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A Checklist for Converting More Sales Leads to Customers

By John McTigueJun 15, 2011

We inbound marketers spend a lot of time worrying about traffic and leads, to the point of assuming that once you have a nice steady increase in these metrics, it's MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Nothing could be further from the truth. If you aren't converting sales leads into customers, and if your conversion rates aren't improving with time, you still have a lot of work to do. Maybe you're overlooking something... Here are some very real possibilities.

Mechanics Use a Checklist of Diagnostics on Your Car - Here's Ours

  • Sales Process - do you have a sales process in place? Who is responsible for monitoring and evaluating leads as they come in? Who will respond and when? How will they respond and what will they say? Organize your sales process, and give your team CRM tools to manage their calls and actions.
  • Lead Segmentation - how do you know if a lead is qualified? Are you asking questions in your landing pages that may separate a truly interested lead from a tire kicker? Include questions that qualify your target customer, by region, by industry, by title, by need and by immediacy of need. The tradeoff is scaring leads away with too many questions. If your content is truly valuable, they won't mind filling out your form.
  • Lead Scoring - can you track lead activities and at a glance evaluate their interest level? Does your inbound marketing platform do that for you by scoring leads as they visit your site and convert on your landing pages? Depending on your sales offering, one successful sale per month may justify the expense of investing in one.
  • Lead Nurturing - what happens after a lead converts on a landing page? Do they get an immediate phone call, or do they get a series of e-mails gently "nurturing" them to return to your site early and often? Some leads will be hotter than others. You need to develop a strategy for lead nurturing based on lead segmentation and lead scoring.
  • Response Time - if a potential customer is ready to buy, are you the first to contact them? Timing alone can often spell the difference between sales success and failure. Someone needs to monitor incoming leads and repeat visitors, quickly evaluate their interest level and respond quickly and appropriately. This should be part of your sales process.
  • Closed Loop - are your sales and marketing teams on the same page? Your teams should be in constant communication with each other, providing feedback on what's working and what isn't. You should be able to measure conversion rates on everything you do and review the data regularly. The more agile and integrated your teams are, the more likely you are to close sales.
  • Strategic Review - inbound marketing is a living, breathing organism. You should be reviewing results regularly and adjusting your strategy to optimize sales performance. Don't ever assume that the good stuff will come later. If your strategy is working, you should be seeing results in the near term. Don't be afraid to change things up - after all, your market is changing without your help. Your job is to anticipate those changes and be the first and last stop in your customer's search.

What tips do you have for closing more sales from inbound marketing?

Your comments are always welcome.

We've also put together a Sales Cheatsheet with more ideas on how to improve your sales performance.


Sales Cheat Sheet

Sales Cheat Sheet

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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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