You’ve implemented a lead generation strategy and it’s resulting in leads. You are getting leads by having people visit your website and filling out forms. Now what?
I’ve seen all nine seasons of The Office 19 times now, and I keep asking myself if it’s really worth it. What is the next step after a consumer has taken the first threshold?
Once your visitors have shown an interest in your brand, how do you turn them into customers? That process is called a lead conversion.
We’re going to explore how to develop a lead conversion strategy for your brand and how you can improve your current conversion rate.
What Is Lead Conversion?
The process of lead conversion is turning a lead into a customer. The process of selling and marketing a product or service includes everything from sales tactics to marketing materials. This process varies significantly between companies, although many of the principles involved remain the same.
Converting leads into customers is a joint marketing and sales process that involves using nurturing tactics like behavior automation, retargeting, and email nurturing. The two concepts are different in that lead generation is about turning visitors and prospects into leads, while lead nurturing is about developing relationships with those leads so that they eventually convert into customers.
A lead goes through several stages before becoming a customer. The company must determine if the lead is qualified, and if they are, they must then decide how to best nurture the lead until they are ready to buy. As a lead moves through the various stages of the sales funnel, they become increasingly qualified until they reach the point where they are ready to be passed off to sales. This means that brands need to take care of their leads at every stage and create opportunities for the leads to take action toward becoming customers.
How To Build a Lead Conversion Process
No two brands have the same process for converting leads, as each will build a path that is tailored to its own leads. Below you’ll find a few tips on creating a lead generation strategy for your own business.
Gather information on leads.
Use the data you have on your leads to help you build a strategy that aligns with their needs. This data may include their source, industry, company, employee size, and pain points.
I need to remember to trademark “leads’ needs” after I write this article. Now, back to the important stuff.
“You will waste a lot of time building out a conversion strategy that is not based around facts about your audience,” says Marwa Greaves, Director of Global Messaging at HubSpot. “Ask yourself where your leads are. Are your leads most engaged in your newsletter? Your website? On messaging channels? Make sure you are meeting your audience where they are and not asking them to bend to your strategies.”
“Another important element to consider is…” said Jordan Pritikin, the Head of Email and Growth Marketing at HubSpot.
“Understand why these leads are coming to your website in the first place. What is the underlying problem they are trying to solve?” says Pritikin. “If you can create email nurturing to help them solve that challenge, you’re much more likely to connect with them and convert them into a new customer.”
If you do not have that information, try to get it by using forms and user research. From there, you can design a tailored conversion process.
Identify high-intent behaviors in each stage.
When a lead expresses interest in purchasing a product, they are ready to make a purchase. What behaviors will the lead exhibit? knowing the answers to these questions is vital to understanding which potential customers are ready to buy and those who are not.
A lead who only reads your brand’s blog posts is not as interested in your product as a leader who visits your pricing page. If you send a lead that is not qualified to the sales team, they will have a difficult time closing the sale.
How do you avoid that? Work with your sales team to identify what behaviors signal low and high intent. When marketers know what behaviors to look for, they can specify what follow-up actions to take.
Use an SLA to align your sales and marketing teams.
If sales and marketing are not aligned, a lead conversion strategy will be very difficult to implement successfully. The two teams will need to agree on a cadence for handing off the work. That’s where service-level agreement (SLA) comes in.
The document is usually used to illustrate an understanding between a business and a customer. However, it’s also used by sales and marketing teams to improve their lead conversion strategy.
An internal service-level agreement (SLA) should include the goals, initiatives, and accountability measures for each team for a given time frame, such as Quarter 1 (Q1). This agreement will require updates on a regular basis as the business’ priorities change.
Build the lead conversion path.
Consider your lead conversion path as a guide that will take your leads to their purchase. This guide is like a trail of breadcrumbs that will show them the way. The path will include opportunities for users to convert, through offers and calls to action.
Lead Conversion Strategy Example
We will use Zion, a fictional UK SaaS company, as an example. An SLA has been created by Zion’s sales and marketing teams which includes the following: Marketing commits to sending 100 qualified leads to the sales team every month and the sales team commits to following up with those leads within a week of receiving them.
Both teams have also figured out what actions show that someone is interested in what is being offered, and have set up a system that awards points for taking those actions. For example, when a lead has a score of 95, they will automatically get an email inviting them to schedule a product demo with a sales representative.
The sales rep will be notified about the lead, their activity, and when to follow up, via a notification on the back end. If the lead does not take action within a certain time frame, an automated and personalized email will be sent on behalf of the sales rep.
An example of how Zion can improve its sales process by improve communication and collaboration between sales and marketing.
How To Calculate Lead Conversion
To calculate your lead conversion rate, divide your total number of conversions by your total number of leads and multiply by 100. That final number is your LCR.
From January to February, you generated 105 qualified leads. From those leads, 20 became customers. The formula will look like this: 20/105 x 100. This means that for every 100 leads, 19.04 were converted.
Average Lead Conversion Rates
There is no one-size-fits-all average lead conversion rate, because it varies depending on the industry and how many touchpoints there are.
Breaking down your brand’s conversion rates by email and landing page, as well as by the rate of marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads, would provide more useful information.
How to Convert Leads
The process of conversion may be straightforward in theory, but it is anything but in practice. The majority of buyers in the U.S. are willing to trade their personal privacy for a more personalized experience. People are more likely to engage with messaging that is personalized for them.
If you know the number of leads your sales team has to deal with on a daily basis, then you can pay attention to each one individually. You can’t do it with only 24 hours in a day. The question then becomes, what’s the workaround? How do you convert leads through personalized tactics while still maintaining an efficient workflow?
Here are five ways you can utilize your current resources for maximum lead conversion impact.
Develop a lead-scoring process
To convert leads, your team’s efforts should target the most promising conversion candidates. These candidates are determined to be qualified leads through a lead scoring process.
This process of Lead Scoring helps in analyzing a lead’s potential value on the basis of some specific characteristics. Lead-scoring software is faster and more accurate than manual lead-scoring.
Different companies use different scoring criteria, but as an example, here are the five questions the Zendesk sales team uses to score leads:
- Is this lead genuinely interested in the product?
- Does this lead have a genuine use for the product?
- Can this lead afford the product?
- Is this the best time for this lead to buy the product?
- Is this lead the decision-maker in their company? (relevant for B2B sales)
Ideally, a qualified lead checks all five boxes. If a lead is missing one box, they might still be worth pursuing, but if you have enough fully qualified leads, it might not be worth the effort.
The exception is the fourth question. If a lead does not check the box “Is this the best time?”, they are still a qualified lead for the next sales cycle. These leads should be set aside and given back to the sales team at the appropriate time.
Nurture qualified leads
It takes most of the time to have more than one conversation to convert a new lead. Lead nurturing is all about developing relationships with potential customers and keeping those relationships going throughout the entire sales process. It is important to stay with your leads throughout their journey, not just at the beginning and the end. This indicates to potential customers that your company is focused on their needs and that your sales representatives are not only trying to reach their targets.
Lead nurturing is also proven to work. The study found that SQL conversions are up to 50 percent higher when lead nurturing is used, and the cost per lead is 33 percent lower. You can use a chatbot to do it for you. You don’t have to manage all the conversations manually, you can use a chatbot to do it for you. By using lead management software, you can send personalized messages to your leads at key points in order to keep them interested.
Take advantage of reviews and referrals
The most heinous thing you can do in sales is passing up on free advertisement. If your clients are posting good reviews about you on social media or review sites, take them. Customer reviews are a great way to convince new leads to buy something. When a stranger recommends a product, they have nothing to gain, so their word is more likely to be trusted. If you can show potential buyers that other people are using and enjoying your products, they will be more likely to want to use them as well.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to contact your favorite clients for referrals. If a lead comes in by way of a referral, that person is already more likely to make a purchase. Although a difficult sale may make you feel more accomplished at the end of the day, it doesn’t look any different on paper in terms of lead conversion metrics. Don’t be ungrateful and inspect a gift horse too closely—just say thank you and be happy about another sale.
Keep your sales content fresh and accurate
If you want to keep your conversion rate consistent, you need to have the right prospecting tools and sales/marketing materials. It is your company’s responsibility to provide the best possible sales support materials and to maintain an up-to-date knowledge base, not the responsibility of the sales reps. When everyone has the same information, it creates a sense of alignment among the employees.
When it comes to lead generation, it is important that your marketing and sales departments are on the same page. This way, the leads that sales reps are speaking to will already be familiar with your product or service. If your marketing department doesn’t keep your sales department up to date on their digital marketing content, then leads may come into a conversation knowing more than the rep, which is never a good thing.
It is important that everyone in the marketing, sales, and product inventory/ability departments are up to date with each other so that they can each do their jobs effectively.
Map out key follow-up points
When we talked about lead nurturing, we mentioned some follow-up points that we would like to discuss in more detail. Following up with leads has been shown to increase the conversion rate. If you follow up too many times, or at the wrong times, you can damage the conversion process.
Sales analytics can give you an idea of when leads should be contacted. If you want to keep your reps organized and automate your campaigns, create a basic timeline map of outreach points. You need to find the balance between making your leads feel like they are being ignored and making them feel like they are being spammed.
It may take some time and effort to create outreach maps that work well, but doing so will greatly improve your leads’ communication and conversion rates.
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