It is a call to arms that can be heard from CEOs to startup entrepreneurs. “We Need More Leads!” No one would argue that more visitors equal a better bottom line. That’s the whole point of marketing, after all! But, what would be the point of throwing a party that thousands attend, but no one is dancing or eating? That is not a successful event by any assessment. The same metaphor applies to your business. It’s great to have lots of followers and visitors, but if they’re not buying, you need to see why. And fast—before they leave! Today we will discuss five main tips for converting those leads into sales.
Tip #1: Get Them To “Space In”
You get six seconds to grab visitors’ attention. Use it wisely, before they go off looking for your competition. They’re guests—so offer them something! Show them you understand they have a problem and you have a solution. Offer an e-book or a white paper that shows you understand their needs and have the expertise to help them. You can also show them an infographic or a checklist that addresses their concerns. We have great inbound marketing tips and ideas to follow up with on our blog if you’d like. There is, of course, nothing wrong with getting creative with your “get them in the door” offers. Just don’t ask for too much in return. A name and e-mail address should be all the info you need to follow up. Don’t make the mistake of wanting to hear someone’s whole life story. It’s the first date—don’t scare the person off!
Tip # 2: Keep Score
Entrepreneurs, as sweet and Pollyanna-like as they may be, often need a bucket challenge of a reality check. Operating on emotion can have devastating consequences for any business. Just like dieters need a scale to track their fitness goals, there are tools to measure a company’s effectiveness. Customer relationship management systems (CRMs) offer services and software for businesses that can effectively track sales efforts and results. Arming yourself with clear purchasing ratios can be daunting and maybe a little disappointing at first, but keeping your eyes open is the only way to reach the endgame. This is, of course, the focused sales process.
Tip # 3: Following Up Is Following Through
It may seem like sound business logic or plain old common sense that following up on prospects directly leads to sales. Still, consider the following surprising revelations from Harvard Business Review’s lead response study:
*23% of the companies never responded at all.
*24% of the surveyed businesses took more than a day to respond.
*The average first response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours.
Reach out to clients that showed initial interest. This is just as important as getting the lead in the first place! Take a realistic look at your follow-up systems. If you don’t have one, get one! If it’s slow, speed it up!
Tip #4: Be a Good Listener.
The good old days of the hard sell are over. Stats show that consumers do extensive research before they choose where to navigate a purchase or sign up for a service. They often know as much about your company as your sales reps before they even make contact. Teach your sales staff to listen carefully to the customers’ issues. They don’t need you to list all the wonderful things they already know. How to apply your expertise to the problem they are trying to solve is what will take them from an interested party to an invested one. Train your team on solution-based sales techniques. One more time—Do Not Pitch. Then watch the sales filter in.
Tip #5: Watch Your Competitors
In a price sensitive market, evaluating your products or services against your competition is a crucial step that often gets missed. Comparison shopping is, after all, precisely what your customers will do. It’s important to be mindful of the price brackets within your specific market. Of course, the price is not everything—especially if you are in a service-based field. Some overseas manufacturing plants may turn out similar-looking products that are not as high in quality as those made in the U.S. Your sales team needs to be well versed in the reason your product has a higher price tag than your competitors. Honest answers and being prepared in advance for those questions create the loyal customer base you need.
Remember, always to funnel your focus. We’ve seen it time and time again. Businesses that stay ahead of the game and are aware of how they relate to their customer base, initiate interest and increase sales.
We are always here to help! If you have any questions for our team of marketing experts, feel free to reach out to us at any time!