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5 Steps for Improving Your Inbound Marketing Lead Conversion

By John McTigueJun 18, 2010

Most businesses devote a significant portion of their inbound marketing budget to lead generation. The prodigious outlay of time and effort is considered vital to company sales. Qualified leads should convert into paying customers. Yet, research shows that less than 20% of online leads are actually converted into sales. Fully 80% of online customer leads are lost, discarded, ignored or poorly pursued by sales personnel.

improve your lead conversion rates with inbound marketingIf your sales staff is converting fewer than 20% of online sales leads into paying customers, we recommend following these 5 steps to improve your online lead conversion rates and boost your sales volume:

  1. Commit. Successful online lead management requires a commitment from the executive level down. Lead analysis and development should be a joint marketing-sales undertaking and an integral part of your business culture. You should consider one of the many salesforce automation and customer relationship management (CRM) programs available to make your salesforce more productive. We recommend the HubSpot platform, since it integrates inbound marketing with a variety of CRM systems.
  2. Analyze. If your company has a robust inbound marketing program supplied by multiple social media, a process for handling, grading and responding to different types of online leads must be implemented. A Twitter tweet should generate a different response than an email query. Analysis should tell you which approaches are the most effective so that you can concentrate on those.
  3. Respond. Online marketing contacts require instant response. People expect turn-around responses to tweets and emails. Ideally, you should respond to inbound marketing leads from social media campaigns like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn within 5 minutes and certainly within an hour or two. Leads that submit your online forms should also receive a friendly automatic response right away, and a live phone call within hours.
  4. Repeat. Online leads are often casual, requiring repeat contact to convert responders into paying customers. It may take 7 to 10 contacts using different inbound marketing tools, such as lead nurturing campaigns, to leverage casual interest into purchasing power. You'll need to use different inbound marketing tools to keep your name in front of potential customers as you entice them to become purchasers.
  5. Measure. To effectively manage online leads and gauge the success of different inbound marketing tools, you'll need to track and measure every aspect of your inbound marketing campaign. A host of web analytics, including those from HubSpot, are available that measure everything from keyword use and search engine optimization to number of unique site visitors and page click-throughs. Choosing the most useful analytics for your business can be challenging. Expert inbound marketing assistance can ensure that you're using the most effective programs to track the right metrics.

How well are you converting leads into customers? We can help you with your lead generation and conversion strategy.

Photo credit: jovike.

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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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