sales funnel

You are amassing a loyal audience of Twitter followers, Facebook fans and an ever increasing stream of website and blog visits, but are simply not converting online leads into new customers.

What more can be done when you blog, engage in social media and regularly create new content for your audience?

Pushing inbound leads further down the sales funnel is a common challenge for many businesses today as they endeavour to work out how to improve the return on investment (ROI) from online channels.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Am I following up initial leads with lead nurturing campaigns that offer up additional valuable content addressing real issues they are facing in their business?
  • Do I offer bespoke content to leads in my sales funnel according to their position in the buying cycle?
  • Have I integrated my marketing and sales process to ensure that sales are picking up on qualified leads at the right time and maximising conversion?

If you’ve answered at least one of these questions with a “no”, then you’ve identified a potential weak link. Read on to find out how you can make conversion really work for your business.

How to increase lead-to-customer conversion

1. Keep your leads engaged with lead nurturing campaigns

No matter what stage of the buying cycle they’re at, you should keep cultivating a relationship of trust with your leads so that when they’re ready to buy your name is the first up that pops up in their mind.

Devise a lead nurturing programme with compelling calls-to-action; keep that remarkable content flowing through your blog, social media channels and e-newsletters; and create value for your readers while not selling hard. Each interaction with your leads should be an engaging, useful and valuable experience for them.

2. Grade your leads

You’re probably measuring the quantity of your leads but are you gauging their quality, too? A more qualified lead, someone who, for example, visits your website every week, reads your blog regularly and re-tweets your Twitter updates, is more likely to convert into a paying customer than someone who has just filled in one form or watched a webinar.

Adopt a scalable lead-specific approach, communicating content which is relevant to your leads and matches the level of their engagement with your website.

3. Grow your ‘unripe’ leads

You may be tempted to simply ignore leads that have not converted for months, or to pass them on to the sales team to deal with. Doing that has clear risks – you may be either contacting them before they’ve matured enough for a sales call, or missing an opportunity to move them down the sales funnel.

Think of an unqualified lead as an unripe apple – it needs time and attention to grow but once it’s been cultivated under your care, the fruit is yours to pick. Don’t let your ‘unripe’ leads dry and wither – place them on a special campaign wherein you nurture them until they ripen into customers.

4. Diversify your calls-to-action

Provide your visitors a variety of options to engage with your business by encouraging them to take some form of action. Some may be comfortable with filling out a short form to subscribe to your e-newsletter while others will be happy to provide more personal information to download your latest eBook, watch a webinar, or speak to a consultant.

Give them all these options and ensure the path from them to you is easy and simple. Most importantly, make sure all the content is packed with valuable advice.

5. Track and tweak

Last but certainly not least, you need to monitor your lead nurturing campaigns. Approach them with an open mind, test them on an ongoing basis and be ready to change if they’re delivering low conversion rates.

Depending on your performance, you should be prepared to tweak and modify your landing pages, simplify your conversion forms, re-word emails and calls to action, and create better targeted content.

If all this drives more inbound leads to convert into customers, then it’s more than worth the investment in time and resources.