Could your sales process use a little fine-tuning?

From poor follow-up to limited lead nurturing, numerous problems in the sales process may be destroying your conversion rate. The leading cause of a broken process is the lack of access to your data.

These four simple data-driven strategies will significantly boost your bottom line by simplifying, automating, and optimizing your sales and marketing process.

1. Attract better leads

Many businesses set their sights on getting as many leads as possible, but it’s not worth sacrificing quality for quantity, as a great deal of time and energy can easily be wasted on cold leads that never had any promise in the first place. Instead, aim for those targeted niche leads that actually have a chance of becoming hot prospects.

Start by surveying your customers to drill down to why your best customers love your product or service and compare them to your detractors. It’s important to get an what people don’t like for a full picture. Build out your buyer personas based on this data.

Once you have locked in on your buyer personas, you can create more targeted content and marketing campaigns to bring in more quality leads. Attract these leads by focusing in on SEO, PPC, and social media. These three channels are fueled by content but are refined by looking at your data for optimization.

2. Quick — and repeated — follow-ups

One of the biggest and most devastating mistakes businesses make is neglecting to follow up with leads soon after capturing their contact information. Your leads are craving personal attention and need to hear back from you soon after you’ve made contact; otherwise, they’ll forget why they were so interested in the first place. The sooner you follow up with leads, the sooner you’ll get them in the sales funnel and on the way to becoming promising prospects.

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Gathering data to send targeted follow-up emails is simple. Through your SEO efforts, you should have at least 3 main keywords you are working on improving. Create targeted landing pages for each of these keywords with a call to action to attract your leads. To increase your open rates and responses to your triggered follow-up campaigns, tailor them for each of these landing pages. That way, the contact remembers exactly why they gave you their information.

As you can see, hooking your email marketing up to your CRM is crucial to starting a successful data-driven sales process.

3. Nurture leads — and determine when they become prospects

Cold leads may express mild interest in your company’s products or services, but they are by no means ready to make a big investment. In fact, 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. Pushing for a sale when an early lead still has no intention of purchasing will only result in the complete loss of that important lead. Instead, it is important to nurture your leads and monitor them to determine how close to purchasing they really are. Marketing automation software can prove quite useful in this regard, as it gives you a good idea of where in the sales process your leads and prospects are located and whether they’re ready for a serious sales discussion.

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Producing content with each stage of your sales funnel is key to funnel movement. Utilize contact scores to get a glimpse of how your contacts are interacting with your content in your marketing automation strategy. Based on these scores, contacts can move themselves down your sales funnel. Impersonal email blasts won’t give you the same results as an email nurturing strategy.

4. Analyze sales data — and optimize

As you nurture leads, you should know exactly how many make that essential transition from cold lead to hot prospect — and how many stall at the very beginning of the sales pipeline. Through extensive tracking of conversions, you can determine which aspects of your sales process are working — and which are causing leads to stall.

Track the lead source for each of your contacts to see the number of leads generated from each marketing channel as well as which marketing channels have the highest conversion rate of lead into customer. So, when you identify a marketing channel with high conversion rate, you can accelerate your spend with that channel, netting out more customers.

Sales and marketing software can also help you track the performance of your sales team and identify bottlenecks in your process – who’s performing well and who could use some help.

A good sales process begins with high-quality leads and continues with an efficient and effective sales pipeline. Through careful strategizing and use of an all-in-one sales and marketing tool at all stages of the sales funnel, you can significantly streamline your sales process and improve conversion rates.