A key objective for businesses in a competitive market is to ensure successful lead conversion and maximise marketing returns. Up to 75 percent of Internet leads are lost because businesses don’t have the right knowledge and tools to plug leaks in their lead funnel.
Steven Prestidge, Managing Director at ReachLocal explains that in an ideal world every prospect would find the business online, visit their website, contact them and become a customer. In reality, in a world where the consumer is spoilt for choice, only some of those prospects will turn into customers. By identifying and fixing leaks in the sales funnel, the business can maximise the number of leads that convert into sales.
The lead funnel is made up of three parts, one where prospects ‘discover’ the business, another in which they ‘contact’ the business and a third in which they ‘choose’ the business. Each of these stages must be handled properly to make the most of marketing dollars. It is important for the business to have the right tools in place to generate, nurture and convert their leads.
ReachLocal offers six tips to help business owners ensure leads are maximised and leaks are plugged.
1. Have a well-designed, smart website
A website is a key conversion tool for any business and getting it right can result in a huge uplift in leads and revenue. Good design, visible contact information and clarity of purpose that demonstrates the business’ value proposition are all necessary attributes of an effective website. The website should also have sufficient conversion paths enabling customers to complete a transaction or request further information from any and all of the web pages. Additionally, the website must be optimised for all devices including PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
2. Offer additional contact methods
Many people searching for services may not immediately contact the business, especially if they are at work or it is outside business hours. Provide email forms, live chat and social channels to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get in touch. These methods will also help capture valuable customer data.
3. Capture sufficient customer data on every channel
One of the biggest leaks in the sales funnel is caused by the failure to capture customer data. If the prospects cannot be identified, the business has no way of knowing how they found them; neither can they follow-up to convert them into sales. Wherever possible, capture contact details such as the prospect’s email address.
4. Support sales staff with the right information
Consumers expect to be contacted quickly when they make an enquiry. Invest in a system that provides real-time notification of new contacts via text message, email or mobile app alerts. This ensures that leads can be acted on while they are still hot and makes sure no leads go unseen or unaddressed. Call recording software can also help capture the finer details of a conversation for future reference and lets the management review calls and provide appropriate training to improve sales skills.
5. Consider automated marketing systems
As lead numbers increase it becomes more difficult to manage customer contact. An automated marketing system can help businesses by building custom, branded lead-nurturing emails; automatically sending customised marketing emails to prospects to keep the merchant top-of-mind until they are ready to buy; and sending the sales team reminders of active leads.
6. Respond quickly to every query
The business should be able to quickly respond to any contact from a prospect through web forms, emails, or calls. With multiple businesses to choose from, many customers will opt to do business with the company that calls back first. Responding to new customer emails within 20 minutes can significantly increase conversion rates.
ReachLocal helps tens of thousands of small to medium-sized businesses market their goods and services online. A system such as ReachLocal’s ReachEdge can help any business automate the lead conversion process to free up time and resources for other parts of the business.