In my previous post I shared how your lead to close percentage is a canary in your coal mine, an early warning for your future sales performance. Market leaders track and constantly fine tune their lead to close process to drive sales performance increases. In this post I will share 10 steps I have used to improve your lead to close percentage.
Improving your lead to close percentage increases the return on your team’s market dollars invested while adding predictability to the sales forecasting process.
When you ask sales people what they need to grow their sales and hit their sales numbers they often say: more leads. I have found in 95% of the cases this is not true. You do not need more leads you need to improve your sales teams close rate on the leads you already have.
Here’s some stat’s for you to chew on….
50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy ( Hubspot)
57% of B2B companies identify converting qualified leads into paying customers as a top funnel priority (Marketing Sherpa)
65% of Marketers have not established lead nurturing (Marketing Sherpa)
79% of markets have not established lead scoring (Marketing Sherpa)
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost ( Forester Research)
Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads ( The Annvitas Group)
Companies that have lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps make quota ( Gartner Research)
Trigger based marketing, event based marketing is 2 to 12 times more effective than old school direct marketing ( Genroe)
How do we serve our customers and help them to buy what they want when they are ready to buy?
- Know why customers buy from you and why they don’t
- Tear down internal Silo’s between sales and marketing
- listening, truly understanding your buyers problems, criteria and buying process
- Teach, develop content , drive demand
- Create lead nurturing processes
- Make it easy to buy from you and stop protecting the fort in your sales process
- Create buyer persona’s , speak to their pain
- Use trigger based marketing, event based marketing
- Make sales a part of the lead nurture process and make sure you understand it is different than the lead generation process
- your job is not to “sell” your customers but “serve” them and help them buy
If you do not have a lead nurturing process in place start one today. Keep in mind the best lead nurturing programs touch prospects with relevant insightful content perfectly timed based on their intimate understanding of how buyers buy and the criteria they use. You are building a relationship. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, so why would you expect to close the sale immediately?
The landscape of sales today has changed dramatically compared to how it used to be. Market leading sales and marketing teams work together with cross functional goals. Salespeople spend time on the internet researching their customers and prospects leveraging technology to identify problems they can solve instead of hours of windshield time and logging air miles. Market leading sales and marketing teams have adapted and leverage technology to improve their lead to close percentages. They increase sales and return on sales dollars invested.