Closing the Deal: Converting Leads to Sales
Marketing, lead lists, conversion, sales are the words rattling around in the head of anyone trying to run a successful business. The whole point of any enterprise, whether you are selling a product or a service, is to reach the people who need it and to make sure the deal is closed.
As we all know, there are occasions when there is a slip between the cup and the lip, so to speak! Not all lead lists lead to successful conversions and sales. What can you do to minimize such slips? What are the best ways to make sure your marketing and sales departments are in sync and successful?
Addressing these questions can be a big part of the strategy of moving from leads to sales.
Understand your lead list:
It surprises me when entrepreneurs do not analyze all the data available to them. Any information on a lead list is relevant information and instead of using it as a mere contacts’ list, understand all the information and look for patterns.
Think in terms of data filtering on the basis of revenue, company size and technology use to determine best match. This will allow you to comb you lead list for optimal opportunities instead of merely going down a list of names.
The marketing process can reach a wide range of potential buyers, but the analysis will allow you to zero in on the best conversion targets.
Stay on top of the list:
The list is central for sales efforts and yet a surprising number of organizations are fairly disorganized in their approach to keeping up-to-date with the lead list. It is important to track the information there and to ensure that it is consistently relevant to the sales direction of the company.
Ensure that you have the right information for the decision makers and have systems in place for monitoring contact information changes. Inactive leads are merely a distraction and you should have a process for weeding these out.
Keep in mind that not all leads are equal, therefore it’s important to prioritize your leads.
Make CRM a priority:
The lead list is after all only a starting point. The reality of all sales is excellent customer relationship management and so it is key that you make this an organizational priority.
The most current information should be in your CRM based on interactions across various platforms. This makes for less redundancy and more accurate follow-up. The psychological impact of strong customer relations will also be apparent in new leads from existing happy customers.
Marketing is not only about reaching the point of sale but about ensuring long-term customer satisfaction. It is also equally important that your sales people are properly trained in using your CRM, otherwise, they won’t use it and you won’t really know why somes leads are not converting into sales.
Remember lead nurture:
Customer relations can be described as a way of nurturing an existing conversion. The same attitude can help with existing leads while working on converting them too.
Sending relevant white papers or infographics at well-timed intervals, following up with pertinent emails to address specific concerns etc. can be a good way of showing your commitment to the client who is yet to decide.
The key here is to not move into harassment territory. Keep the client’s interests the focus and make sure they get the information that’ll make them commit to a decision to buy.
By nurturing the relationship before purchase you’re also giving them a taste of the kind of service they can expect. It is important here that you have an organization-wide commitment to customer satisfaction.
Keep things clean:
Make sure that everyone in your organization who initiates or maintains client contact knows about the CAN-SPAM Act. The Act sets the rules for all commercial email and is fairly stringent in how you can use commercial email.
All communication has to be transparent as being for a commercial purpose and there should be no efforts to disguise the material. It is very important to include an opt-out option in all your commercial emails and to honor the opt-out requests.
While the focus of the Act is to ensure client protection, it helps entrepreneurs by ensuring that you can weed out all disinterested parties. It makes good business sense to keep all sales and promotional interactions scrupulously legal.
Strong leads, a well maintained lead list system and specific goals are the basic foundation of a good sales force. By providing your sales department with these essentials you are giving them the tools to help build your business.
Written by: Shirley Tan