Optimizing conversion rates is something that has a direct and powerful correlation with the profitability of any organization. Imagine what your sales numbers would look like with a 3% increase in close rates. Or better yet - a 20% increase.
Run the numbers and you will find that even a very small increase in close rate percentages can have major revenue implications. Sales leaders who focus on ways to close more leads in scalable ways are likely to see profit gains and more success.
Build Effective Lead Gen Systems
Every sale starts as a lead and as most sales folks know, lead gen is a grind. It’s hard work but that sweat equity can drive a consistent stream of leads that fill your top-of-funnel positions. Lead gen is a numbers game and building processes that deliver results is the key to empowering sales teams with a steady stream of opportunities.
Cast a wide net and leverage your media and personal networks for lead gen. The following channels comprise a nice baseline for your organic lead gathering. Add paid campaigns to the mix and you can quickly fill the pipeline.
Website Lead Gen
First impressions matter and a modern website that grabs the attention of visitors is a must-have. It’s not all about the looks though. Your website should clarify the brand's value proposition and show how you are relevant to prospects.
Is your value proposition lacking clarity? Consider building a messaging matrix so your sales and marketing teams have a resource to lean on for consistent message delivery. Learn more about how you can align your marketing and sales teams with a messaging matrix here.
The website’s blog (just like this one) should educate your audience, build authority, and drive organic traffic. Additionally, making it easy to contact your business or giving incentives through lead magnets will help build a targeted list of prospects showing high intent.
It’s not all about likes with social media - but clicks do matter. According to Fit Small Business, “90% of top sales performers use social selling tools.” Your social presence makes it possible to access prospects as they browse Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Use social channels to share your education content while garnering authority and trust from prospects who aren’t quite ready to move down the funnel.
Leverage Referral Networks
Never underestimate the power of referrals for lead gen. Incentivize your team and existing clients to make referrals within their networks. This classic method of lead gen will always remain productive.
Targeted industry lists and cold calling or emailing to an opt-in list will bolster leads. When high volume lead gen is needed and inbound lead systems are not in place yet, cold outreach will get the job done. Use this strategy while building out your inbound systems for sustainable lead gen.
Leverage Collateral and Address Objections Early
Empower your sales team with the collateral they need to educate leads/prospects and address objections early. 76% of companies report an increase in sales after implementing sales enablement initiatives and your collateral fits into this category.
Add FAQs to your website to answer common questions and put objections at ease and go beyond the old-school brochure with collateral that really moves the needle.
Your sales team should also have access to:
- Sales slicks
- Case studies and testimonials
- Sales decks
- Targeted landing pages
- Video explainers
While lead gen casts a wide net, delivering sales collateral is more targeted. Build slicks and decks that position language for the exact type of customer. If you have multiple services or products, it’s especially important to beef up collateral resources.
Don’t Wait! Establish the Relationship Immediately
Have a dedicated person ready to make contact with leads immediately. Waiting to establish the relationship means the lead is more likely to seek other options and fall off your radar. The personal outreach from a team member allows busy sales staff the capacity to focus on closing.
Consider automating some of this process as well. Send a welcome email sequence to nurture new prospects and warm them up. Share essential collateral and content to cover some ground before you have any important meetings.
It can take numerous touchpoints to close a sale (up to 8 on average) and these early engagements can automate a segment of those touches while helping your team establish trust very early in the process.
Research. Listen. Learn.
Identify pain and specific prospect needs early in the process and use this information to guide your selling strategy and close deals with less resistance. When you understand prospect pains, it becomes possible to position your offer as the solution.
Gather critical pain points by:
- Asking direct questions about prospect needs
- Ask where their current solutions fall short
- Send out a pre-meeting survey
- Research their professional social media profiles
After you have the conversations surrounding their pain and have a firm grasp on what they want, build specificity into the proposal so they can easily see how your offer is the solution. Most prospects will tell you exactly what they need and it’s the sales rep's job to listen and respond strategically. Pay attention to close the sale and increase conversions across the board.
Is your sales process missing key sales enablement?
Take our free, 5-minute assessment and we’ll tell you exactly what’s missing with a custom report