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Lead Conversion is Both an Art and a Science

By John McTigueMar 31, 2010

Let's say we're getting ready to hire someone to jumpstart our lead conversions. What skills and talents does this person need? Should we find a data cruncher or someone who can talk you into surrendering your wallet? Should we blend in some designer skills and season it with some SEO? Maybe all of these ought to go on our job description. After all, lead conversion is both an art and a science.

The Art

Think about what we're trying to do here. We're trying to convince someone who couldn't care less about your products or services to sign up for something, maybe even buy something. No small feat, even for a well-known brand. We'll need someone with a functioning right brain to:

    lead conversion is an art
  1. Understand what the customers want. You'll need to get inside their heads and hearts for this one. Must love dogs - that kind of thing.
  2. Come up with an offer that will appeal to them. Sure, you can give away snuggies and magnets 'til the cows come home, but how does that keep your visitors coming back for more and opening their wallets?
  3. Design a great landing page that converts every time. Yes, these challenges get tougher. Your page has got to grab them every time and convince them within seconds that if they don't sign up now, surely the sky will fall.
  4. Follow up and close the deal. No, people don't like snake oil salesmen anymore.You have to find the right mix of lead nurturing e-mails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings to get it done. It helps if you have a personality and maybe you learned a few manners in 2nd grade too.

The Science

Ok, good for you. You closed a sale using your artsy-fartsy side. Is that it? Sorry dude, your job is to replicate that over and over, and it helps to understand what worked and what didn't. For that we'll need to crunch some numbers.

  1. lead conversion is a scienceCampaign statistics - what worked best and why? Were there unique circumstances associated with the campaign or can you lather, rinse and repeat?
  2. Channel statistics - what's the best pipeline or combo or channels? Was it radio and billboards or blogs and social media, or all of the above?
  3. Demographics - who bought your stuff and why? Was it 65 year-olds living in Miami or teens from Schenectady?
  4. Focus groups - did you run some formal testing to see what would work? How do your results compare to the actual campaign?
  5. Analysis - somebody's got to go present this to the CMO and either blush with pride or duck and cover. What can you do better, assuming you have a second chance?  What's the plan for steadily increasing lead conversions (as you promised during the interview).

Now you're a bonafide lead converter, since you married your art and science into one righteous skillset. Of course you had some serious help, like the inbound marketing software, but we'll give you credit. After all, what's a grand piano without its Vladimir Horowitz?

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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