The best way to generate a lead is to ask happy customers for referrals. However, if you are a new business or expanding your business, you may need to try another method to generate leads and brand awareness, such as developing a lead magnet. But before you do that, it’s important to know how to identify and classify leads. It’s a critical step in the lead conversion process because it helps ensure you are directing your time, efforts, and resources toward those most likely to become paying customers.
Engagement with leads is another critical part of the lead conversion process. Poor lead engagement can result in losing a lead to competitors who are the more responsive. Mastering lead conversion can be your business’s greatest weapon if you learn how to use it. Here are 17 terms you’ll need to learn as you develop your marketing systems to capture and conduct a lead conversion process for your small business.
- Lead: This is at the top of your sales funnel. A lead is a person who has contacted your business either through a phone call, email, or landing page form to download your lead magnet but has not yet made a purchase.
- Opportunity: An opportunity is a qualified prospect with a high chance of closing.
- Contact: A contact is a paying customer, business partner, or affiliate.
- Lead magnet: A lead magnet is a piece of content or service given away free via a landing page in exchange for contact details.
Lead magnets can be a cheat sheet, video series, a trial subscription, Ebook, newsletter, webinar, free coaching session, etc.
- Lead conversion: Lead conversion is the process of engaging and converting prospect leads into paying customers. Lead conversion occurs when a prospect converts into a contact.
- Conversion goals: This is the goal of your marketing activities. You could focus on building your email list, growing your Facebook fans, or getting appointments. Often goals are weekly or monthly.
- Click-throughs: A click-through refers to when a prospect clicks on a link to your website from an organic search result, social media post, newsletter, online advertising, or a lead magnet, etc. A click does not necessarily represent a contact or a lead, but it’s the first step in tracking your marketing effectiveness.
- Visit: After the click-through, the prospect lands on your website, which is a visit. But a visit is not yet a contact unless you’re able to capture their email address with a lead magnet.
- Customer buyer journey: The customer buyer journey is how every potential customer decides to buy a product or service. In general, every buyer follows five main steps in the buying process before becoming a customer: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.
- Value Ladder: A value ladder is a lineup of offers that increase in price and value that meet people on their customer buyer journey— from initial awareness to becoming an advocate for your premium offerings. It’s an effective way for you to build trust and maximize the lifetime value of each customer.
- Lead classification: Lead classification is the process of identifying whether or not a lead is a good opportunity for your business based on factors like their needs, budget, timeline, and location. This is largely part of the B2B selling process.
- Marketing qualified lead: Marketing qualified leads are when a prospect has expressed some interest in your company by engaging with its content and provided contact details. Typically, you start your email nurture sequences at this stage.
- Sales qualified lead: A prospect customer has been researched and vetted and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process, such as a pitch call from you or a sales rep.
- Active lead: A lead who has demonstrated intent to purchase and is in an advanced stage of the buyer journey. You want your sales efforts to focus on these leads immediately. Active leads are typically engaging multiple businesses at one time, so follow-up is critical.
- Long-term lead: This is a lead at the beginning of the buyer journey and just starting to research their options. They might take weeks or even months before making a purchasing decision. The best way to determine their purchasing timeline is to simply ask them. Use lead nurturing emails to keep in touch and keep your brand top of mind with them.
- Follow up: This is the process of getting back in touch with a contact after their initial engagement. In the lead conversion process, it’s important to leverage both follow-up phone calls and lead nurturing emails. Quickly following up with new contacts can help you convert them into customers.
- CRM: A CRM system is a customer relationship management system. CRM software allows a user to collect touchpoints with prospects and the information about them such as name, phone number, email address, date and time of contact, lead source, whether they’re an active or a long-term lead. It typically integrates with your email marketing software. It helps you to stay organized so you or a salesperson can follow up with prospects.
How do you then convert these leads?
Online marketing can maximize marketing outcomes, but without actual sales from digital marketing activities, what is the point?? That’s why lead conversion must be a top priority for your small business. Acquiring interested leads is one thing, and securing their business is another.
1.Highlight Your Unique Value Proposition
It doesn’t matter what you sell, but you must let customers know what sets your brand apart. What makes your offering more valuable than your closest competitors? Customers these days are interested in supporting businesses that align with their personal values. Make sure your brand story explains what you stand for. You want to build an emotional connection.
2. Focus on Customer Experience
Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service must work together to provide a seamless and enjoyable customer experience. One person dropping the ball can sour a deal. Conversely, happy customers love to tell people about their experiences.
3. Relevant Content is Essential
Your content should speak to prospects during every stage of the customer buyer journey. Also, make sure your website content speaks to your new lead targets and your existing customer base. Consider developing two lead magnets. If you provide no value to your existing customers, you may lose out on an opportunity to secure any reorders.
4. Building an Emotional Connection with Your Emails.
Experts say the biggest factor in converting your ideal prospects into your ideal clients is the emotional connection to the seller. Use visuals. Add vulnerable content in your nurture emails. Use metaphors to help them visualize what their life would be like if you helped them solve their problem. Appeal to their safety and security instincts. Be passionate and use concrete, concise, and convincing facts, and, above all, tell a memorable story.
5. Leverage Technology to Respond Quickly
Your customer service reps need to be training like sales reps. For example, you can use live chat to engage leads by answering questions and driving them to offers or automate your customer engagement with a chatbot. You can also use mobile messaging, interactive webinars, quiz marketing campaigns to maintain personalized engagement and offer free samples, checklists, discounts, or a free coaching session to encourage prospects to close the deal themselves.
6. Use an Exit Marketing Strategy
You could focus on trying to convert people who look like they are about to drop off your website with an exit pop-up offer. You could focus on winning back people who left the site with a quick email or a retargeting campaign after shopping cart abandonment.
7. Use Happy Customers and Data to Drive Conversions
Spotlight happy customer reviews. Automate asking for reviews. By making it simple for customers to leave one, they will be more likely to write one. Use interactive data such as current page view counts and limited-time offers to boost sales. Highlighting real-time metrics can give readers a sense of scarcity and/or popularity.
Inbound marketing activities empower customers and allow businesses to demonstrate their value with email, live chat, content, and mobile marketing. If you struggle to convert leads into paying customers, consider updating your conversion activities.