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How to Convert Leads Into Customers: Tips for Maximizing Sales

Let's talk about how to convert leads into customers. What's in it for you? Some basic know-how, why fast replies matter, easy-to-follow tips, and some tool suggestions. All this to help you not just gather leads, but also turn them into customers and increase your earnings. Hope you find it useful!

Ksawery Cepeniuk
15.09.23


Do you know what the average lead conversion rate is for B2B services? According to Ruler Analytics, it's about 2.7%. And that value is even lower for the B2C industry, 2.1% to be exact. This means for every 1000 leads a company generates, only 20-30 become actual customers (or clients).

Let's talk money. Getting one lead can cost you anywhere from $31 to $811 (source: Zippia). Let's say you're a B2B company, and it costs you $100 to get one lead. If you generate 1000 leads, that's $100,000 out of your pocket. If each customer gives you $5,000 over time and you have that low conversion rate, you'll make $135,000. After costs, you're left with a $35,000 profit.

But what if you could get just 1 more person out of every 100 to buy from you? Your profit would jump to $85,000. And what if you could do even better than that? By making small changes, you could really up your game.

While the buzz around generating lots of leads is louder than ever, it's crucial to remember that leads are just potential buyers. What truly drives a business forward are actual, paying customers. So, the question that begs to be answered is: how do you convert leads into customers more effectively?

The Process of Converting Leads Into Customers

Converting leads into sales doesn't have to be difficult, although the process may seem complex at first glance. The first thing you should always consider is your goal: to convert prospects into customers. And everything you do in this process should align with that objective one way or another.

Let's look at the seven basic steps to convert leads into sales. These steps can be carried out in many different ways: through email, on the phone, or during a typical sales presentation. There's also one more thing to keep in mind after a lead converts. Read on to find out what that is.

7 steps of converting leads

Step 1: Initial contact

If you want to convert leads into customers, you have to reach out to them. That's the whole point of getting their contact data, after all. Now, what's crucial here is how fast you make contact. Your response time has a significant impact on the responsiveness of the lead and the chance of it actually converting. But more on that later.

What else should you remember when making initial contact? Make a good first impression. You only get one chance to do that. We're not saying that you'll lose the lead if your tongue slips or you say something inaccurate, but being prepared, polite, and concise is very important.

One more thing to remember: you're talking to another human, so personalize your communication. We all want to feel special and hate it when we get automated, generic messages. Keep that in mind!

Step 2: Qualify the lead

Leads differ. A lot. Most importantly, in terms of quality, which means how likely they are to convert and how much profit they can potentially bring.

Let's say you're a software company that's selling videoconferencing software. One of your leads may be the CEO of a large company with offices all around the country and several remote workers. Not only does the company need your solution, it also has the money to buy it, maybe even the premium version.

And then you have a marketing specialist from a small, local company. Sure, they might want to buy your software as well, but the chances they will are a lot smaller. And they probably have less money to spend.

Not differentiating these leads would be a bit careless. So, qualify leads — use a set of criteria to decide if the lead is likely to become a customer and prioritize the best ones. This could be based on their needs, budget, or how they interacted with your website or social media.

Step 3: Understand their needs

Remember how we said personalization is key? To personalize your offer and communication, you need to know something about your customer and their needs. Ask questions to find out their needs, problems, and what they hope to achieve with your product or service. Use that to craft a better sales pitch, enhancing lead conversions.

Step 4: Present the solution

After you know what the customer needs, it's time to talk about your product or service. Show them how it can fix their problem or make things better for them.

Use easy words and short sentences. Talk more about the good things they will get from using your product, like saving time or making work easier, rather than just listing what the product does.

The most important thing is to keep the focus on the customer. Use phrases like "This can help you do X faster" or "Imagine not having to worry about Y anymore." This makes the customer the main part of the conversation and shows that you care about making their life better.

By doing this, you show the customer that you're not just trying to sell something. You're actually interested in helping them solve a problem.

Step 5: Handle objections

It's common for leads to have concerns or objections. Be prepared to address these. Whether it's about price, features, or something else, have answers ready that will ease their concerns.

First, make sure you understand what the objection is. Is it about the price, the features, or perhaps the implementation process? Clarifying the objection will help you address it more effectively.

Before you jump into your response, listen to what the lead has to say. This shows that you value their opinion and are willing to consider their point of view. Sometimes, objections are based on misunderstandings or lack of information. Ask questions to get to the root of the issue. For example, if the objection is about price, you might ask, "Is the budget the only concern, or are there other factors?"

Once you've identified and understood the objection, offer a solution. If it's a matter of cost, perhaps you can offer a payment plan. If it's about features, maybe a product demo would help.

Step 6: Follow up

Sometimes, leads need time to think or consult with others. That's okay. What's important is to follow up. Send a reminder email, make another call, or even send a special offer to encourage them to take the next step. Avoid spamming, though. If your last message is left unanswered, don't send another one straight away.

Step 7: Close the sale

Once the lead is ready to become a customer, make closing as easy as possible for them.

The easier you make it for the lead to say "yes," the better. Remove as many barriers as possible. This could mean simplifying the contract, offering multiple payment options, or providing a one-click sign-up process. Ensure that all terms, conditions, and pricing are clear. Transparency builds trust and makes it easier for the lead to make a decision.

Don't forget about onboarding the customer!

Congratulations, you've made the sale! But the process isn't over the moment leads turn into sales. Now, it's time to onboard your new customer. Make sure they know how to use your product or service and offer any support they might need. A good customer experience will result in positive feedback about your brand and might open opportunities for upselling.

The Importance of Lead Response Time

The timing of your response is crucial in the process of converting leads. A quick reply can make the difference between securing a new customer and losing a potential sale. Let's talk about why fast replies are so important and how they can really help you get more sales.

Why does quick response matter?

  • First impressions count. A quick response shows you're attentive and interested in your potential customer's needs.
  • Beat the competition. Being the first to respond can give you a competitive edge, as customers are more likely to engage with the first company that contacts them.
  • Higher engagement and responsiveness. Leads are more likely to be engaged and open to discussion when you respond promptly.

The numbers don't lie

The Inside Sales team found that waiting longer than five minutes led to an 8-fold decrease in conversion rates. This conclusion comes from a comprehensive study spanning three years and involving over 400 businesses. Adopt the "Five-Minute Rule" as a company standard to boost your conversion rates.

It appears that the speed of response impacts not just the rate at which leads become customers but also the conversion from website visitors to leads.

Not so long ago, we carried out an in-house study at CallPage. We designed multiple versions of a landing page, all identical in content but varying in the promised response time — ranging from "coming soon" to "within 30 seconds."

We found something really interesting. The page that said "coming soon" only turned 1.2% of visitors into leads. But the page that promised a reply in 30 seconds? It turned 2.28% of visitors into leads — that's almost double!

What's more, a page that promised a 15-minute reply only had a 1.8% success rate. That's way lower than the 30-second page.

So, quick replies really do make a big difference.

READ ALSO: How to Improve Lead Response Time & Why You Should (+ Statistics)

How to improve the response time?

To improve your lead response time, the first thing you should consider is automation. Tools like CallPage can be a game-changer here, offering instant callbacks to ensure you're connecting with leads as quickly as possible. But it's not just about callbacks; you can also set up real-time notifications to alert your sales team when new leads come in. This way, they can take immediate action, which is crucial for reducing response time.

Training your team is another key aspect. Everyone needs to understand how important quick responses are. It's not just about getting back to the lead; it's about how you handle the conversation that follows. Efficient lead handling can make all the difference in converting a lead into a customer.

And let's not forget the tools you choose to use. They can either make your process smooth or create unnecessary delays. We'll get into the specifics of what tools to consider in a bit.

Remember, by focusing on quick lead response times, you're not just upping your chances of converting leads into customers. You're also building a reputation as a responsive and customer-focused business, and that's something that can set you apart in today's competitive market.

Use These Tools to Effectively Convert Leads

We've discovered that the key to converting leads into sales is quick contact and a tailored buying experience. We've also walked you through the eight steps involved in this process.

But knowing the recipe and having all the ingredients isn't enough if you don't have the pots and pans. Or if your knife is blunt. So, let's talk about the tools you'll need and how to make use of them.

CRM software

What it is: CRM stands for customer relationship management. This type of software keeps a record of all interactions with your leads and customers, from the first touchpoint to the last.

Why you need it: With a CRM, you can easily manage tasks, set reminders, and ensure that no lead falls through the cracks. It's like having a personal assistant that helps you maintain relationships at scale.

How to use it: These platforms can be used to log calls, emails, and meetings. They also offer the option to set up automated reminders for follow-ups and use the analytics feature to gauge lead engagement. And thanks to integrations with your other marketing and sales software, CRMs serve as a central hub for your lead conversion strategies.

Customer communication tools

What they are: Customer Communication Tools are software solutions designed to manage and enhance interactions between your business and its customers. These can range from email platforms, through live chat and chatbots, all the way to advanced tools like a virtual PBX system and instant callback services from CallPage.

Why you need them: In the digital era, effective communication is vital for customer satisfaction and business growth. These tools help automate routine interactions, provide instant support, and offer valuable analytics for data-driven decisions. They're also scalable, adapting as your business grows.

How to use them: Start by identifying your business's specific communication challenges. Then, choose a tool that aligns with your goals. For example, if quick response times are crucial, a tool like CallPage can be a game-changer. Make sure the tool integrates well with your existing systems and train your team on its use. Regularly monitor its performance through analytics and adapt your strategies based on customer feedback.

Email marketing tools

What they are: Email marketing tools are software platforms designed to create, send, and track email campaigns. These tools often come with features like templates, segmentation, and analytics. They also allow you to set up automated messages and nurture leads through personalized email sequences.

Why you need them: Email remains a powerful channel for customer engagement and conversion. These tools help you automate campaigns, personalize messages, and measure success, making your email marketing efforts more efficient and effective. What's more, email marketing is said to offer the best ROI out of all channels, with an average return of 3600% (source: Constant Contact).

How to use them: First, define your email marketing goals, such as lead generation or customer retention. Choose a tool that fits these goals and integrates with your existing systems. Train your team on the platform and keep an eye on metrics like open rates and click-through rates to gauge effectiveness. Test different tools, as most of them offer free trials.

READ ALSO: Automated Lead Generation Software: Everything You Need to Know

Keeping Leads Warm: The Importance of Nurturing Leads

You've successfully captured a lead — congratulations! But the journey doesn't end here. In fact, this is where the art of lead nurturing comes into play. Ignoring this step is like catching a fish and then letting it swim away; you've done the hard work but missed the opportunity to reel it in.

Six rules of effective lead nurturing

The power of timely communication

One of the cornerstones of lead nurturing is responding to your potential customers in a timely manner. And in today's world, timely often means instant.

This is where tools like CallPage can be invaluable. With its instant callback feature, you can connect a lead with a sales rep in as little as 28 seconds. This ensures a consistent touchpoint and keeps your brand at the forefront of the lead's mind without overwhelming them.

Personalization beyond first names

While addressing your leads by their first name is a good start, true personalization goes much deeper. Use data analytics to understand their behavior and preferences. Tailor your messaging and offers based on this information to make each interaction feel unique and relevant.

Educational content

Instead of bombarding leads with sales pitches, offer them valuable educational content. Whether it's a how-to guide, a webinar, or an insightful blog post, this type of content positions you as an authority and builds trust.

Multi-channel engagement

Don't limit yourself to just one channel. Employ a multi-channel approach that includes social media, email, and even SMS. Diversifying your channels ensures you reach your leads where they are most comfortable.

Analytics, the unsung hero

Just like in the conversion process, analytics play a crucial role in lead nurturing. Track engagement metrics and adjust your strategies accordingly. If an email campaign isn't getting the desired engagement, perhaps it's time to tweak the content or timing.

The long game — building relationships

Lead nurturing is not a sprint; it's a marathon. Building a lasting relationship takes time and consistent effort. Keep an open line of communication and be ready to adapt your strategies based on feedback and performance metrics.

By giving due attention to lead nurturing, you're not just keeping leads warm — you're turning them into brand advocates. And in today's competitive market, that's a win worth celebrating.

Turn Online Leads Into Sales Smoothly With CallPage

When it comes to lead conversion, let's be real: time is a game-changer. On top of what we said about lead response time already, studies show that a lead contacted within five minutes is 21 times more likely to turn into a sale than one contacted just 30 minutes later (source: Geckoboard). That's where CallPage comes into play as a real asset for your business.

CallPage is all about that instant connection. Its callback feature can link a lead with a sales rep in a mere 28 seconds. Picture this: a potential customer lands on your website and is intrigued by what you offer. They punch in their phone number into the CallPage widget, and boom—they're talking to a sales rep almost instantly. This quick action not only wows the customer but also catches them at their peak interest, making a sale much more likely.

But CallPage isn't a one-trick pony. It's packed with features like call recording, analytics, and personalized IVR, giving you the insights you need to fine-tune your game. Plus, it plays well with others, integrating smoothly with your existing CRM and marketing tools.

In today's digital world, where consumers are swamped with options, grabbing and holding their attention is gold. CallPage helps you do just that, turning a quick interest into a solid sale by marrying speed with smarts.

So, by bringing CallPage into your lead conversion strategy, you're not just speeding things up — you're seriously upping your odds of turning a casual browser into a loyal customer.

What You Should Do to Optimize Lead Conversion

Looking to elevate your lead conversion rates? You've got the eight steps down and a sense of the tools you'll need. So, what's next?

Firstly, knowing your audience is non-negotiable. Dive into customer segmentation and create detailed personas. This isn't a mere formality; it's the bedrock of your strategy.

Switching gears to user experience, both speed and functionality take center stage. Make sure your website excels in speed and is optimized for mobile use. A compelling call-to-action (CTA) is more than just a nice touch; it's a necessity for capturing attention.

Don't underestimate the power of analytics. Regular A/B testing and meticulous data analysis aren't optional; they're essential. These insights will steer your future actions, so scrutinize them carefully.

Personalization is your secret weapon. Integrate dynamic content into your pop-up widget and refine your scoring rules. This ensures you're connecting with the right audience at the most opportune moments.

On the sales front, smart call routing and optional call recording can provide invaluable insights. And remember, a lead not converting right away isn't a dead end. Automated email sequences and retargeting ads can keep you in their line of sight.

As for integration, seamless CRM connectivity is practically a given in today's landscape, and the adaptability of Zapier for linking your tech stack is a huge asset.

Finally, keep your finger on the pulse of your KPIs and remain receptive to feedback. Both quantitative metrics and qualitative insights are crucial for ongoing refinement.

Convert Those Leads Into Customers!

We hope this article helped you better understand how to convert leads into customers effectively. The journey from lead to customer is a nuanced process that requires a well-thought-out strategy, timely communication, and the right tools. By focusing on quick response times, personalization, and data-driven decisions, you can significantly improve your lead conversion rates.

Incorporating tools like CallPage can be a game-changer in your lead conversion strategy. With features like instant callbacks, analytics, and seamless integration with your existing CRM and marketing tools, CallPage can help you connect with leads at the right time and in the most effective manner. So why not give it a shot? Sign up for a free 14-day trial. No credit card required!

Good luck, and may your lead conversion rates soar!
 

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