Your ability to sell — convert interested people into paying customers — matters.
The internet has inevitably changed the way we sell and how we generate and manage sales leads. Online shoppers suffer from information overload. Increased online clutter and more businesses vying for your customer’s wallet means that it takes more effort to get a customer from the top to the bottom of your sales funnel.
So, how can you be more effective at lead generation and use emerging technology to stand out from the crowd? Here’s a look at 6 tips to get started.
1. Learn what a lead is (and what’s it’s not).
Yes, there are multiple online marketing channels like social media, email marketing, re-targeting, etc., but your competitors are also aware of these strategies. The result: customers are bombarded with way too much information, coming in from the same places.
First, understand what a lead is (and what it isn’t). Never consider a Facebook like, comment or share as a lead. And an email newsletter subscriber or new Twitter follower doesn’t imply interest in your products and services.
The real sales opportunity exists when a customer shares their “business card” details (i.e., contact information) indicated a tangible interest in your business. This lead data allows you to begin a relationship and get them into your sales funnel, which ultimately increases your conversion rate. Above all, make sure you validate your leads to separate true opportunities from soft interest.
2. Design your website to rake in sales.
It is easy for most online shoppers to find your website using their laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. So make sure you welcome them and give them a reason to stay!
Your website is the face of your business; a primary touchpoint for all companies with an online presence. It should be a digital blend of a cold call, trade show and print media – all designed to do one thing: close sales.
It’s necessary that your website is attractive and comprises of all the features and content a visitor expects.
3. Win their trust with high-quality content.
Potential customers will reach your website once, but they won’t return unless your content is appealing. Content marketing is a mid-funnel activity and your goal is not to sell anything, but to educate prospects on how your business can address their pain points.
Valuable content speaks with customers and creates a bridge of trust. Great content leaves a long lasting impression and comes in many forms. Ultimately, you’ll want to make your content gripping to readers.
4. Learn why SEO/SEM are match makers for your website.
A website with top search engine page rankings gets maximum traffic. If customers are looking for your products and services, your website should be easy for them to find. Search engine optimization (SEO) makes this possible. SEO helps to improve the ranking of your website in a search engine results page (SERP).
If you have just started your business, then it will be difficult to face competitors who have deep roots in the market. The best way to gain publicity, in this case, is through search engine marketing (SEM), a form of online marketing that increases website visibility on search engines by using paid advertising. Essentially you are buying site traffic.
So, instead of waiting for your website to rank well (which takes time) SEM is the quickest way to promote your site on search engines. It is also worthwhile given that SEM is often efficient in lead generation.
5. Let customers sell for you.
Sound strange? Make it possible with social media marketing (SMM). If you lack the budget to do SEM then try social media.
A majority of people are connected via social media these days. Focusing on social media marketing tactics will empower customers to share your brand with their network if they find it resourceful.
As a simple start, ensure social media sharing options on highly visible on your website. Dedicate specific efforts to increase your social following on key platforms to build social proof, advertise and grow brand awareness.
The indirect result of your targeted and correct social efforts is quality leads. The reality is social media does increase your business value, here’s how.
6. Review your sales process.
Do you have a sales process? If not, that could be the culprit behind lack of sales and overall business growth. A sales process “most often refers to a repeatable set of steps your sales team takes with a prospect to move them from early stage to a closed customer.” HubSpot does a great job outlining the basic steps:
Identify Pain and Needs
Make sure you have a precise plan and know what you’re doing at each step to attain maximum results.
Focus on your website design, get an in-depth understanding of online marketing and take advantage of social media platforms to establish your brand online. Train your sales team with the right technologies to add leads in your pipeline and give your competition a run for their money.
This article has been edited and condensed.
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