Often, the problem with growing revenue is not in conversion rate but in lead generation. Sales & Business Development Expert Bill Carson gives you the low down on converting more leads into sales.
One of the biggest issues impacting many businesses is that their lead conversion rates are quite poor. Business owners put substantial marketing money into front-end lead generation and then waste a substantial amount of that investment by having very weak and unclear conversion processes and skills in their sales and service staff.
A flip and a win
One client I worked with manufactured and sold a particular product that’s more expensive than their competitors. They’re more expensive because they are able to install the product on-site whereas other companies require the buyer to travel to them. This can save the buyer a lot of money in lost travel time.
The owner has a very good marketing approach that produces many leads, but the salespeople were losing sales due to price objections. The problem was that their very low sales skills didn’t create a value-analysis discussion with the buyer. They had no ability to sell the value proposition and hence got involved in price discussions which they could never win.
So we taught them to sell the value, identify all of the problems that the buyer was currently experiencing and then created a business case/cost benefit analysis for the buyer. It was clearly evident that the total cost of purchase was significantly in favour of purchasing my clients’ product. Hence, sales went up substantially.
Three factors that impact on Sales Conversion Rates
1. Quality of the leads
This obviously is a function of your marketing system and getting good quality leads requires targeted and accurate marketing to your key buying personas. If your marketing is too broad you will attract too many leads that are not your target buyer – and you will waste time dealing with them. It also makes your conversion numbers look bad, because you should not be having conversations with them in the first place.
2. Sales people with outdated selling skills
You or your sales people may have selling skills that are not able to connect with and sell to the modern buyer today. This means that you will not be able to engage with prospects in sales dialogues with the ability to deeply understand the buyers needs and issues and provide effective value-based solutions. When sales people can’t do this, they talk features and get into price discussions too early and don’t add any value for the buyer.
3. Leads don’t get followed up. Here are some statistics:
• 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up [Source: Hubspot]
• 80% of sales require 5 follow-up phone calls after the meeting. [Source: Marketing Donut]
• 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. [Source: Marketing Donut]
• Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales. [Source: Gleanster Research]
4. Maintain a system of follow-up and lead nurture
These above statistics highlight just how important it is to keep a system of follow-up and lead nurture. The probability of lead conversion significantly improves when a seller understands the buyer’s purchasing process. Successful sales people understand the length of time the buyers take to make decisions and therefore maintain their sales processes accordingly to match the buyer’s buying process.
My top 5 tips for bringing in new customers and growing existing ones
1. Mastering the in-side
Successful business development and selling starts with strong clarity of your purpose, mission, values, skills, knowledge, strategies and the removal of your fears and obstacles.
2. Knowing your buyer types and levels
It is vital to know the distinction between the transactional buyer, the consultative buyer and levels of buyers; otherwise, you risk wasting time and resources, and not giving your customers/clients what they really need and want.
3. Aligning your sales process to the customer’s buying process
This is a powerful way to ensure that your customers/clients feel that you understand their needs and that you provide them with relevant and meaningful solutions.
4. Differentiating your value proposition
This will provide you with a very effective tool to help you build the questions to articulate your value proposition. When you ask very targeted questions of your prospects and clients, you create value in the selling/buying process that helps them understand the value you can bring.
5. Retaining, protecting and growing your clients
Build successful strategies to keep your clients wanting more from you.
If your lead conversions are low, costing you a lot of wasted marketing funds and frustrating the heck out of you, then let’s have a discussion to pinpoint the problem.