Tapping into the highest quality sales leads comes from a combination of factors, starting with the premise of facilitating the customer journey. In order to maximize your opportunities, you need to act upon clear definitions for terms such as “lead,” “prospect,” and “opportunity.” Here is the path to successful lead generation and conversions.
As you gather leads through various methods, such as your content marketing and social media, you must be conscious of your priorities so that you are spending time efficiently. Many marketers create scoring systems that separate warm and cold leads. Warm points to likely or possible sales, while cold indicates the person simply is nowhere close to buying.
People who don’t intend to buy from you initially shouldn’t be considered leads. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should disregard them as potential leads entirely. It is possible that they could be one good interaction away from becoming a cold lead, whether it’s a well-written email or simply a friendly reply on LinkedIn.
Your main job in the search for relevant leads, though, is to develop a plan that focuses the most energy on people who exhibit the greatest desire for what you offer and have the ability to make a purchase. Look for the path of least resistance, rather than trying to convince long shots.
Turning Leads into Prospects
The modern digital world allows you greater chances to turn leads into prospects, compared with conventional one-size-fits-all marketing initiative. Now, you can develop customized plans for different market segments.
It’s also possible to gather too many leads that go nowhere if you fail the first step of defining quality leads.
Developing special lists based on where leads come from, such as referrals, can accelerate the conversion process. Referrals are among your warmest leads to start with because they already come with endorsements from trusted sources. Another list might come from networking within your circle of existing contacts. Expanding your list of contacts can be achieved through trade shows, webinars, joining organizations, connecting with people on social media, and other methods that allow you to meet others either in person or virtually.
Additional things to consider include:
- Swapping leads with other salespeople if it benefits both parties
- Narrowing leads by your geographic area as it might be more convenient for you to serve potential customers found by other agents
- Exploring industry resources, such as business directories, as another way to connect directly with your target market
- Posting carefully crafted messages through different media, like social or news media, to capture leads that want to know more about your offerings
How Prospects Become Opportunities
You’re ready to close deals once you’ve developed various lists full of warm leads. Following these conversion tips will strengthen your efforts.
- Open doors by asking the right questions – Find out what customers are looking for and demonstrate authority in answering their questions. Learn from their insights, while cultivating curiosity. Be honest and realistic, which can build trust and possible referrals. Offering an FAQ page on your website can help attract ready-to-buy prospects.
- Follow-ups can make a difference – Once someone responds to your email or other form of communication, start a conversation with them. Keep in mind the various stages of the customer journey, from discovery through getting support. Try to keep the conversation going over time and focus on building an authentic customer relationship.
- Attract prospects by offering incentives – Everyone likes free items, particularly if they provide some type of benefit for them. Offering discounts or free downloads of in-depth information and insights is a winning strategy that should be a part of your lead generation efforts.
- Sharpen your communication to showcase depth – The more personal and engaging your communications are with your prospects, the best chances you will have at closing deals. Speaking to your prospects in a more conversational and personal manner can go a long way in a world of endless cold and impersonal engagements.
Learn as Much as You Can About Your Customers!
The best way to gain a competitive edge in capturing leads is to know your customers as well as possible. Let them guide you toward shaping methods that win their approval, based on understanding their needs. Once you develop a system for qualifying leads, you can then focus on prioritizing the warmest leads and nurturing the rest for the future.