Your Lead Conversion Strategy
By Lindsey Weinig
There are various stages in the lead generation and conversion process that require strategizing. Each step of this process should be designed and communicated well internally so the processes can be properly tested and reevaluated when necessary.
First, outbound lead generation is crucial to successful business. In a perfect world, all of your potential customers would come running to you, begging to purchase your product or service. This is not the case for most small businesses; therefore you must be proactive about obtaining new and valuable leads. Outbound lead generation can be executed in a variety of mediums. Advertising, social media activity and branding can help generate new leads, however such practices can be hard to evaluate and are often less likely to bring large numbers of new leads immediately. Other lead initiatives such as whitepapers and free offers, as well as purchased lists with corresponding direct mail strategies can expedite your lead generation process while diversifying your generation strategy.
Second, converting leads to potential clients is essential. Your inquiry response process can make or break your lead conversion rates. These are leads that actually come to you requesting more information on your company and products or services. It is crucial to recognize the value of these leads since they have made the effort to contact you. Your definition of qualified leads can vary depending on your offering. Some leads and some products will inherently require more time and information before they can be considered qualified leads. It is important to respond to your leads with their initial correspondence in mind. For example, if they asked for your product information they are most likely very interested in purchasing, while if they are responding to a whitepaper offer they may require some more nurturing before they are ready to make a purchase decision. The more you cater to them, the more likely they will appreciate your consideration and become a customer.
And at last you have completed the sale! You have reached the finish line, so you can now sit back and relax. Or can you? Lead generation involves various challenges and requires a large amount of effort in order to complete new customer sales. So why spend all of your time on generating new leads when you can use this sale opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your new client creating a loyal, repeat customer out of them. This will save you the trouble of revisiting the lead generation process quite as often.
The best way to maintain success with your lead conversion process is to remain current and flexible. Preferences cannot be predicted and they often change. Diversify your tactics and practice them frequently to ensure you are getting the most from each technique you develop. Email, direct mail, social media, telemarketing, trade shows, events, public relations, search engine optimization, online ads, website traffic, advertising, and branding can all positively contribute to your lead generation and conversion strategy, so branch out. Finally, make yourself accountable with goals and metrics to rate performance. This way you can gauge what is working and what is not to determine the changes your strategy needs in order to increase your lead success!