The term ‘lead’ in sales is often used to mean one of two things. It can mean a person who has made initial contact with the business and may eventually become a client. It can also be used to mean the data that quantifies a person as such. Such data is gathered in a variety of different ways, but nowadays most businesses find that a large number of their sales leads come from online means, this may be through their website, advertising banners, online articles and webinars, amongst other things.
Businesses typically convert less than 5% of the leads they receive, so what can you do to make the process easier and more efficient? The most common way of collecting lead data is through a contact form, usually requiring the person to add their name, email address, company etc. Even with many web browsers offering an autofill function, the variety of different forms means that they often don’t work correctly. There is also the risk that longer contact forms may put potential customers off, meaning that some of your leads disappear before even making contact. Shorter contact forms are more beneficial in acquiring data of potential customers as they are less intimidating and are quicker for the user to fill in meaning there is more chance of a higher conversion rate. Therefore, it is useful for businesses to make sure their website keeps data collection short and simple.
Contact forms should be short and simple to encourage users to fill in their details.
One of the main reasons why leads fail to convert is lack of information. Engaging in a lengthy email dialogue with a salesperson is often unappealing, so their questions may go unanswered. Try to anticipate and include a FAQs page on your site or send an initial email with the information so that people felt seen and understood.
Not all leads turn into sales, and not all people who register interest are ready to buy at that stage. Chasing these leads with a hard sell will more than likely result in them evaporating. This is why lead nurturing is so important within a business. Lead nurturing involves tracking the online behaviour of your leads to see which parts of your content they are engaging with, in order to work out where in the sales process they are and to tailor your marketing accordingly. By doing this research before passing the lead onto a salesperson, you are guaranteeing that they can reach out in the right way.
Many businesses nowadays have realised the advantages of using data and analytics to track the way that visitors to their sites behave. It helps to paint a much more complete picture of what they are after. Analytics data can also be used to enhance performance in the marketplace, direct marketing budgets to the right areas, and spot geographical and time-based trends so that you can ensure your business is most visible where and when it is needed.
Businesses can analyse data of the traffic they gain to their website to use to their advantage – i.e. – Marketing efforts.
It’s vitally important to contact your leads in the correct way. Too many emails and they’ll feel put off, meaning they are likely not to read them and place your address on their block list. Opportunity wasted. But not enough contact and they’ll seek out a different, competing brand, one with a louder marketing voice and a more attentive sales team. By lead scoring, you can place your leads in the contact category and make sure that they get a tailored approach that is designed to nurture the relationship and nudge them towards the stage where they are ready to buy.
It’s also important not to think of these leads as a one-time purchaser either. If your lead feels well looked after during the process, however long that lasts, they are much more likely to return in future and become repeat customers. They are also more likely to recommend your business to friends, colleagues and clients, thereby generating even more leads for you.
Leads are important for every business; they’re how you get new customers or make new sales to existing ones. But it’s not as simple as waiting for people to contact you with their order; you have to reach out and nurture the relationship, selling your services so that those initial sparks of interest flourish into a mutually beneficial relationship. That’s why it’s so important to follow processes to make sure your business gets the most out of the leads it generates.