By now you have probably already heard that your website needs to be “search engined optimized (SEO’d)”. In other words, being found at the top of the list when a person searches directly for your product or service on major search engines. For most businesses, this is a critical factor in revenue growth and overall costs-of-sales. We work with one of the top SEO agencies in the world and have found a major flaw with most businesses when it comes to converting clicks into actual revenue. I’m going to break-down the problem and share a proven solution that works in converting those clicks to real dollars.
Businesses are not converting even a fraction of the leads sitting right in front of them. For example, your cost per lead might be $75, but your cost per conversion might be 5K. When the systems to convert leads into revenue are not systematic or unpredictable, you lose money, and lots of it! Most businesses simply aren’t investing dollars to systematically improve lead conversion costs.
Companies typically spend $92 to bring customers to their site, But only $1 to convert them.-Eisenberg Holdings
What does this tell you? It tells me that most companies are so focused on driving in leads without streamlining a process to convert those leads into dollars. Don’t get me wrong, lead generation is critical. It’s why you invest into efforts such as search engine optimization, paid search (e.g. Google Adwords), social media and so on. Without focus on lead conversion, you are doomed for slow and expensive growth. Something most businesses simply can’t afford.
The solution to this problem is implementing a systematic Lead Conversion System (LCS). This is a system of automations and human processes that ensures all leads (generated from a variety of different sources) experience consistent engagement activities that support a remarkable buying experience that leads to increased sales. The goal is to generate efficiencies (cost savings) and to create effective processes that optimize your lead conversion rate. This assures any money spent on marketing to drive leads (e.g. through search engine optimization) is tied to processes that produce the greatest ROI.
Here’s how to get your Lead Conversion System off the ground…
Start to Understand the Ideal Customer Experience
Before getting into the details behind the development of your Lead Conversion System, start learning about the ideal customer experience. This is not an exercise you do by yourself. It involves conversations with your current or even prospective customers.
Ask them questions such as:
- What would you say is your ideal buying experience for xyz services?
- What is the most important bits of information you need in order to make a decision on xyz services?
- What are factors you consider to build trust with the brand?
- In the ideal buying experience, what methods of communication would you say are most effective?
- Please share an example of a buying experience you found remarkable
These are just a few of many questions you need to ask your customers. As you will see above, the answer to each question above will provide you with the information you need in order to properly architect your Lead Conversion System.
Find the Right Software to Architect Your Lead Conversion System
In order to develop a powerful Lead Conversion System, you need to first gather all of your findings from your research in understanding the ideal customer buying experience. This will tell you what software you’ll need.
Most Effective Lead Conversion systems include:
This is a system to take leads from your lead capture software and track activity in order to convert leads into sales revenue. My particular favorite sales CRM is PipeDrive.
Relationship Management Software
This is software designed to provide a way to communicate and collaborate with leads in order to convert them into prospects. Think of systems such as MailChimp.
Business Dashboard Software
All of the software and sales/marketing processes in the world won’t mean a thing unless you can properly correlate marketing and sales data into objective reports that empower you to make better business decisions. Dashboards essentially aggregate data from all of your marketing systems, sales systems, and even fulfillment systems so you can view your business end-to-end to measure and improve in real-time. Examples of business dashboard software include Klipfolio, DucksBoard, and Geckoboard. The type of dashboard you choose will depend on the complexity of data you need to view and what sources you want to pull the data from.
One other key point I want to make with business dashboards is how they can empower your marketing team to start talking to your sales team. Imagine giving your marketing team a report of the top 50 email subscribers based on data from all sent email campaigns. If the marketing has data like this they can help sales focus on deals that have a higher likelihood of closing faster.
Choose Cloud-Based Software
A major factor you need to consider when choosing the right software is centered around one word: INTEGRATION. In other words, your lead capture software needs to talk to your Sales CRM, relationship management software and dashboard software. Otherwise, you will create major inefficiencies in the sales process remove several points of visibility into your company.
My recommendation is to choose cloud-based software products that have well-documented APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and/or integration with services such as Zapier which make it possible to get software systems to talk to each other without a high level of technical knowledge.
Implement System Automations with Your Chosen Lead Conversion Software
Once you have chosen your cloud-based software to run your Lead Conversion System, it’s time to implement system automation.
Here is an example of just one automation that can take all take place automatically in a matter of seconds costing a fraction of a penny:
- Someone fills out a lead form on a specific page of your website
- A person is automatically assigned to a specific list segment in your email marketing software for that particular service
- A person is added to a specific pipeline in your Sales CRM
- Email and text message goes out to salesperson (through form software or tool such as Zapier) to notify them immediately
- A person is sent a welcome email triggering from an automation campaign in Mail Chimp.
- A person is set to receive service specific emails to help build trust with the brand
- The automatic LinkedIn connection request is sent from the salesperson of the service they expressed interest in.
- A phone call is assigned to the salesperson via Sales CRM within 30 minutes of the lead form submission
- The salesperson doesn’t follow through in 30 minutes – is sent text message and email reminder
- The salesperson makes calls and schedules follow-up activity – business dashboard software is updated automatically so the sales manager can view the activity and executive management can view the potential revenue.
This is just one example of an automated process that can happen. These types of automated processes are only possible if the tools you choose have the capability of working together.
Measure and Improve Your Lead Conversion System
Once all of the systems and processes are set up, it’s time to step outside and take a look at your business dashboard to view your metrics and make adjustments. The reality is that your Lead Conversion System will not be perfect the first time around. It’s going to take time to tweak and perfect. You’ll find new automation that need setup. You’ll find better ways to integrate your engagement activities within your sales CRM. You’ll find more data that your marketing team needs to better empower your sales team to improve sales conversion timeframes.
The key point to remember with measuring your Lead Conversion System is to make sure you are tracking the right data. For example, if Facebook “Likes” don’t empower your marketing team to make decisions or to communicate with sales, then don’t measure it. A metric like this might go under a separate category such as “brand exposure”, but doesn’t make sense as a core marketing or sales metric.
An experienced digital media consultant can help you through several of these types of decisions. The software. The processes. The metrics. The improvements.
Overall, your Lead Conversion System is a major asset to your company. It gives you complete visibility of your company from marketing to fulfillment. It’s the ultimate empowerment tool you need to make decisions that support your goals, mission, and vision.