In the last post we had looked at how to improve your market reach and generate more leads for your products or services.
Once leads have been generated, they need to be nurtured till they are ready to buy. Allan Dib, in his book “The 1-page Marketing plan” writes that at any given time (on average), about 3% of your target market is highly motivated and ready to buy immediately. There are a further 7% who are open to buying and another 30% who are interested but not right now. The next 30% are not interested and finally the last 30% will not take the product even if it is free.
Lead nurturing is the activity of being in touch with those 30% who are interested but not right now. If you do not do that, you will lose out on the opportunity to serve those customers. It is akin to nurturing a small plant till it grows into a fruit bearing tree. We add manure, water it regularly, protect it from animals and the vagaries of nature and so on. In short, we do everything possible to ensure that the plant grows into a healthy and strong tree. That is the type of care that is to be taken while nurturing leads. You need to stay in touch with them, send them periodical updates about your products, industry news and any other relevant piece of information that will help them progress in their journey. In sales or marketing parlance, nurturing is an activity where we move a LEAD to becoming an OPPORTUNITY. This is when they have shown a deeper interest in your offering and asked you for a price proposal.
As per HubSpot, a leading marketing automation company, following are important activities that we need to engage in for effective lead nurturing:
Use of targeted content
Using multiple channels for communication
Ensure multiple touches
Timely follow ups
For details, please read the article using the link below:
Conversion is when your OPPORTUNITY is converted into an ORDER. The ratio of orders to proposals is known as conversion ratio. Let us say you have given 100 proposals and 20 of them have converted into orders. The conversion ratio is 20%.
Strategies to improve conversion ratio –
People First It is the job of the field salesperson to covert an opportunity into an order. For this, the salespersons should be aware of targets, gaps, past conversion ratios, quality, quantity, and direction of efforts required. They should have the necessary knowledge, skills, and willingness. In case they are lacking in any of these, sales coaching can be extremely helpful. In fact, sales coaching can be amazingly effective even to enhance the performance of those who are already doing well.
Strong value proposition A strong value proposition – how your product or service benefits and adds value to your customer is an important factor that affects conversion. Focus on this aspect and you are sure to succeed because customers are ultimately interested in results.
Improve communication Communication is an important skill needed by the sales team. They should be excellent in verbal, non-verbal communication, writing and presentation skills. This is necessary to clearly communicate how your product or service helps the customer, better than competition.
Negotiation You should be good in negotiation to ensure a win-win situation, which is essential for a long-term relationship with your customers.
Positive social proof It is easy for people to decide in your favor if they get recommendations from their friends, peers, and others in the industry. In this era of social media, good words from your existing customers on LinkedIn, Facebook or any other relevant channel will tilt the scale in your favor.
Be Professional Everyone respects a professional. Subroto Bagchi, the cofounder of Mindtree Consulting has written a wonderful book “The Professional”. I highly recommend that salespeople read the same to develop themselves into a thorough professional. It will help build TRUST, which is a foundation for any business.
Persistent follow up Last but not the least, you need to have a persistent follow up. This is necessary because customers have other priorities, and it is our job as salespeople to be in touch with them and remind them in a timely manner. Afterall, our product or service is going to add value to their business. Just ensure that the customer is not annoyed, so a fine balance is necessary.
We have seen how we can work diligently on lead nurturing and conversion to convert a lead into an opportunity and an opportunity into a customer. A detailed action plan should be prepared for each of these, with implementation responsibilities and timelines clearly defined. Do not forget to monitor this frequently.
So, keep yourself busy & Happy Selling!