Leads to sales is the number one goal of all businesses.
You may have noticed our article, Convert Leads into Meetings – 29 Hot Techniques.
And that’s great, right? Turn some leads into meetings.
But the ultimate goal is leads to sales, not just meetings.
No matter how you break it down, the objective is to efficiently move leads through the sales funnel and ultimately get them to buy.
This list is a no-nonsense guide to streamlining the lead conversion process and increasing your efficiency — 31 tips to help your business convert more leads to sales.
Map the Leads to Sales Journey
First, it’s crucial that you have a clear overview of precisely how someone goes from being a lead to a paying customer.
A typical funnel looks something like this, starting with building initial awareness before you gather lead capture information, identifying them as an MQL or SQL, and so on.
Mapping the leads to sales journey like this gives you a concrete framework you can use and that can be refined over time to boost conversions.
Set Specific Lead Conversion Goals
Specificity is also essential when determining what your conversion goals are.
For instance, are you happy with getting the average conversion rate of 2.35%?
Or do you want to aim for something higher like 4 or even 5%?
Setting this in stone should help you develop more effective lead conversion strategies and will let you know when adjustments need to be made
Follow Lead Conversion Best Practices
Having a basic understanding of best practices and communicating that with your entire team is also vital.
Some examples include:
- Waiting until leads are sales ready before trying to convert them
- Developing streamlined communication between marketing and sales
- Measuring the lead conversion ratio
Know How Competitors are Turning Leads to Sales
Competitive intelligence is important for multiple aspects of business, and converting leads to sales is certainly no exception.
Besides mapping your own leads to sales journey, you always want to keep tabs on what your primary competitors are doing.
- What information are they including on their landing pages?
- What lead nurturing techniques are they using?
- What types of promotions are they running?
These are just a few questions you can ask to gain insights.
Improve Website Aesthetics
“First impressions are 94% design related,” explains conversion optimization expert Peep Laja.
Overall web design, layout, use of color and navigational aids are some particular elements people pay close attention to.
Having a crisp, clean design with beautiful aesthetics like this should have a positive impact on conversions.
However, having an outdated, aesthetically unpleasing design like this will naturally make it harder to convert leads.
So you should always be on the lookout for ways to enhance the look of your site.
Improve the Quality of Your Content
According to marketing professional Sharon Hurley Hall, 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement and can boost leads.
Whether it’s blog content, case studies, slideshows or an eBook, offering leads high value content is imperative for answering their questions and getting them comfortable with the idea of buying.
So everything you create needs to be spot on where quality is always a top concern.
In fact, producing higher quality, more efficient content was ranked as the number one factor for overall content marketing success.
This brings me to my next point.
Another integral part of effectively turning leads to sales is educating them and giving them the information they need to make a well-informed decision.
More specifically, you need to ensure that 1) you create the right mix of educational content to answer common questions at all phases of the buying and journey and 2) make it easily accessible.
For example, you might use blog posts for the awareness stage, webinars for the consideration phase and product reviews for the decision stage. Provide Robust Product Information
Provide Robust Product Information
Whenever a lead lands on your product page, they should be able to quickly gather essential information without having to work for it.
Otherwise, any friction in this area will result in squandered opportunities.
On the Chili Piper product page, for example, there are screenshots of the product in action, along with highlights of the features and benefits.
Use Chatbots to Answer Basic Questions and Qualify Leads
AI has come a long way and can be an incredibly powerful tool for improving the lead nurturing process.
AI has come a long way and can be an incredibly powerful tool for improving the lead nurturing process.
Chatbots, in particular, can be used to build instant rapport and answer basic questions.
And according to social business consultant Eileen Brown, “Almost three out of four (70%) of people have already used chabots before, and of those who have not, 60% say they’re comfortable with this type of technology.”liminate Distractions
It’s easy for leads to get sidetracked.
Having too much clutter on your sales page can derail the lead conversion process, so you need to avoid anything that could be a distraction.
For instance, excessive copy, too many images and needless links to other pages can be problematic.
That’s why I suggest sticking with the bare essentials and ensuring everything you add directly points leads to converting.
On the Chili Piper sales page, for instance, we go light on the copy, use clear headers and plenty of spacing.
Leverage Testimonies and Reviews
72% of customers say they’re more likely to trust a business if it has positive testimonials and reviews.
So adding these to your product page is a no brainer.
Here’s an example of testimonials we use on Chili Piper.
And notice how the one from Zvi Storch includes concrete metrics so leads know how big of an impact it can have.
Having an effective CTA is vital for getting leads to take action.
Whether you’re asking them to check out a demo or straight up buy, you’ll want to work diligently to optimize your CTAs.
Some best practices include:
- Using adequate negative space between the CTA and other elements
- Creating contrast between the CTA and background
- Using hyper-specific wording
Here’s an example of the approach we take for Chili Piper.
Only Capture Essential Lead Information
There’s conclusive evidence that shows the more form fields you use, the lower your conversion rate will be.
That’s why you need to be selective about what information you ask for and ensure that it’s truly essential.
Remove Unnecessary Form Fields
And anything that’s not truly necessary should be removed.
For instance, you would probably need a person’s first and last name, email and phone number.
But you may not need their company name and mailing address. It just depends on your industry and ICP.
Use a Quality CRM Platform
After gathering essential lead information, you need to make sure you’re storing it in a solid CRM.
This helps improve numerous aspects of leads to sales, including providing better customer service, simplifying the sales and marketing process and increasing upselling opportunities.
According to PCMag, some of the top rated CRM platforms of 2020 are:
- Zendesk Sell
- Zoho CRM
- Use Lead Scoring
“Lead scoring is the process of assigning values, often in the form of numerical ‘points,’ to each lead you generate for the business,” explains Lindsay Kolowich of HubSpot.
This enables you to quantitatively define how far along each lead is in the conversion process and how hot they are.
Prioritize Your Hottest Leads
From there, you can prioritize leads to determine which ones require your immediate attention and which need to be nurtured.
For a super simple example, below “Lead A” has much higher engagement than “Lead B,” meaning they’re clearly the lead to focus on.
That way you could make the most of your resources and boost conversions.
Increase Your Speed to Lead
Time is of the essence when turning marketing leads into sales.
“The level of interest for the prospect drops dramatically after one hour, and he or she may have already moved on to a competitor,” says Camilla Graue of SuperOffice.
Furthermore, 78% of purchases go to the first business to respond.
So the quicker you respond to a lead the better.
Use Automated Scheduling Software
One of the best ways to do that is with automated scheduling software.
For instance, Chili Piper allows leads to schedule a time to speak with your sales team that’s convenient for them.
And to minimize the chance of a no-show, Chili Piper will send leads a friendly reminder shortly before it’s time to talk.
Route Leads to Qualified Sales Reps
Besides having an effective means of scheduling meetings, you also need to ensure that you send leads to the right sales rep.
For example, you would probably want to send a potentially game-changing lead to a seasoned vet rather than someone who’s brand new and just learning the ropes.
That’s where advanced lead routing comes in.
With Chili Piper, you can route leads to the ideal rep based on round robin rules, territory assignments and account-based ownership.
Add Notes to Lead Handoffs
I like to think of handing off leads like a long distance runner passing the baton off to their teammate.
It needs to be smooth and seamless.
Lead scoring and advanced lead routing play a huge role in improving lead handoffs.
But you also need to ensure that team members add key notes so everyone stays on the same page.
This might include:
- Specific pages and content a lead has viewed
- What sparked their interest
- Whether or not they’ve viewed a demo
Offer Multiple Communication Channels
There are more communication channels than ever, so it’s important to allow more than just one form of communication.
According to the Critical Channels of Choice report of more than 2,000 consumers, leads expect companies to offer five main communication channels:
- Email (86% of respondents)
- Telephone (65%)
- Website (53%)
- Text (52%)
- In person (48%)
Use a Lead’s Preferred Means of Communication
Once you identify how they’d like to communicate, make sure that’s how reps reach out.
It’s all about communicating in a way that’s comfortable and convenient for each lead.
Identify Common Objections
One of the biggest obstacles to turning leads to sales is overcoming common objections.
Not understanding the value, not having the budget and not being ready for the buying conversation are three of the biggest.
By identifying and anticipating these objections, your sales reps will be better prepared when they inevitably run into issues.
Address Those Objections
In turn, they can effectively respond and take whatever steps necessary to make sure leads don’t get off the hook.
Say a lead is interested but not ready to buy.
In this scenario, you could have a sales rep schedule a follow-up call in a few days to discuss an offer after the lead has had some time to digest everything.
Check out this post from sales development expert Bryan Gonzalez for a handful of scripts to use for different situations.
Make Sure Your Leads Understand the Product Benefits
Also, be sure that sales reps convey the specific advantages of using your product, speaking to the needs of each individual lead.
This goes back to what I said earlier about adding notes before lead handoffs so sales reps will know about specific concerns and pain points.
In turn, they can customize their approach.
Improve Phone Etiquette
The way sales reps speak to leads over the phone and the tone they use also factors in heavily to your ability to turn leads to sales.
Some quick tips for improving phone etiquette include:
- Being enthusiastic from the start
- Matching a lead’s speaking pace (i.e. fast or slow)
- Asking permission (may I ask how your current software is working out?)
Nurture Leads With Targeted Content
50% of qualified leads aren’t ready to buy right away.
For those who still need some time, you can send them targeted content to get them up to speed on your product.
Having multiple types of content on standby for different leads ensures interactions are highly personalized, which should boost conversions.
Provide Reps With Ongoing Sales Training
Staying at the top of your industry requires continual adaptation.
And a big part of that is ensuring your reps are up-to-date on cutting-edge sales strategies.
So it’s well worth the investment to provide them with ongoing sales training.
Use Lead Conversion Metrics to Track Your Results
There’s a ton of data being generated all the time, and it’s crucial that you take advantage of it.
For example, you may want to look at how your conversion rate increases or decreases over time.
Or you may want to look at the revenue contribution of converted leads.
Ask Existing Customers for Feedback
Another great way to gain insights is to get input from your existing customers.
- What did they like best about the buying experience?
- What could be improved?
- What are some specific areas your sales team thrives in?
Getting this type of feedback can be instrumental in maximizing lead conversions.
Make Constant Improvements in Your Leads to Sales Process
As you accumulate more data, use it to make gradual improvements to your overall sales process.
You don’t necessarily need to go for home runs, but even small adjustments can add up over time.
Leads to Sales FAQs
What is a lead conversion?
It’s when a person, typically from marketing or sales, converts a lead into a customer.
What is an acceptable sales conversion rate?
It’s usually somewhere between 2 and 5%.
What is the average lead conversion rate?
Sealing the Deal with Leads to Sales
There are countless variables that impact your number of leads to sales.
So it’s important to cover all of the bases and optimize all major areas.
At Chili Piper, we’re always looking for new ways to get the most out of the lead conversion process.