Improving the number of sales made from leads is a key concern for many businesses. Here’s our overview of how to improve your conversion rate – and your bottom line.
The first step, of course, is to generate leads. The aim is to find ‘qualified leads’ – people who will be genuinely interested in what you offer.
Here are some suggestions for places where you might expect to generate qualified leads:
- Seminars and trade shows – these are good way to find prospects who’ve already shown an interest in what you do, and would be interested to find out more.
- Referrals from current customers, or from friendly businesses in related sectors. For example, a wedding venue might be able to pass on referrals to local caterers, florists and dressmakers.
- Telemarketing – otherwise known as cold-calling. You can hugely improve your chances by refining a highly targeted list of prospects and doing your research on their needs before starting – an untargeted sales call will only irritate the recipient.
- Your own CRM system – you could use this to identify previous customers who might be interested in buying other products from you, or in upgrading a previous purchase.
- Through your traditional marketing, such as direct mail or radio adverts.
- Online – by encouraging visitors to your website to give their contact details, in return for a reward such as a downloadable white paper.
Firstly, if a prospective customer has shown an interest, you must follow up promptly. It’s surprising number of companies fail to do this, putting enquiries ‘in the pipeline – and by the time they’re followed up, the prospect has lost interest or taken their business elsewhere.
Instead of offering a one-sided sales pitch, be sure to discuss with the customer exactly how you can help them. Listen to the customer’s needs and address any objections they might have. Make sure you have all the facts to hand, and follow up promptly with more information if needed.
Don’t be too quick to offer discounts – instead, stress the value being offered. An authoritative approach to what you offer and what it’s worth in the market is very valuable.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ‘close the sale’. All sales people should be properly trained in how to recognise signals that the customer is ready to buy, and move confidently toward payment.
Respecting the law
You need to remember at all times to respect the law and best practice when it comes to privacy and data protection.
Essentially, you should only contact those people who’ve agreed that you can – this has the dual benefit of helping you stay within the law, and making sure you don’t waste time on contact which won’t lead to a sale.
Measurement and targets
Many businesses don’t measure the number of leads they get from different sources, and how many are converted – but it’s extremely valuable to help you understand what is working and what is not.
Once you have your figures, set targets to increase your number of conversions – say by 10% in six months. This can really help to focus the sales team’s mind, and can lead to big improvements.
This article is provided only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on the subject matter in question. You should not act or rely on information contained in this website without first seeking professional advice on the subject matter in question.