These days, Marketing and Revenue Directors are responsible for increasingly complex lead conversion systems. The problem is that they are lacking the transparency needed to reliably improve and scale those systems. (Note: A lead conversion system here is how you’re turning contacts into clients).
The digital age provides an abundance of helpful ways to capture contact information and connect with the desirable, hyper-targeted audience at the right time. Technology enables salespersons to do a simple search to see the ways their network is connected to any individual B2B buyer. But what happens with all of that contact information? The truth is, most of it is falling through the cracks in incomplete lead conversion systems.
I help clients convert a higher amount of contacts into customers. It’s about turning inward, and getting systems into alignment. This enables clients to drive more revenue with marketing and sales dollars they are already spending.
Here are 3 practices I use that play essential roles turning more contacts into clients:
1. Make sure your leads are the right leads for your organization.
Getting this right starts with ideal client profiles. Not only does creating detailed ideal client profiles ensure you’re putting the right fuel into your lead conversion system, but it also gathers information that will affect your organization at the top. (Note: This being a critical step, I don’t base these profiles on guesses. My process includes conducting real interviews with existing and past best-fit clients.)
This first step makes the marketing & sales teams shine (Product Development is informed, Salespeople are happy). Subtle improvements in productivity and effectiveness are the result of better aligning your systems– everyone understands who they’re talking to, why they’re talking to them, and that a structure is being placed to convert them from prospect to client. Then, we take it up a notch by adjusting the marketing messaging to fit that profile. With this, you’re solving the ideal client’s problems, using their vocabulary, and even quoting them. Once the funnel is updated to reflect just that, we will have gone a long way from where we started.
2. Build lead conversion systems on the ideal clients’ terms, not yours.
For example, calling a sales cycle stage “appointment scheduled”, instead of something like “sent initial outreach” helps your team stay connected to the end-goal. Creating clear, attainable mini-goals will provide direction, structure, and enough space for your team to be creative. When the sales funnel stages represent actions taken by the buyer (not your sales team), those mini-goals result in real progress toward new client acquisition.
This practice also applies to messaging. All communication is about the value the buyer is getting, not about what the organization does. A fun way to apply this is by using “you-centric” language in marketing copy. Using “you-centric” language will remind your team to keep the focus on the buyer, and only communicate when adding value. In example, “We’re launching A/B testing services,” becomes “Your website is going to be converting 2X, maybe 3X more visitors than usual.” It’s a quick way to increase content engagement.
3. Use a CRM + marketing automation tool effectively.
The basic features of a good CRM will save your team a lot of time. The more advanced features will have your team working and learning from data to become more effective at hyper-speed. If your CRM is costing you time instead of saving you time, it isn’t the right fit for you.
Because there is so much you can do with a CRM + marketing automation tool, implementing plans for using it can overwhelm your managers. The tools can end up underutilized. Hire an expert to help you tie CRM use to lead conversion goals and roll it out in phases. Once it’s being used effectively, you’re going to have transparency and see exactly what’s working and what’s not. Onward, to increased revenue!
Bonus tip: Create a sales & marketing SLA (service level agreement), and keep open communication about it.
By having a clear agreement between sales & marketing, you’re bringing the two teams into alignment. They’re empowered to perform as one when it comes to lead conversion goals, which seals up the major crack in the lead conversion system.
B2B marketing & sales organizations have access to more potential buyers than ever. There is ample opportunity in using technology to reliably convert contacts to clients. With a lead conversion system that works, dialing up lead generation is the next step. Pour more leads in, and more revenue comes out.