If every customer had the same buying process, life would be simple for marketers. We would simply answer requests for information via forms on websites, conduct demos, and close business. Easy! Instead, buying processes are as varied and complex as the audience of potential customers. This is where lead conversion gets tricky. To successfully turn your website visitors into customers, you need to engage decision-makers with the right content at the right time—and do so predictably at scale.
There is no easy button, but the good news is there are best practices, and we’ve identified the following nine trade secrets to help you get better at engaging leads and converting them to customers.
1. Map the Path
Spend the time to understand how a website visitor becomes a lead. A key aspect of increasing lead conversion is a thorough understanding of how visitors use the content on your site to decide that they should engage with you. Once you understand the existing path, you can create a new path that directs prospects to content and interactions that will help them take the next steps toward conversion.
2. Run A/B Tests
If you are not running A/B tests on your primary landing pages, what are you waiting for? The initial step in the conversion path will most likely be one of your landing pages. These pages should be tested to ensure that the offer, call to action, and thank you pages are optimized to receive as many qualified leads as possible.
3. Educate Your Leads
Prospects are hungry for information and frequently conduct their own research. Your website content should help them understand their problem, inform them of the solutions, and give them context on which solutions would be relevant to their specific situation. Content that supports this comprehensive learning exercise should be available to prospects so that they can qualify themselves for your solution. Once prospects have educated themselves in this manner, there is an understanding of mutual fit, and discussions around costs and implementation can be held in the proper context.
4. Improve Contact and Meeting Rate
The SDR team should follow processes that not only set demos, but also drive engaged prospects toward behaviors that move them along the buying path. For some prospects this means being directed to a white paper to help with early stages of research. For others it could mean signing up for a relevant in-depth webinar. SDR team process should ensure that data collection and documentation of qualification criteria are impeccable, such that CRM information supports touch points that are timely and salient to these targeted prospects.
5. Nurture Sales Qualified Leads
Sales qualified leads can become stagnant if next steps are not clearly defined or buyer timelines shift. Prospects that are not ready to buy after the initial call should not be forgotten—these leads are valuable and should be nurtured on an ongoing basis. There are AI tools that can be used to locate these leads to engage them with content that is relevant to their interests and concerns. This communication can be synced with SDR team activity to create a cohesive outreach strategy that will yield conversions.
6. Help Me Help You
Let your audience tell you their next steps. Marketers should take every opportunity to probe buyers as to their motivations, desires, and timing. Create and track performance of content that explains customer concerns and indicates where they are in their buying process. For instance, if a prospect is accessing a white paper that describes how your solution integrates within a particular technology environment, your SDR team can then follow up with very specific information that will help lead the prospect to the next step in the buying process and ultimately convert them.
7. Use Compelling Content
Prospects are skeptical and empowered. They have become accustomed to being able to quickly compare product price, features, and value before ever talking to a salesperson or requesting information online. Help customers make their decisions by creating a content-rich experience for those who are educating themselves toward a purchase. This content should be varied and highly shareable (i.e., video testimonials, short case studies, and infographics).
8. Call an Expert!
According to research by Nielsen, expert content is 38 percent more effective in driving purchase intent than content that is simply branded. Lead conversion occurs when prospects are certain that your solution meets their needs and addresses the risks associated with choosing you as a vendor. Find a thought leader or expert in your field, and conduct an interview via video, podcast, or even blog that highlights how their expert opinion bolsters your perspective. This doesn’t need to be a direct product endorsement, but rather a thoughtful discussion that places your product or service at the center of a solution to a specific common industry problem.
9. Leverage Live Chat
Live chat systems are extremely useful to engage with users who are in the consideration phase of the buying cycle. These tools allows prospective buyers to tell you how they would like to proceed without a significant time investment on their part. They’re also a great way to use AI to qualify leads and move them to the next step in the conversion path.
Now that you know the tricks of the trade, you can choose a few ideas that will have the most impact on your current process and start a few experiments. Wherever you are in the process of improving lead conversion, understand that many of these activities will need to be revisited to evolve with the changing needs of audience. If this list seems daunting, pick one tactic to focus on, and move on to another tip once you start seeing results. The idea is to keep your marketing activities fresh and learn as much as you can about your audience. They will appreciate your efforts and convert accordingly!