Without leads, your business will most assuredly fail.
As a business owner you’ll quickly become familiar with the task of lead generation, a marketing process that involves capturing interest in your product or service to develop your sales pipeline. It is one of the most important marketing and activities you’ll undertake.
There are thousands, perhaps millions, of businesses competing for market share in your industry. As you join the entrepreneurial league, this kind of market pressure can make it difficult to generate new sales leads.
3 key questions to increase sales leads
Are your lead generation efforts yielding results? If so, how do you know? If not, what’s keeping you from developing a successful lead generation strategy? Moreover, what steps can you take to improve the quality of your sales leads?
In this article we’ll look at three essential questions to help you identify the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts. Once you identify the flaws in your strategy, you can executive more effectively and drive higher profitability.
1. Does our content attract leads or scare them away?
Content marketing is an inbound strategy design to attract more leads. The content you create and distribute on your website and targeted online channels will define what potential customers think about your company. If you create more content you’ll drive awareness and attract customers, but the quality of the content defines the impression people have about your brand (i.e. brand image).
Here are three ways to learn whether your content attracts leads or scares them away:
Revisit all of your content
Gather all of your articles, ebooks, case studies, blog posts and white papers. Ask yourself: Is our content relevant and helpful or merely promotional in nature? Quality content delivers value without demanding too much in return. Be truthful with yourself about the real value of your content from a customer’s perspective. Schedule time to manage your content marketing for 30 minutes each day.
Monitor bounce and conversion rates
Closely watch the bounce, click-through and conversion rates on your website content. This will indicate whether your audience finds your content valuable. These metrics can guide you directionally to generate more leads. Strike a fine balance between quantity and quality.
Split test content
Content creation can be challenging. In fact, “47% of B2B marketers cite producing the right kind of content that engages as one of their top three content marketing campaign challenges.”
Split testing (A/B) content will help you measure what type of content works and its impact on metrics and lead generation. An A/B test allows 50 percent of visitors to see one version of your content, while the rest see another. Test website changes regularly to ensure your online presence is fresh, updated and relevant. Simultaneously, it can help you optimize your conversion rate.
2. Do customers inherently trust us?
When it comes to purchasing behavior, customers buy from businesses they trust. So, how can you build trust with people you’ve never met? If you attract a lot of visitors to your website, but struggle to convert prospects into customers–the underlying reasons may not be obvious. Here are three things to consider.
Make your website more trustworthy
Look at the structure and content on your website. First impressions are lasting impressions. Your website is literally the face of your company. If your website is not well-designed and mobile-friendly, it’s possible you lose customers due to poor website design. Ensure your website is optimized for all devices and delivers an effective value proposition. Make your website more trustworthy with customer success stories, credentials, testimonials, honors and awards. Include anything that demonstrates the true value you deliver.
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to connect to a business when you need to ask a question. If you’re waiting for online visitors to uncover your email address stuffed in a small corner of your website, then you’re losing out on sales opportunities. Instead, use live chat software, effective call to actions and easily accessible FAQ’s. If you run a service-based business, use convenient online appointment scheduling software. A flexible and affordable booking system can be integrated into any site.
Personalize and customize communication
Personalize and customize online communications based on their stage in your sales funnel. If you’re still using generic language in your emails and SMS marketing, you’re likely being ignored. Collect relevant customer information in your online forms and appointment setting tools, if applicable. Follow up with leads in a timely manner with automated reminders with dynamically populated customer data.
3. Are we tracking the right metrics?
If you can measure it, you can improve it. This especially applies to lead generation. If you track the right metrics over time, you will have a clear picture of what works and what does not. Some important metrics you should track include:
Key performance metrics include click-through rate, conversion rate, time to conversion and return on investment (ROI). Use these metrics to track at a landing pages and offers on your website.
Click-through Rate (CTR) measures how many people are clicking on your call to actions.
Conversion Rate tells you how your visitors react to offers and specific landing pages. Watch conversion rates at each stages of the sales funnel to decide what to tweak. Selling online? If so, since “shoppers increasingly using smartphone and tablet to purchase, it’s vital for online retailers to know conversion benchmarks they should be achieving on smartphone device. You can see that typically m-commerce conversion rates are around half of those on desktop.”
Time to Conversion deals with the length of sales cycles. Sales conversion cycles are different for B2B and B2C companies. If you have a long sales cycle, time to conversion is a helpful metric to track. Track this at each stage of your sales funnel to get an accurate picture of your conversion cycle.
Lastly, Return on Investment (ROI) tells you how much profit you made on a specific investment. For example, if you spend $10 to capture a lead and you know you can make at least $15 per customer, then your ROI is 50% [($5/$10)*100].
Cost metrics tell you about the costs associated with acquiring traffic and leads. If you launch a paid advertising campaign, track the cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC) and/or cost per conversion (CPC). Watch the customer lifetime value (CLV) and ensure your cost of acquiring customers is worth the spend.
Channel and sales metrics
Channel metrics tell you which marketing channel delivers the best leads. Track paid and organic leads to determine if your organic lead generation works well enough to reduce dependence on paid leads.
Meanwhile, pay attention to closing rate per channel and month-to-date goal for each channel. These metrics will tell you about the growth and progress of each channel in comparison to goals. This will help you identify the most effective channels.
Lastly, sales metrics help you identify if you have enough leads to support marketing efforts. Track closing rate (percentage of leads that converted to actual sales) and win rate (how many leads you will need to create actual clients).
Ultimately, when you improve lead generation efforts, you will notice the numbers across all of your sales funnel will improve steadily.
Sneha Mittal is the Marketing and Customer Service Manager at SuperSaaS, an online appointment scheduling system. Sneha enjoys reading, cooking and traveling in her leisure time. Connect with @supersaas on Twitter.