If you want to convert leads to customers, you need to look after them.
Lead conversion – a vital step in the customer journey!
Lead conversion is the point where someone signs on the dotted line and you get some revenue. But how do you coax and encourage your leads so that as many as possible of them get to that point?
There’s one important thing to remember – you need to follow up every single lead you can! It’s surprising how often this doesn’t happen, despite our best intentions.
- You meet someone at a business event and you have their card. Do you call or email?
- What about the cards everyone pust into your door prize lucky dip? How do you follow up?
- Someone visits your website, fills in a form and downloads your ‘Top Ten Success Tips’. What do you do with their name and contact details?
- Someone comments on your Facebook or LinkedIn page. How quickly do you respond?
- You complete a quotation for a new prospect and send it off. Do you call back to find out what they think, or do you wait for their response?
Sadly, many of us don’t follow through consistently. We’re too busy, existing customers take up all our time, we don’t have automated systems. We plan to send a newsletter, but somehow we never have time to write an article so there’s nothing to send…
NoBull can’t follow up every lead you ever get for you, but we can help you work on systems to improve your immediate response and to help you keep in touch with those contacts who aren’t ready to commit yet, but might buy some time in the future. Over time, this will increase your lead conversion rate.
Building a database
A good database is at the heart of effective lead conversion. A good database means you can keep in touch, keep yourself and your company top of mind, and provide something of value to the contacts – all without taking too much of your valuable time!
Quality of data is paramount. Good data in an Excel spreadsheet might not be the best solution, but it will get you better results than muddled, incomplete records in an expensive and personally customised CRM (customer relationship management) software application. This blog post covers some of the main issues we look at when we’re developing a database for a client.
Processes for data capture, update and cleaning are also important to keep your contact list growing and in tip-top condition. Automatic update from webforms, manual entry, surveys and promotions can all help build your database size and quality.
Creating a communications plan
Once you have a database with contact details and permission to use them, you’re ready to develop a communications schedule. You’ll need to look at questions like:
- how often should we communicate?
- should we send email newsletters or hard copy ones? Or both? What about SMS special offers?
- What do our contacts want to hear about? Industry news? Company news? Case studies? New products? Special offers?
- How many articles in each issue? How long should they be?
- Should we treat everyone on our database the same way, or do we need segmentation so different people get different communications?
- do we have opportunities to cross-sell?
NoBull can help you work through these questions to devise your own communications plan uniquely tailored to your market. If necessary, we can also help you select suppliers (for email marketing, printing, mailing and so on) and set up accounts. We can even write your content and send it all out for you if you want – although we will need you to work with us on the topics, then review and approve final articles!
By the way, if you extend this communications plan to include things like blog posts, white papers, social media and PR, which are seen by people who aren’t on your database as well as your own contacts, then it becomes the basis for content marketing, one of the buzz topics for 2014. Now you’re doing lead generation as well as lead conversion!
Scheduled newsletters, posts and messages are sent out to contacts who’ve been on your database for years as well as those you input last week. But new leads are often the hottest – you know they have a current interest in your product or service. So you may want to set up some special communications for them. Lead nurturing (also called marketing automation) is another current hot topic and a good lead nurture program can help you track when your luke-warm leads are getting hotter so you can give them some more personal attention.
If you’re having problems getting leads to sign on the dotted line, get in touch now and we can discuss the most effective ways to grow your customer base.