One of the best ways to increase sales without increasing a marketing budget is to improve the percentage of leads that convert to sales. Frequently the focus is on clicks, impressions and leads while sales follow-up and conversion is at best, an afterthought. Improving sales conversions by as little as 10% can add significant growth to your company’s bottom line. Here are five ways that have proven to be effective in improving sales conversions by more than 30%.
1) Timing and content of follow-up
Consumers at all levels; B2B, B2C and B2b-B2C are conditioned to the level of service and follow-up of o-line retailers like Amazon. For instance, if you capture a lead at a trade show, a thank you and acknowledgement of their interest should be sent within 24 hours. Requests for literature, samples or other sales follow-up should be experienced within 48-70 hours. The service level you give to lead responses speaks volumes to your brand and translates into improved sales conversions.
2) Make it easy buy
Imagine this. A prospective customer receives an email or clicks on a banner ad about a new product your company is launching. They get a bit more information and then want to know the price of the product or where they can purchase it. You send them to the “Find a Distributor” section of your website where they enter their zip code and get a list of Distributors. They call a Distributor who knows nothing about your new product and doesn’t have it in stock so sells them a competitor product. Would you go through that kind of hassle to get pricing or find a product? Probably not if in the meantime you are offered another options that solves your problem and is easier to buy. But what if you only gave those leads to Distributor Partners that have the product in stock and have a proven track record of servicing your customers effectively? Sales conversions would improve exponentially!
3) Make it easy to contact sales
When you send a follow-up email or letter to a lead responder do you insert the contact information for their local sales rep? If not, you should! What do you expect the prospective customer to do if they want to talk with a sales rep for quick information or to ask questions (pretty hot lead by the way)? Go to your website, look the rep up through some type of “Find a Sales Rep” function, write down the phone number and call them? Please! Make sure to put a contact number and name in front of prospects and customers every chance you get. Make it easy or they will go somewhere else that is.
4) Build a relationship
Listening and responding to customers is the first step in building a relationship with your brand. But what if part of that process was finding out from them what next step they are interested in engaging in? Maybe they are interested in an analysis service or diagnostic app or catalog. They may even want to refer a colleague or friend to your product or brand. When sending communication to customers and prospects ALWAYS address customers by their name (Please don’t send “Dear Customer” letters or emails! Seriously, if you cared about them wouldn’t you at least know their name?) and ask them what other offered options they are interested in.and then deliver.
5) Use customer feedback to improve results
Finally, do you have a practical and systematic method of obtaining customer feedback on their experience of your sales and marketing process? That process is required for many ISO certifications and will help you determine weak points in your sales process. A well orchestrated lead follow-up process will provide you obtain information as to why you lost a sale to a competitor, what is holding up their purchasing decision, whether or not the contact is the actual decision maker and so much more.