Transforming Leads into Sales

Michele Warg
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Converting 100 percent of sales leads into purchases represents the holy grail of marketing. Your company has great content through your website and apps, but you must recognize a qualified lead and then transform that information into higher sales figures. Although getting everyone on board for a sale remains implausible, a few things can help turn more inbound leads into increased revenue.

The first hurdle is getting inbound leads in the first place. However, this creates the primary problem by trying to wade through all of that data to find the golden egg. To turn the inbound contact into higher sales, you have to learn to weed a qualified lead from the chaff. Learn five tactics that turn business-to-business contacts into profits.

1. Define a Bona Fide Lead

Know what a qualified lead looks like as you sift through contacts that come from your online presence. Up to half of the leads that fill a contact form have no intention of buying anything. Every member of your sales staff should know what each lead entails, including someone's job title, responsibilities, industry and authority to buy. A contact who heads a research and development department remains more valuable than a freshman in college performing research.

2. Use Data

Create additional data beyond someone's name, email and phone number by tracking how someone engages with online content. If you have webinar registrations, include demographic information behind someone's registration, such as the size of company and how many employees it has. Special programs quickly identify a qualified lead based on criteria entered into the program. After that, marketers can follow up with a few quick questions as to the buying authority of the person.

3. Assign Specific Responsibilities

Each member of a sales team has specific strengths. Use these strengths to an advantage by assigning responsibilities along the lead engagement process. Sales representatives may feel empowered now that they know they have qualified leads. This makes for better engagement and increased energy behind follow-up contact. Have one person discuss terms with someone ready to buy, and then send in your closer to seal the deal.

4. Nurture Some Leads

Some leads take more time to come to fruition than others, especially with larger companies that may bring in larger revenue. Your staff may want to nurture some contacts to convert later. Although a drawn-out conversion process takes more staff time, data and metrics can help refine your sales procedures. Seasonal adjustments, timing and budgetary concerns all come into play with sales leads. These factors can help narrow the focus of sales staff as marketers ask open-ended questions based on information provided by contacts.

5. Closing the Sale

Some marketers may close the sale over the phone. However, others require in-person appointments. Coordinate appointments with various sales staff to ensure marketers know who they talk to and why. Otherwise, the sales process may falter during the final step of the conversion.

Although big data remains essential to finding a qualified lead, humans are the ones who ultimately sell a product. Having the correct rapport with a CEO, midlevel manager or vice president of R&D represents one of the best ways to convert a sale following the initial contact.


Photo courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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