audio also implemented call software “that provides live feedback on caller sentiment and keyword usage, enabling our sales team to adjust their strategies on the fly.”

    He says that “this adjustment resulted in a 30% increase in conversions as our responses became more tailored and effective. The key lesson here was the power of adaptability in communication, which directly influenced our sales outcomes.”

    PRO TIP: Is Salesforce one of the software in your toolkit that you use to monitor and track leads as they move through the pipeline? If so, you may be one of the many users who have a tough time navigating through the interface and segmenting the important data. To make things easier, you can download our free Salesforce Leads Dashboard and compile everything you need into one dashboard.

    Call leads: Salesforce Leads Dashboard

    3. Adding Targeted CTA Buttons on Landing Pages

    Targeted CTA buttons effectively guide visitors towards taking specific actions – in this case, calling your business or scheduling a call with one of your sales reps.

    If you can properly tailor these buttons to the visitor’s needs and the content of the landing page, you increase the chances of engagement and conversions.

    David Reid of VEM Tooling shares his success with using this strategy:

    “Putting targeted call-to-action buttons on our website and landing pages was one tactic that greatly enhanced the results of call-based leads. Within the first month, we witnessed a thirty percent boost in the amount of incoming calls by prominently displaying phone numbers and urging people to contact us for additional information. This tactic emphasized the value of making it simple for prospective clients to get in touch with us directly, which would increase the number of qualifying leads and conversion rates.”

    PRO TIP: Try tailoring CTAs with specific numbers that correspond to different greetings, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) menu steps, and even direct connections to sales or service teams. This personalizes the calling experience, streamlining the customer journey towards their desired outcome.

    4. Leveraging Call Extensions

    If you’re using Google Ads and Google Business Profile, are you taking advantage of call extensions?

    Adding a phone number directly to your Google Ads and Google Business Profile lets potential customers contact your business with a single click. This can significantly increase your conversion rates, especially for users on mobile devices who prefer calling over filling out forms.

    Google Ads also provides detailed reporting on call extensions, allowing you to track the performance of your calls. You can measure metrics such as call duration, call start time, call conversion rates, and more.

    Evgeny Redjebov of Marketify Inc. shared that his team primarily uses Google Ads for phone call lead generation and “one strategy that tends to have tremendous impact is the usage of call extensions.”

    “We discovered that using those extensions will always result in more phone calls. However, for some businesses, those are going to be very low-quality callers. The conclusion was that it’s very important to analyze the audience and vertical, and only use this tactic if the customers are in immediate need. We’ve adopted CallRail, as well as developed a system for a full and detailed feedback loop, from the first marketing click all the way to a closed deal. It helped our agency get a better understanding of what works, and why, and thus improved the efficiency of our campaigns across the board.”

    5. AI Conversation Intelligence

    Our partners at CallRail offer an AI-based Conversation Intelligence tool that’s designed to enhance call-based lead generation by using artificial intelligence to analyze and extract actionable insights from phone conversations.

    Some of the key functionalities include:

    • Automated call transcriptions: The feature automatically transcribes phone calls, providing you with easy review and analysis of conversations without having to listen to the entire call.
    • Keyword spotting: AI identifies and highlights specific keywords used during calls, helping businesses understand customer intent, identify common queries, and detect potential sales opportunities.
    • Sentiment analysis: The AI analyzes the tone and sentiment of the conversation, providing insights into customer satisfaction and the effectiveness of the sales approach.
    • Call scoring: Calls are automatically scored based on predefined criteria, such as lead quality, customer engagement, and call handling performance. This helps sales managers quickly identify high-quality leads and provide targeted feedback to their teams.

    Many businesses have been leveraging this tool to streamline their call-based lead gen strategies and Cody Prentice of Elevate DDS went into detail on his experience:

    “We’ve been utilizing CallRail’s AI Conversation Intelligence very recently and just shifted our Google Ads conversion over to ROAS and optimizing for conversion values. Utilizing CallRail’s conversation intelligence can be tricky with dental offices (our focus clients) because every conversation is different. However, we’ve started training our clients to utilize certain words/phrases when a caller has scheduled an in-office appointment. So now we break out our Google Ads conversions into multiple categories all starting with CallRail.

    We assign lower values to calls that last over 2 mins (no calls under 2 mins ever lead to an appointment). Then we assign larger values to qualified leads that have “scheduled” their appointment. This is a brand new strategy for us. So we’re going to continue to monitor how this affects our CPAs and (hopefully) increases lead quality!”

    And this isn’t the only functionality of CallRail that our respondents talked about in the report.

    Tony Mariotti of RubyHome also shared how he used CallRail to improve his call-based lead generation process:

    “One particular strategy that markedly improved our results with call-based leads involved integrating CallRail with our CRM to capture and analyze caller data more efficiently. This integration allowed us to better track the customer journey, leading to a significant increase in our lead conversion rates. The insights gained from this experience showed us the importance of data-driven decision-making in optimizing call performance and personalizing client interactions.”

    Tony Mariotti

    Tony Mariotti

    CEO at RubyHome

    Want to get highlighted in our next report? Become a contributor now

    PRO TIP: Are you also using CallRail for tracking your call-based lead generation? Here’s a free CallRail Overview Dashboard that you can use to track all of your most important call-based metrics in one place and monitor your progress and performance in real-time.

     CallRail Overview Dashboard for call leads

    Innovations and Changes in Call-Based Lead Strategies

    Call-based lead strategies are not static – what worked last week won’t necessarily work next month. That’s why businesses need to be on a constant lookout for innovations in the field to try and adapt their strategies to what’s currently working.

    We asked our respondents about the innovations and changes they implemented over the past year and here’s what they had to say:

    Build More Sophisticated Training Models for Sales Teams

    Sophisticated training models include more than basic sales techniques – they can also incorporate data-driven insights, advanced communication strategies, and tailored coaching.

    This approach ensures that sales representatives are well-prepared to handle different customer scenarios, which ultimately helps you increase your conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

    With the right skills and continuous improvement, your team will handle calls like pros.

    Sturgeon Christie of Second Skin Audio shares how their team boosted sales performance and confidence through data-driven training:

    “My team adopted more sophisticated training modules for our sales team that are directly linked to analytics from our call data. These training sessions are customized based on the trends we observe, ensuring that our team is always equipped with the best tactics to handle incoming leads. This has not only improved our team’s performance but also increased their confidence in handling complex customer interactions.”

    Sturgeon Christie

    Sturgeon Christie

    CEO at Second Skin Audio

    Want to get highlighted in our next report? Become a contributor now

    PRO TIP: Want to keep a close eye on your sales teams’ performance? Download our free HubSpot Sales Activity Dashboard to track exactly how each of your sales representatives is performing in real-time and instantly check out their individual metrics. You can place all of your reps’ metrics in one place.

     HubSpot Sales Activity Dashboard

    Implementing Personalized Follow-Ups

    Want to make your prospects feel special and increase your chances of sealing the deal? Then, you need to start implementing personalized follow-ups.

    Personalized follow-ups let your prospects know you care about their specific situation and are ready to offer solutions just for them. This extra attention makes them feel valued and more likely to stick with you.

    Roman Zrazhevskiy of MIRA Safety says that his team “emphasized personalized follow-ups, which have significantly boosted our outcomes.”

    “By utilizing detailed customer interaction histories, our team now tailors each call to address individual customer needs and preferences, moving beyond the one-size-fits-all script approach. This strategy leverages technology to analyze previous interactions and customer feedback, enabling a more informed and customized conversation. The results have been outstanding, with increased customer satisfaction and higher conversion rates. We’ve seen that when customers feel understood and valued, they are more likely to engage and convert.”

    Recording Calls and Conversations 

    Recording calls provides a wealth of information that can be used for multiple purposes.

    For starters, it allows managers to review interactions for quality assurance and identify areas for improvement. Sales teams can also use recordings to refine their techniques and strategies based on real customer feedback.

    What’s more, recorded calls serve as a reliable reference for resolving disputes and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

    Irene Graham of Spylix says that her team started recording calls to “get better at handling leads.”

    “A team member once employed a novel tactic during a call, which piqued the interest of the leads. We discovered that taking calls can assist us in determining what functions well and what doesn’t.”

    Use an AI-Powered Virtual Assistant

    AI virtual assistants are always on—24/7—and ready to respond instantly.

    They can manage routine questions, qualify leads, and even set up follow-up calls or appointments. This means your human sales reps can focus on the tougher stuff, knowing that no lead is slipping through the cracks.

    This way, your sales team can focus on closing deals, while the assistant handles the initial grunt work.

    Roger Fernandes of Artistic Stone is one of the respondents who talked about implementing an AI-powered virtual assistant and how it impacted his business:

    “In the past year, we implemented an AI-powered virtual assistant to handle initial inquiries from call-based leads. This innovation improved response times and provided immediate assistance to callers, increasing lead engagement. Additionally, we introduced dynamic call routing based on predictive analytics, ensuring that leads were connected with the most relevant sales representatives.

    These changes streamlined our lead management process, reducing wait times and improving lead qualification. As a result, we saw a significant increase in conversion rates and overall sales effectiveness. The combination of AI-driven assistance and predictive call routing enhanced the customer experience and maximized the impact of our call-based lead strategies.”

    Use Customized Scripting Based on Client Profiles

    Customized scripting allows sales representatives to engage more meaningfully with prospects by addressing their unique pain points and interests.

    This personalization increases the relevance of the conversation, which can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates, and it also helps build trust and rapport.

    Moreover, tailored scripts enable sales teams to anticipate potential objections more effectively and then address them accordingly.

    Derrick Hathaway of VEM Medical says that his business implemented customized scripting based on client profiles “in order to better engage with leads and meet their unique needs.”

    “We also instituted real-time call monitoring and feedback sessions to offer our team members prompt assistance and direction.”

    Leveraging Cloud-Based Call Management Systems

    Cloud-based call management systems offer numerous benefits, including better scalability, accessibility, and integration with other business tools.

    These systems provide real-time data and analytics, which helps your business to track and optimize call performance effectively.

    Furthermore, they support seamless collaboration among team members, regardless of their location, making sure you have consistent and high-quality customer interactions.

    Bert Hofhuis of Every Investors says that they recently started using cloud-based call management systems and that “this innovation allows us to access caller information instantly, leading to personalized interactions and a smoother customer journey. As a result, our team can deliver tailored solutions promptly, significantly boosting our lead conversion rates.”

    Future of Call Leads Generation: Key Trends and Advancements

    So far, we’ve covered some of the strategies and innovations that our expert respondents are using right now successfully – but what can we expect in the future of call lead generation?

    Are there any specific trends and advancements that we should keep an eye on going forward?

    We asked our respondents this question and here’s what future trends they’re paying attention to:

    Integration of Internet of Things (IoT) Technology

    Internet of Things (IoT) technology gives you real-time data straight from your customers’ devices. This means you can see what they’re into, how they behave, and what they need—all without asking them a single question.

    While there’s still work to be done in this area, integrating IoT tech successfully will mean that you’ll know your customers’ preferences and behaviors in real-time, so your messages are always relevant and timely.

    Pierce Hogan of Varied Lands says that “looking ahead, I believe the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technology will significantly impact the management of call-based leads.”

    “With IoT, devices could automatically initiate service calls or maintenance checks, streamlining lead generation and providing a proactive service approach that pre-empts issues before they escalate.”

    Omnichannel Strategies That Link Calls with Other Communication Forms

    Omnichannel strategies let you meet your customers on their turf—whether they prefer chatting on the phone, sending emails, or spending time on social media. This way, your communication is always on point and personalized.

    Omnichannel strategies that integrate calls with other forms of communication, like email and social media, are revolutionizing lead generation. They provide a comprehensive customer experience, increasing engagement, satisfaction, and conversion rates.

    Sam Browne of Findaband thinks that this trend is one worth following:

    “I foresee the adoption of omnichannel strategies that link calls with other communication forms like email and social media will become more prevalent. This holistic view of customer interactions will ensure a seamless experience for clients, fostering better relationships and potentially higher conversion rates.”

    AI Technology and Machine Learning

    AI Technology and machine learning are revolutionizing call-based lead generation by providing advanced predictive analytics, improving call management, and streamlining customer experiences.

    These technologies offer detailed insights into caller behavior and the potential of a phone call leading to a sale, transforming how businesses manage and generate leads.

    They also allow businesses to analyze vast amounts of data to predict customer behavior and identify high-potential leads. This predictive capability allows for more targeted and efficient lead generation strategies.

    Kartik Ahuja of Kartik Ahuja says that “AI and machine learning will pose a game changer in call-based lead generation since they usher new knowledge about caller behavior and the likelihood of a phone call leading to a sale. Besides that, the incorporation of voice recognition technology and virtual assistants will facilitate the call management routine leading an increase in productivity and customer experience.”

    Arum Karunianti of Voissee also says that “the future of call-based lead generation and management will be shaped by AI-driven personalization and predictive analytics.”

    “Businesses will leverage AI to personalize call experiences based on lead preferences, integrate calls with other channels seamlessly, predict lead behavior, enhance voice interactions, and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations. These advancements will enable more effective lead engagement, conversion, and overall customer satisfaction in an increasingly digital and regulated landscape.”

    Daniel Lynch of Empathy First Media agrees and adds that “in the age of privacy, it is becoming ever more difficult to truly trust the reporting and analytics of certain interactions such as a website visitor using a privacy browser will not accurately be reporting. The use of AI to help identify the lead source is crucial such as the self-attribution report in CallRail.”

    Stay On Top of Your Call-Based Lead Generation Efforts with Databox

    Generating and managing leads through calls can seem daunting, but it’s far from impossible with the right strategies.

    These insights, collected from over a hundred experts, highlight the most effective tactics for transforming your call-based lead generation efforts.

    But there’s one important question—how can you ensure these strategies work as effectively for you as they do for others in your industry?

    This is where Databox comes into play.

    With Databox Benchmark Groups, you gain immediate access to real-time insights into how your lead generation and management performance stacks up against your peers. Whether it’s call conversion rates, lead qualification metrics, or follow-up effectiveness, you’ll have the data needed to pinpoint areas for improvement and celebrate your successes.

    Moreover, you get access to Databox Dashboards which offer a comprehensive way to visualize your most crucial metrics all in one place. By organizing your data into captivating visuals, you can easily track progress and fine-tune your strategies to ensure you’re always at the top of your game.

    Are you ready to improve your call-based lead generation and management?

    Join a Benchmark Group today to see how you compare, and start leveraging these powerful tools to drive your business forward. The insights you need to succeed are just a free trial away.

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    Filip Stojanovic

    Filip Stojanovic is a content writer who studies Business and Political Sciences. Also, I am a huge tennis enthusiast. Although my dream is to win a Grand Slam, working as a content writer is also interesting.

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