Email marketing remains the most popular lead generation method and is gaining popularity in usage with 87% of marketers using it, ranking highest in sources of qualified leads. Direct mail and telemarketing followed closely with 49% and 37% respectively.* After generating suitable leads for your company, the question is how you will go about converting these leads into sales? Will you send them an email, give them a call or send them a letter? Follow these tips to help increase your chances of getting your return on investment on those leads you generated.
Recruit and train well
Marketing team, digital team or sales people; hire staff that are motivated to succeed. For sales staff, hire people that possess perseverance and flexibility with the ability to empathise with customers. In terms of marketing staff, creativity and attention to detail are good traits so that they can entice customers. After hiring, provide the appropriate training and induction to inspire them to dedicate themselves to the company. In depth knowledge of your company and products allow them to communicate with prospects confidently.
Ask your prospects questions to offer a solution
Ask questions to probe into and paint a picture of the current situation of their company to find out what their needs are. Listening first and understanding their problem will help you to decipher and counter any doubts they have. Only this way will you be able to provide a solution (hopefully your product or service) to their needs, the last thing anyone wants is a pushy sales person. Educate them and highlight the features and benefits that your product/service can bring to their company, how it can add value or more importantly increase their return on investment.
Be prepared for the unexpected
You’ve managed to get your prospect on the phone, besides from having your normal set dialogue; make sure your staff are prepared for the unexpected. Questions such as “why are you more expensive than competitors?” or “you had this piece of negative press lately, why should I trust you?” Customers will always remember the negative more than the positive; by making your staff aware of what they could come across via an internal communication system or training, they can be prepared to put that sale in the bag.
Everyone likes to get their money’s worth or feel as if what they’re getting back is more than what they paid. Depending on your business type, you could offer a free gift with a purchase or a discount on a service for a limited amount of time. Psychologically, customers feel more inclined to buy when they feel a sense of urgency and don’t want to miss out. It may not have to be an incentive that is of monetary value, it could be collecting points on a loyalty card, or providing a first class buying experience. Give them an extra bonus to push them into the next stage of the buying process.
Make your marketing stand out
You most likely won’t be the only one that is marketing to your prospect customer. On a daily basis, they could get several marketing emails through the post and several more in their email inbox. Open rates on emails and mails are low and even lower for them to actually take action. Make sure yours stand out from competitors so that it doesn’t get chucked in the bin without even being opened or looked at. This could mean hiring designers to make your design stand out or writers to make your content more engaging.
Develop a great FAQ section on your website
Many people now turn to the internet for any unanswered questions they have, their first point of call may not be to call you to ask. Depending on how ready they are in the buying cycle, answering these questions could determine their final decision on whether to purchase with you. Have a clear FAQ section on your website so prospects can easily find answers without having to go to several sources and drop out of the buying cycle half way through. The quicker and easier you make it for them, the more they want to buy with you.
Follow up and set a time limit
If queries weren’t answered via the FAQ section then a simple follow up call or email will help to answer any additional questions and get them back into purchasing mode. They may now have had time to look at competitor’s offers, remind them why they should buy from you before time passes and you’re no longer an option. Following up and answering unanswered questions will help to close a large percentage of leads in virtually most industries.
If after a certain amount of time they’re unresponsive and you can’t get them through the marketing funnel. Then don’t contact them again rather than wasting time and resource on a dead lead. This no communication deadline could be 14 days or 30 days after the lead is received, this way you can invest into other leads that are more likely to convert.