Research has shown that customers choose to work with someone who responds quickly and who listens to their inquiry without going straight into the hard sales pitch. How are you capturing that customer lead and listening for your lead conversion process?

Here are 3 Easy Steps you can start taking today to convert leads into customers.

1. Know & Understand the Goal.

One reason why many sales staff members perform poorly with lead management is they fail to understand the goal of lead management.  The goal is this: get the face-to-face appointments for relationship selling to create an experience that the customer won't get from the online global business.  Nothing more, nothing less. Stay focused on listening more than talking and you will begin to see a difference in your lead conversion ratio.

2. Nurture the Lead.

Lead Nurturing is a process of automating a series of email messages to shift a lead down the sales funnel and convert a lead into a buying customer. This is key for increasing a lead to customer conversion rate.

How does this process work? Consider a website "lead" that downloaded an article, whitepaper or video on your site or registered for a webinar. Before that lead becomes a real customer, they will likely go through some or all of these steps:

  • Participate in a free trial for something you offer with a limited time period
  • Connect with you on social media platforms
  • Read your blog or article
  • Visit more pages on your website
  • Download other articles, whitepapers, videos or other offers on your site
  • Talk to a sales person

Each of the above steps is a very good sign because it channels the lead for getting closer and closer to becoming a buying customer. Lead nurturing is critical for the reasons set out below:

  • Lead Nurturing emails attain 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. [SilverPop/DemandGen Report]
  • Target Segment emails get 50% more clicks. [MarketingSherpa]
  • Only 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. [Gleanster Research]
  • Only 25% of leads are valid and advance to sales.
  • Nurtured leads have 9% higher average deal size and 23% shorter sales cycle. [Market2Lead]
  • Research indicates that 35-50% of sales go to the company that responds first. []
  • More than 65% of buying customers state that “consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations" is a major factor in choosing a solution provider. [ Report]

3. Craft a Powerful Experience.

This is where the sale either happens or it doesn't. To get business from a new customer, you must craft a powerful experience for all the types of leads that come to you. An experience that makes them say, "Wow, that's amazing!" Create that experience by determining what your customers want, then give them that and more! What would make them truly want to do business with you?

  • A response to an inquiry within 15 minutes?
  • A small gift as a token of thank you for contacting us?
  • An information packet on you and the company - e-mailed instantly?
Develop a plan on how to make leads say “Wow” for the different ways they come to you. For phone calls from an ad, decide how they'll be handled. The same goes for referrals from a past client, an e-mail lead from your Web site, a networking event, etc. Craft something special!

About the Author(s)

DJ Heckes

DJ is CEO of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts and Full BRAIN Marketing and focuses on educating and training companies to significantly improve their small business marketing strategies.  She also presents customized training programs for business marketing, social media, leadership and trade show marketing.

CEO & Author, EXHIB-IT!
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