Convert Leads into Customers
We have concluded our segment on how you can measure your lead generation performance, cost and channel metrics but as you know, while leads are great, it is the sales that make your business profitable. So, if you have been successfully measuring your lead generation channels and you now need help converting your leads into clients, we have the answers for you in our latest blog post!
One of the number one rules when converting leads to sales is to make sure you don’t keep your leads waiting! Make them feel important from the get-go, says, Eric Bower, “making your prospects feel like they have an exclusive membership in a club makes lead generation a positive customer experience.” This should start from the moment you get a lead. The level of interest drops significantly after the first hour and even further after a day, of course by that time they may have moved on to a competitor. As a result, it is important to set up an effective lead management system (which you can read more about here). Increasingly, companies are using customer service software so that they can keep up with the leads they generate.
Qualify the lead FIRST
This all depends on the lead you are qualifying, for example, a marketing qualified lead may constitute as the download of a white paper where as a sales qualified lead could be the requesting of a meeting. These are at various stages of the buying process or sales funnel so make sure that before you contact your lead, you know where what lead you are qualifying. This quote by Phil Fernandez somewhat explains this concept:
The offer determines to a large extent whether you can maintain a dialogue with a prospect rather than a series of episodes. The offer communicates your intention.”
Have a need for speed
This starts within the sales group structure. Ensure that there are systems in place within your sales team that are geared towards taking care of new leads. Some companies split the team in two - one side deals with new customers and the other already exsisting consumers. Other companies use a first come first serve basis using a work chat program - either way so long as the lead is taken care of quickly it doesn’t matter which way you go about it. The processes you create here will determine your sales success as well as how well your lead generation channel functions:
- How does the company make the first contact? Email or phone call?
- Who registers the data ?
- At what point do you classify it as a sale?
These all need to be determined beforehand so the system is effective and streamlined (you can also tell if it doesn’t work this way by monitoring your success and then changing it according to your results - you cannot measure something if the processes are not always the same).
Keep warming up your leads
The likelihood is that your leads may not buy what your selling from the very first time you call, so you will need to nurture these leads (which you can find out about here in another one of our blog posts). This can be through asking them to join your mailing list or by emailing them personally every other week or so to see if they would be interested. Customer care starts at the beginning and if your leads feel like you care, they are much more likely to convert into your customers.
Lastly, and once again keep track of what leads become customers and how it worked. Your sales pipeline or funnel has the answers and if you don’t know how to, you can find out how in our previous ebook. Using a CRM is one of the ways you can track your success in this particular area. If each person in the sales team updates the system, then it’s easier to gain a better understanding of what stage you are at in the sales funnel and where you may need to change your tactics. Again, analysis is key:
“Constant analysis is key in successful selling and when included as a best of practice and performed as a routine, many low producing sales months can be avoided.” – Steve Cunningham