The Secret To More Leads Becoming Sales

Your online marketing and local SEO efforts are generating visibility, rankings and traffic from Google. The secret to more website visitors becoming leads and ultimately closed sales is one you want to unlock.

By: Aaron Weiche - May 4
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Google local search on mobile

It’s a scenario we know well as consumers. You have a basic service need for a plumber, an auto mechanic, lawn mower repair or an indoor storage unit. You do a search on Google. After browsing the top search results you click to a website, verify that business meets your needs and fill out their contact form. What happens next could be any one of 100 possibilities … and that’s the problem. Too many of them don’t go as hoped for you or the business.

As a business owner, marketer or sales person you want to make the most of your leads and sale opportunities. Whether you get one lead a week or one lead an hour, you want to turn them into closed sales. Let’s look at how things can go amiss in the last stage of your funnel and the secret to converting more leads to sales.

Top of the funnel gets all the love

Top of the funnel marketing activities are the bright and shiny objects for marketers and sales teams. SEO, local SEO, paid search, social media, PR and more to gain visibility on Google and online gets the lion share of budgets and time. The name of the game is often quantity for acquiring website traffic and quality can all too frequently be left out of the conversation.

In the example lead funnel below, most of the efforts are put into stage 1 with some on stage 2 through marketing, content marketing, SEO and more. Businesses look at the next stages (3-5) less and less at each step assuming if they get enough at the top things will end well.

lead funnel

Optimizing the bottom of the funnel is often left out of funnel strategies and tactics. Not putting focus on every step of the funnel, converting your website visitors to leads and ultimately to closed sales, is a big mistake and a costly one.

The impact of doubling your lead to sale conversion rate

For example, say you are spending $2,500 a month on various digital marketing tactics. These efforts are producing 1,000 unique users to their website. Those 1,000 users generate about 25 conversions to leads each month. The simple approach for most to double your leads would be spending another $2,500 in paid ads, social posts and local SEO work to double your visitors and hit 50 conversions a month. Pay double to get double.

An alternative to increasing your spend, is to spend $250 to $500 more a month focused on your sales process, tools and tests to increase your conversion rate. Increasing your conversation rate from the 2.5% above to 5% would double closed conversions from 25 to 50 without the 2x increase in spend. Then if you chose to spend more on the of top of funnel activities, you are better positioned to gain more leads from your new budget as well.

Increase your leads by making it easy to work with you

When is the last time you ran through a brick wall to work with a local business? Probably never. The problem is many small business websites ask a lot of prospects just to get a relationship started. A few common examples of typical small business pitfalls are:

  • Hard to find contact information on the website
  • A contact or lead form with too many questions
  • Limited ways to connect with the business … “do it our way”
  • No expectations set for what happens once prospects contact the business
  • Not closing the loop on new leads
  • Unanswered calls, voicemails and emails

It’s important to make starting the conversation with you and your business as easy as possible. Avoiding these pitfalls allows more prospects to contact and ask questions so as to be able to work with you.

That equates to more opportunities for you to turn website visitors into leads. So now let’s get to how to covert those leads to sales.

The secret to closing sales: lead response time

This likely isn’t the first time you have heard this, but you still haven’t focused on how fast you actually respond to your leads. Here are a few stats from research on why speed matters when responding to a new lead:

  • 75% of prospects do business with the company that contacts them first
  • The average response time on digital leads is 17 hours

The opportunity and the impact is very clear. Responding fast and especially being first to reply to your leads puts you in the driver seat to close sales. Knowing that the average response time is 17 hours outlines how you can really be ahead of the competition by responding in minutes, not hours.

speed of lead repsonse

Additionally studies focused in the B2B space show that 55% of businesses took 5 or more days to respond. Delays like this make it seem that you are actually working to NOT win the business.

Lead response time, or often called “speed to lead”, is incredibly important to your sales success. It’s still an area where many businesses miss the mark, leaving the opportunity wide open for you to literally cash in on. Improving your response time will have a big impact and it can be done for minimal investment. Let’s look at a few tactical and strategic tips.

Speed to lead strategies:

  • Establish a company/team focus on response time to prospects
  • Create processes, toolsets and accountability for who owns this responsibility
  • Track, benchmark and report on communication timing metrics
  • Reward performance and improvement

Speed to lead tactics:

  • Utilize channels built for speed like SMS and messaging
  • Use auto replies to immediately confirm receipt and set expectations as to what the prospect can expect
  • Generate immediate notifications to your sales staff of new leads
  • Create efficiencies with repeatable processes (process outlines, saved replies)
  • Track and report on “time to first reply” and “total conversation time”

Improving your response time to sales opportunities by engaging in these speed to lead strategies and tactics can dramatically increase your percentage of closed sales.

How Leadferno improves your lead response time

Now that I’ve outlined the opportunity, some pitfalls and how to win with a fast response to leads I want to outline how Leadferno can power your speed to lead process.

Creating more leads

Our Leadbox widget is an always visible call to action (CTA) on your website (desktop or mobile). This 24/7 CTA makes taking the next step easy for a prospect when they are anywhere close to moving from a website visitor to a lead. The Leadbox also makes clear to your website visitors that you offer text messaging as a way to interact. SMS is creates extremely low friction path for the consumer to engage and offers your business many benefits to support more leads.

text us CTA leadbox
The Leadbox CTA buttons at the bottom (Left) and then opened to start texting (Right).

Lastly, by adding SMS to your communication channels you are offering more choices for your prospects to communicate with you how they want to. Visibility and ease are a great combination for your calls to action.

Fast Responses

As outlined in our strategies and tactics, business messaging channels like SMS and Facebook Messenger are faster and more streamlined than email. Messaging provides notifications to consumers for quicker interaction and studies show SMS messages are opened 98% of the time with 90% of text messages read in 3 minutes.

Leadferno also has features built for time-saving efficiencies. Notifications of new messages, saved reply templates, conversation reminders and scheduled messages all save time and effort. The combination of the right channels, productive features and an intuitive interface make responding fast simple.

Organizing and reporting

Centralizing the conversations with prospects to a business messaging platform allows you to track, evaluate and improve along the process. New leads are displayed front and center no matter how many conversations you have open.

Reporting offers you the ability to benchmark where you are at with lead volume and open leads while capturing your time to first reply on new leads and total time from conversation start to close.

Move faster to close more leads

Hot leads go cold quickly. Make the most of each opportunity you get to close a sale by moving fast to respond to new leads. The bonus is it sets the tone for the customer experience to be one of delight since you started the first contact as best you can.

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