When was the last time you worked on your digital communication strategy? Do you even have one?
It’s 2016. You should.
While cold calling and relationship-building are still probably a big part of how you build your network, your website can be a great source of leads. You need both a process to capture contacts online and a strategy to connect with them. These leads come in many shapes and forms, and your job is to get them into the sales process quickly.
However, not all online leads are ready for the sales process right away. The good news is that there are things you can do today to start drastically improving performance.Here are five proven tips that will help you convert more online inquiries into qualified leads.
1. Respond quickly.
Did you know that your response time has a huge impact on getting replies? According to a study by sales expert Dr. James Oldroyd, the odds of a lead entering the sales process are 21 times greater when the initial contact is made within five minutes than within 30 minutes.
Consider automating the process with canned responses that trigger as soon as you receive an inquiry.
2. Segment your leads.
One of the most common lead generation pitfalls is dumping all contacts into one big list and sending out one mass communication at a time.
But not all leads are the same.
You probably have many lead sources: contact form inquiries, webinar registrations, newsletter subscribers, contacts from events, etc. All of these leads are at different stages in the evaluation cycle, so it’s important to segment, nurture and craft your communications accordingly.
For example, contact form inquiries are obviously engaged and ready for you to reach out directly, but event attendees might like to receive topical content or more event-related communications before being asked for their business.
3. Follow up on those segments.
Deals are won because of effective follow-up. Period. How and when you follow up is the single most important thing you can do to improve conversion of inquiries into warm leads and warm leads into sales.
But again, the caveat here is to tailor your messaging and frequency for each of your lead segments. Warm prospects probably need higher frequency and more direct follow-up than colder, inactive leads. Make sure you strategize for each segment.
4. Force a yes/no answer.
One of the only surefire ways to know whether a potential lead is qualified is by asking them. If they’ve been through your nurturing campaigns but haven’t gone beyond that, it might be time to change the conversation. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a segment of indecisive leads that eat up valuable time and energy.
“Maybes” are your enemy.
5. Measure progress.
This goes without saying but the only way to improve your performance is by measuring what works. And, more importantly, what doesn’t work.
- How many calls do you need to generate one lead?
- What percentage of leads are you converting into qualified prospects?
- What percentage of qualified prospects are you converting into deals?
- What lead sources bring you the most qualified leads?
- What is the average deal size from each lead source?