Generating leads is one thing, but all your lead generation efforts are for naught if they don’t convert to paying clients or customers. Even the most carefully planned, high-performing marketing campaigns that generate hundreds or thousands of qualified leads if those leads never produce revenue for your business. Once qualified leads are generated, the closing game is like a whole new ball game.
A few essential dos and don’ts will have you on the path to turning your qualified leads into revenue.
Do: Know Your Competition
In today’s competitive landscape, the odds are great that your leads have done their homework. Regardless of the channel through which a lead is generated, you can bet they’ve evaluated at least a few other companies prior to engaging with you. That’s why it’s imperative to know your competition and understand your respective strengths and weaknesses.
Do: Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
In addition to understanding your competition, you should also have a clear understanding of precisely the advantage that makes your business unique. Does your company offer 24-7 service, next-day pickup, or exceptional customer satisfaction guarantees?
Shift away from the conversation about who offers the lowest prices, and move towards a discussion that focuses on why your company offers the best value. Your unique selling proposition is the one thing that sets your business apart from the rest.
Don’t: Offer an Immediate Price Quote
Many leads making contact with your company are on a quest for one essential piece of information: a price quote. If you give this information away too quickly, many will move on to obtaining cost information from your competitors.
Instead of giving away your prices upfront, make an effort to get to know your potential customer. Whether this interaction happens online, via email, via phone, or through some other form of communication, there are always ways to find out what problems the customer faces, their level of motivation (e.g., how quickly will they make a decision?), and other information that will enable you to customize your bid or offer specific services uniquely targeted to the customer’s needs.
Do: Cater to the Lead’s Communication Preferences
Even in the digital age, your potential customers may have varied communication preferences. One person may prefer to communicate by email, another may prefer a phone call. Catering to these communication preferences demonstrates that you pay attention to your customers’ wants and needs. For instance, don’t send an email in response to a phone call, unless the customer specifically requests an email response.
On the other hand, communications that begin in the digital world, such as emails and web forms, typically graduate to a more personal interaction over time. Know when the right time is to make this shift, and prepare the lead for the change in communication methods in advance. This can be as simple as sending an email to set up a convenient time to have a phone conversation.
Don’t: Forget About Your Sales Cycle
You won’t win every customer on the first contact. In fact, more often than not, you won’t. Stick to your sales cycle and don’t forget about the leads that did not convert. Send a series of follow-up emails over the next few months, depending on the length of your sales cycle. Situations change, and you might re-capture some leads at the right time.
These simple rules will help you convert more leads to paying customers, ultimately boosting revenue for your business. But remember, measurement is everything, in both the online and offline worlds. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Tracking where your leads originate from, how they engage with your business, the touch points encountered, the number of leads converted, cost per lead, and other metrics gives you key insights on where to improve both your lead-generation efforts and the strategies you use to convert them.