This is the shorter version of this article, so if you want to go into more details or simply look busier for longer at work, here is the long version.
With 79% of leads never converting (according to Salesforce), lead closing is an area that needs constant TLC. Whether you’re aiming to grow from 1% to 1.5%, from 20 to 30% or from 62 to 65%, one thing stays the same: converting leads takes time and a sound understanding of the process behind it.
In order to impact what happens at the end of the funnel, you need to work on what happens at the beginning of it as well, so the 5 strategies that can help are:
- Optimise your website
- Understand your target market
- Gain your audience trust
- Plan the best outreach strategy
- Sell when they’re ready
Strategy #1: Optimise your website
Most (if not all) leads visit your website at some point in the sales process, so it needs to be optimised towards lead conversion and nurturing.
Tool #1: Understand who’s on your website with Google Analytics (Free)
Google Analytics will show you stats about the people visiting their website, what pages they’re interested in, what are the main traffic sources and the list goes on and on. I recommend creating a Data Studio dashboard, which helps you visualise data better and including it in your monthly analysis of the marketing activity.
Tool #2: Peek into how people are using your website with Hotjar (Free + paid version)
Hotjar can help you visualise heatmaps of where users are clicking on your website and how they’re interacting with your content. Hotjar can show you if people are interacting with your content (spending time on it or just scrolling through), clicking through your lead gen pages or what is the type of information returning visitors are looking for, so you can optimise it.
Strategy #2: Understand your target market
Use tools that help you understand the main characteristics and interest of your target audience, so you can work out the best marketing strategy for them.
Tool #3: Stalk your website audience with Lead Forensics (Paid)
Full disclosure: I’m a Lead Forensics partner and I became one after contacting them for this speech, so I am presenting this because I really believe in the value of the product not because I have to (which I don’t). But if you want to find out more about them, I’m totally here for you 😉.
Lead Forensics do something that Analytics and Hotjar don’t do – tell you which companies visit your website. By tracking the IP of the user in their IP database, they can tell you what office they’re visiting your website from, helping you identify new companies to target:
Strategy #3: Gain their trust
One of the reasons people buy from one provider and not the other is due to trust, which can be built through thought leadership. What you want at this stage is to position your company and employees as the go to resources for know-how in your industry.
Tools to build and develop thought leadership
- Blog posts, like this one. I didn’t do this to tell you I can help you convert more leads (or it would have been a 100 words post or ad instead of this), I did it so I can share my know-how on lead conversion, which helps build my authority on it.
- Reports, white papers, infographics or other pieces of complex content you create.
- Networking on social media channels, such as LinkedIn or Twitter or anywhere else you’d find professionals from your industry. Engage in conversations and build your network.
- Networking or speaking at live events, be their your own or those of other companies.
Strategy #4: Plan the best outreach strategy
Both marketers and sales sometimes spend time either chasing the wrong leads, because they may not be decision makers for their services or saying the wrong thing, that doesn’t convince them.
Tool #4: Engage with your audience using social listening tools like Mention (Free for start, Paid version after)
Mention helps you track who is saying what about topics that are interesting to you in your industry or about your services. It can also be used as a customer service tool, but in order to increase your conversion rate, you can use it to engage with active users looking for insight or resources you may have.
Tool #5: Account Based Marketing software such as Engagio (Paid)
As someone rightly said, ABM is not just a tool, it’s a philosophy. It’s about putting your main clients at the core of your marketing activity and planning a strategy that speaks directly to them and their main needs. This is especially useful for large companies, where you may engage with several contacts in different departments or have complex offering.
Engagio helps highlight which roles are engaging most with your outreach based on specific companies or industries and it helps you tailor your marketing to them.
Strategy #5: Only sell when they’re ready
Not all leads are ready to buy at the same time, so your goal here is to understand when that time has come, so you can invest your efforts wisely.
Tools that help you nurture leads
Any tool that tracks interaction and engagement with your company, like all the ones we’ve mentioned in the previous stages. Plus, events can be a good lead nurturing tool, since they’re a great opportunity to showcase know how and network with people, giving you that extra layer of direct interaction with your leads.
Tool #6: Interact with website visitors with Leadoo (Paid)
Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular because they help us automate and simulate interactions on platforms that have been traditionally static, such as websites. Leadoo can start an in-page conversation with website visitors, turning the most interested ones in high value leads you can follow up with.
Lead closing is a process and in order to impact it, you need to work on becoming better at every stage of the lead funnel, not just at the end. Before deciding on a new course of action or strategy, work out if it helps you reach your objectives, because new software might look shiny, but if you’ve abandoned it after a few months, you’ve only waster your time. Test, analyse and redo until you’ve got it right.
P.S. If you liked this post, but want to read more about how each tool can be used, take a look at the longer version of the article.
About the author:
I am Raluca Apostol, Founder and Account Director at Event Marketing Stars and I have helped generate over 30,000 leads for clients in B2B and B2C, on 3 continents.
I am passionate about events, lead generation and monetisation. If you want to reach out, you can find me on LinkedIn here.