Do you find that, despite their best efforts, your team and technology keep failing to achieve the results you expect and close deals with new customers? When your sales figures start slumping, finding a way to convert leads is essential to staying in business.
However, sales is about more than just hitting those KPIs.
It involves reaching people on an emotional level and offering to address their problems or improve their lives in some way.
You also have to be able to convince them that you’ll do it better than your competitors.
With a combination of great products or services, a solid marketing plan, and a sales force that brings all of the elements together and presents them to prospects effectively, your totals have nowhere to go but up.
Did you know that fewer than 40 percent of companies cite a conversion rate higher than 0.5 percent? You’ll see articles and programs that promise to increase conversions by double digits, but those are misleading at best.
What’s a good conversion rate?
The average is about 2.35 percent, but the top 10 marketers are regularly hitting rates of 11 percent or higher.
Realistically, you should be able to increase your conversions to five percent or more just by tweaking your technique.
It takes persistence and the right approach to close deals. More than 80 percent of sales are finalized after seven or more contacts between a sales professional and the customer.
Putting in the effort to increase your conversions by even one percentage point can mean doubling your revenues.
When your sales team isn’t closing, one or more of the following is likely the reason.
Have you ever visited a website or read an email that looked slick but said very little of relevance?
One of the biggest barriers to closing a deal is the failure to clearly indicate what you’re selling and how a visitor should proceed once they’re on your page.
You could be telling a compelling story in words and images, but you’re wasting their time and your talents if that’s all you give them.
Customers want to know what to do with the information you’re providing. Know what it is you want the customer to do and be straightforward in communicating the desired action.
Create an informative and engaging landing page to get prospects primed, and then provide them with no-nonsense directives about what they should do next.
Do the same for each product or new campaign. According to studies, you can improve conversion rates dramatically by creating multiple landing pages.
One client of mine was able to boost their click-through and conversion rates simply by changing her call to action.
Try adding a clearly marked link within a simple statement urging visitors to learn more or creating a bright, highly visible button that simply says “Buy Now” or “Subscribe” so they know exactly how to proceed after reading your pitch.
One of the keys to attracting relevant leads is to demonstrate your authority. Customers want to know that they’re working with a viable company that delivers on their promises.
When your website is badly designed or unsecured, it throws up red flags that scare prospects away.
Most web hosting companies offer free SSL with each domain, so that’s the least you can do to instill confidence. You’ll also look more professional if you avoid credibility killers like:
People should be able to envision how their life will change by using your product or service.
Another one of my clients improved new patient outreach on his website by swapping out stock photos for actual before/after images of real patients.
You can also improve your credibility by updating all of your online business listings, engaging with customers on social media, and monitoring customer reviews.
Studies show that over 90 percent of prospects read online reviews before they ever talk to a sales associate or visit a website. Rather than ignoring negative mentions, take steps to address each complaint publicly and quickly.
Even when dealing with B2B customers, putting too much jargon on your website can send the wrong impression. Not everyone who visits your website is a wonk who communicates solely in industry buzzwords.
You want to put the customer in the driver’s seat and instill confidence by not talking down to them or confusing the issues.
You want to aim for a unified approach and clear, concise wording on all of your online marketing platforms. Keep your copy smart enough to demonstrate knowledge and authority, but easy enough for the average person to read and understand.
Have you ever contacted a potential lead only to become tongue-tied when they provide reasons for saying no?
Even when you’re cold calling from a generic list of prospects, the art of counteracting objections will increase your conversion rates while making customers feel more confident in their decisions.
Anticipate what objections a lead may have about your product and be ready with an answer to overcome them.
For example, if a customer says that they are simply unable to afford your product right now, highlight the long-term benefits and reasons they can’t afford to wait.
There are six critical points along the route from awareness to loyal customers.
It’s important to learn where the lead is in their buyer’s journey and meet them there. If they say they might be ready to buy further down the road, make sure to follow through consistently and within a reasonable time frame.
In fact, follow-through is one of the most important elements of closing any deal.
As a consumer, there were many times that I wasn’t quite ready to commit, but just needed a little nudge in the right direction to make a decision.
Unfortunately, those companies lost my business because they never contacted me again after the first no. According to reports, more than 80 percent of sales require more than five follow-up calls, yet 44 percent of salespeople quit trying after only one or two contacts.
Everyone wants to know, “What’s in it for me?” When you fail to highlight the pros of doing business with your company, you’re neglecting the number one reason people say “Yes.”
No matter how cleverly you word your content or how compelling your story, it needs to resonate with the reader.
How do you add more value to your pitch? By following these simple steps:
You want to be customer-oriented in your approach and present the benefits that your solution offers as the best possible way to address their needs.
How are your revenues looking this year? Perhaps you’re not entirely satisfied with your results and want to boost your efforts.
Sales is part technology and part technique. When both are used insightfully, they create an effective means to attract, engage, and retain loyal customers.
If your figures are flat or sinking fast, a little self-reflection can go a long way toward reversing the trend and giving your company its best year yet.
Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library with a hot cup of coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.
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