2017

Converting more Prospects to Customers – How and What to do

It’s a well-known fact that a looked-after customer is a happy customer. This theory doesn’t just have to extend to after sales or technical support. It’s a fantastic way to get your prospects from A to B – leads to transactions – by putting in the time and energy into working your lead generation cleverly.

 

If there’s one thing we can recommend to make sure your business keeps on winning business, it’s to look after your existing leads, as well as working to generate new ones. Without even having to search for new business outside of your system, there are no doubt numerous prospects already waiting to be nurtured and converted into actively buying customers. If customers are already aware of your company, they’re already poised at the top of your sales funnel, ready to take the leap into making a purchase with just a little effort on your part.

 

When it comes to the act of converting prospects to customers, there’s a wealth of varying information out there; which at times can be quite overwhelming and confusing. With customer perception ever evolving, it can be difficult to keep up with the right way to market your business to make the most out of your existing leads. Well, fear not, because we’ve got a clever guide to help you convert more of your prospects to loyal customers. Read on for more.


Automating for success

 

These days, customers are far more savvy to marketing than they were a few years ago – your average B2C or B2B customer is bombarded with generic advertising hundreds of times on a daily basis; from web adverts to billboards. The issue with generic marketing is that it assumes every person who sees your advert, reads your email or receives a phone call from you is exactly the same. Whilst this may be more time-efficient for your business, it means you’re missing out on a percentage of customers that could easily be led to purchase with a more personalised approach.

 

That’s where automation comes into play. By utilising a variety of clever tools, you can customise the customer experience to increase your lead conversion. Making your customers feel more valued by your company is an excellent way to increase your lead conversion rate, and make it far more likely that they’ll keep you in mind for future transactions.

 

You can think of automation as a branching tree; for each action, there’s at least two possible outcomes. Being able to react accordingly to what your potential customer needs makes them feel valued, and providing them additional information and content to help them shows how interested you are in their business. In any step of the process, excellent customer service is important, from A-Z.

 

There are various ways you can use marketing automation to your advantage, but some of the most popular methods is utilising a variety of content to engage and qualify your potential prospects. By taking the time to produce segmented, relevant content you’re giving the potential customers you’re reaching out to the kind of content they’re interested in. This type of method could include blog posts, sales emails, microsites and social media content and can be as simple or complex as you need it to be.

 

A good way to begin with automation is creating a flow chart with what you think your customer’s journey should look like, from being introduced to you brand through to making the decision to purchase. Start with top-level, interesting content and drill down to the specifics over time; whether that’s a specific product, service or technology.

 

Utilise High Quality Sales Scripts

 

Say your sales process is executed in a more face-to-face manner, which is very often true of B2B environments. You need to get in front of the decision makers of your prospective customers in order to give them your well-designed, exciting presentation on your latest service or product. In order to get to the stage where you can get a meeting booked in with your potential customers, you first need to get your company on their radar and make sure you’re giving the right impression to the right people.

 

Sales scripts are a great tool to ensure that you’re delivering a consistent brand message across all your sales and marketing activities. They can be used in nearly every step of your lead conversion process to make sure you’re telling potential customers what they need to know, from delivering useful information on your products and services through to requesting details for surveys.

 

When you think ‘sales scripts’ you might think of the robotic, same-y messages that many businesses call with, that can do more to push customers away than bring them in! When you’re used to this kind of messaging, sales calls are easy to dismiss and even easier to ignore. However, that’s just one very basic method of using scripting; there are far more clever ways to utilise consistent messaging on not just the phone, but with online chat services and emails also. Cold calling, for example, is always difficult to master – but with a relevant, engaging script it can garner great results.

 

A conversational, friendly tone is in many cases the key to successful sales scripts. Getting your potential lead involved in the conversation – with questions about what they’re looking for or interested in – is also a great way for someone to have a good lasting memory of your company, rather than be annoyed by a generic sales call. It’s important to strike a balance between being professional and personal – too much one way and your company can come across as cold or robotic, too much the other and the person you’re speaking to might become uncomfortable about discussing their business with a stranger!


Engage your leads with Sales Emails

 

If you use email (and who doesn’t these days?), you most likely find yourself receiving multiple sales emails, or eshots, on a daily basis. These can range from sales promotions offering discounts and the latest offers through to newsletters with lots of interesting information for readers. Sales emails are an incredibly powerful tool, and in fact might be the best way to gain customer conversions digitally.

 

With email so popular, and many people receiving hundreds of them a day, it’s important to use techniques that help you to stand out from the crowd. Some of the methods that you can use are:

 

  • Personalisation
  • Reactive Templates
  • Engaging content that benefits the reader

 

The thing to remember about customers, as we’re sure you already know, is that they don’t want generic information about a product or service; they want to know how it’s going to benefit them. Whether it’s an ROI calculator, an exclusive offer or even a free ebook, including something that benefits your potential customer keeps them engaged and interested. If prospective customers feel like they’re being given great customer service, they’re much more likely to buy – and may even move through the conversion process faster than they would when sent generic correspondence.

 

Personalisation is another way you can set your email messaging apart from the others your leads receive. Simply segmenting your database to make information relevant – perhaps depending on their industry or position in a company. In addition, you can use your potential customer’s name and other details in the subject line and body of your email copy, further enticing them to open the email and find out more. Be careful with your wording though; if your email subject comes across as too ‘spammy’, it will end up in your prospect’s junk box, never to be seen again!

 

Emails can be used at every step of the lead qualifying process, from an initial introduction through to a thank you note following a meeting – you can even send a ‘checking in’ email post-sale in order to keep your company in mind for their next purchase, and potentially gain more information about your customers. With more and more people using their phones for emails, it’s also important to make sure your template is reactive, so it can be viewed on any and all platforms.


Use your Data Effectively

 

Of course, there’s very little point crafting the perfect sales email or the ideal sales script if you don’t have the information in place to make your campaigns impactful. High quality data that’s kept up to date is one of the most important ways you can ensure you keep track of your customers the whole way through the leads process, and keep your leads pipeline looking nice and healthy.

 

A well-maintained CRM system will make your life, and your lead generation, a much easier task. Being able to see with a few clicks exactly how far a certain prospect, or set of prospects, is from purchasing is invaluable for planning and designing campaigns that are more relevant and person to their audience. It’s also an easy way to keep an eye on your sales pipeline, with all your data in one easily accessible place for reporting and tracking.

 

For example, you may want to maintain contact with a prospective customer or set of customers throughout their decision process. If they have filled in a form on your website, contacted you on social media or phoned up to discuss what service or product they’re interested in, you can then use that information to send them further details about that particular thing they’re interested in. This is the first step towards developing an automation campaign, enabling you to keep in contact with your leads at every point in the process.

 

The beauty of CRM is that it can span every touchpoint of a prospect or customer has; from an introductory phone call to a technical support query. This gives you quick access to all the information you may need at your fingertips; ensuring your communications are as tailored as possible to their history and requirements.

 

Being able to segment your customers into industries, locations and stages in the sales process also makes it easy to correctly distribute your leads to the right members of your sales team, which gives your prospective customers a direct line to exactly the right person with the right information.


Go forth and convert!

 

So, what lessons can you take away from the above? One of the main themes is the customer journey. Making it as easy as possible for customers to get in contact, get the information they need and develop positive associations with your brand is an easy but very effective way to win more business and even customer loyalty.

Clean, plentiful data in your CRM system is also a great way to make sure you’re getting the most out of incoming leads, thanks to clever segmentation and easy to monitor results.

Personalised and well-developed campaigns, whether from sales emails or scripts, might take more time to develop initially but will pay for themselves several times over with the conversion rates you achieve in comparison to generic communications or marketing.

We hope this overview of ways to improve your prospects to customers conversion rates has been useful – so get your planning hat on and prepare for your sales to multiply!

Getting your business in a position to sell requires you to convert more prospects into customers on a regular basis! If you need some help doing this then please contact me. I would love to help you make this happen. Contact me at m.ruddle@intouchcrm.com or call my office on 0333 200 7273 and we can arrange a time to talk!

Matthew Ruddle
Head of Sales and Marketing
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