As you and your team handle the leads that flow into your Com Portal, you'll eventually reach a position where you've done everything you can for a specific lead, and it's time to mark the engagement as complete. This article explains how to do that by "closing leads" in the Com Portal—including when to do it, how to do it, and what to know first.
Whenever we say "close a lead," what we really mean is closing a specific lead engagement. You are not blocking off the lead forever or deleting it from your database. You will retain the lead's contact information and conversation transcripts, and you can always reach out to them in the future.
When Should I Close a Lead?
There are several situations in which it makes sense to close a lead engagement:
- You've nurtured the lead, made the sale, and completed the job—and you've requested your review through the Com Portal. There is nothing left to do with the job.
- You've communicated with the lead and maybe even met for a consultation or quote, but the lead has ultimately declined your services. Perhaps you've gently followed up a couple of times, but it is clear that the relationship is over, at least for now.
- The lead has opted out of your SMS or email messages and/or has specifically asked to no longer be contacted by your representatives.
Note that the Com Portal will automatically close a chat engagement if the customer closes the chat window from the front end of your website.
Questions to Ask Before Closing a Lead
Not sure if it's time to close the lead? The Com Portal is primarily a communication tool, so a great way to know whether you should close a lead is to ask yourself questions like these:
- Do I intend to communicate with this lead in the near future?
- Is there anything else I can send by text or email that will help nudge this lead closer to making an appointment or a purchase?
- Is there any outstanding information that I need to provide regarding products, services, warranties, customer service, etc?
- Is the lead open to receiving communication from us?
If the answer to these questions is "no," then it's probably time to close the lead. Before you close it, be sure to request a review if you want to!
From the Com Portal's point of view, closing a lead does not necessarily mean that you've received a favorable outcome or made a sale. It simply means that you've completed the communication. If your company intends to use "closing" as a sales performance metric, then you'll need to make sure that you've established some kind of internal criteria for marking a lead as closed or not.
How to Close a Lead in the Com Portal
Closing a lead is very easy and takes no more than a couple of clicks.
1. Click the Blue Checkmark
Find the lead activity that you'd like to close. (Use our Com Portal searching tips for help, if you need it.) Once you've located the lead, click the blue checkmark in the upper righthand corner.
2. Confirm Your Action
A popup box will appear next, asking whether you really want to close the lead. If you're sure you do, then click the button for "Close Inquiry."
You cannot undo closing a lead, so make sure that you really do want to close the conversation before clicking this button!
What Happens When You Close a Lead?
Before you close a lead, it's both helpful and important to understand what exactly this action means. In practical terms, closing a lead causes a few things to happen automatically.
1. The Lead May Receive an Automated Notification
If you are communicating by email, then the lead will receive an automated notification regarding the closing of the conversation. This is automatic, and you don't have to do anything—we're just letting you know for your own informational purposes.
Even after you've closed the conversation, the lead can still reply, and the reply will still flow into the Com Portal. The only difference is that the reply will be categorized into a new activity thread. (View the screenshot below for more detail.)
As you can see below, the lead's email reply has been placed in a new activity thread. You can view the Contact Activity panel to see the entire chain of events: when you started the email conversation, when you closed the conversation, and when the lead (Andrea) started a new email.
2. The Lead Moves to the "Closed" Bucket
As soon as you've closed a lead, it will move from its current bucket into the "Closed" bucket. As shown in the screenshot below, you can identify a closed lead not only because it is in the Closed bucket, but also because the formerly blue checkbox is now grayed out and deactivated.
The Closed bucket is global, meaning that any PSAI user who has access to view a lead can still view the lead after it has been closed. To learn more about setting your PSAI users' access levels, check out our related resources on adding new users and creating custom user roles.
3. Communication in the Activity Thread Is Disabled
Once you have closed a lead, that specific activity thread is deactivated and future communications within this specific activity thread are disabled. You can no longer type into the message field or click "Send" at the bottom, as these actions are grayed out.
However, you can still reach out to this lead and initiate a new conversation!
How Can I Communicate with a "Closed" Lead?
Even after you've closed a lead engagement, that lead will be retained in your Com Portal—which means that you can initiate a new SMS or email conversation at any time. There are two easy ways to do this.
1. Click the Email or SMS Icon
If you're already on the lead's page (even if it's been closed), simply click the email or SMS icons at the top of the dialogue box to start a new conversation.
2. Click the Pencil Icon
You can also write a new message to any lead at any time (even closed leads) by clicking the little pencil icon from any screen in the Com Portal. This allows you to search for a lead, write a new email or SMS, and then immediately send it.
Because the lead's original activity thread has been closed, any new conversation with the lead will be moved into a new activity thread.
For more tips and information on initiating conversations through the Com Portal, check out our related resources:
- Overview of Sending and Receiving SMS Messages
- How to Send an SMS Message to an Existing Lead
- Communicating with Leads in the Com Portal
More Resources on Using the Com Portal
This article is the last in a series on understanding and using your Com Portal. Coming soon will be the rest of the series with many more tips, explanations, and best practices: