How to turn your business leads into prospects

David Trounce
Business Consultant and Writer
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Leads are the lifeblood of successful businesses. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or how large your company is, you need to have a steady flow of leads in your sales funnel or pipeline.

What a business does with the leads is the goal of all lead generation. Prospects are leads that have either been nurtured, signed up via a form on your website, or have taken some other action that brings them closer in the sales cycle to becoming a paying customer or client.

The goal is to acquire new leads, qualify them, turn them into prospects, and then convert as many as possible into clients or customers.

If you don’t have an effective lead generation strategy, there is no point in generating leads. You should have a system in place to manage incoming leads and track their progress.

What can your business do to convert more of your leads into prospects?

1)     Qualify Your Leads

All leads are not created equal. Your business offerings are not a good fit for everyone. This is why having a system in place to qualify your leads is so important.

It doesn't make sense to spend your valuable time and resources trying to sell something to someone who either doesn't need it, doesn't want it, or can't afford it.

One of the ways you can qualify your leads is by asking questions either over the phone, using a form, or via a questionnaire or survey to find out what products or services a lead already has in the same category of your business offering.

Is the lead the decision maker in the company? There is no use wasting your time or the lead’s if they can’t decide whether or not to purchase from your company.

Try to get as much information as you can about the level of the lead’s interest.

Timing is everything. Find out when they might move forward. If they are interested but not right now, arrange to get back to them at a later date. Make sure to follow-up.

2)     Identify Your Best Lead Sources

Leads come from many places including social media, landing pages, and paid ads. To know which of your lead sources are converting more prospects, utilize a good CRM such as Pipedrive or HubSpot. A CRM will help you track your leads and how they proceed down your sales funnel or pipeline.

3)     Nurture Your Leads

Your lead generation efforts will capture the interest of potential clients or customers. What you do with them after that is called lead nurturing and can have a powerful emotional impact on buyer behaviour.

It is a journey that can help you convert your inbound traffic into real sales. Some of the benefits of lead nurturing are:

  • Immediately establish contact
  • Communicate consistently
  • Consider using direct telephone nurturing
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry
  • Automatically nurture leads through the sales funnel
  • Increase engagement with leads
  • Identify up-selling and cross-selling opportunities  

4)     Test Your Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Every piece of content your company produces should include a CTA. It is an integral part of the lead generation process that guides all leads down your conversion path. Make sure your CTA is relevant, bold, clear, and easy-to-follow.

If you don't tell your website visitors what you want them to do when they land on a page, they won't do it.

You should always test out different CTAs to see which ones produce the best results. Some of the parts of your CTA you can change are the button:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Placement
  • Messaging

Continue using the best performing CTAs moving forward in your quest to convert more leads into prospects.

5)     Guide Your Leads with Relevant and Helpful Information on Your Website

It's better to be proactive, understand, and address your target market’s pain points surrounding their fears, uncertainties, and doubts, also known as "FUDS".

Don’t forget that the best way to market a product or service is to present it in a way that shows how you are the solution to a problem.

The FUDS you display on your website could be the problems your business offerings provide a solution for or they can be related to your offerings themselves.

The best way to identify what your leads’ fears, uncertainties, and doubts are is to think about all the reasons someone might not want to buy from your company. You can also ask your website visitors via a survey or questionnaire.

Your FUDs will be the response to these objections and are often presented on a company’s pricing page. Some of the ways to address your leads’ FUDs are:

Use social proof: Including your current customers’ logos or testimonials on your website will show potential leads others to trust your company.

A free trial goes a long way to getting more conversions.

Have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on your pricing page that answers some of the more common concerns such as your refund policy, what forms of payment you accept, and how can a customer cancel their order.

Offering a money back guarantee will help assuage any fears that your potential customer might have about your product or service not being what you purport it to be.

6)     Use Automated Lead Generation Tools

You can have the best product or service, the most competitive price, and offer stellar customer service, but if you are unable to get your message in front of potential buyers, you won't get more sales.

To be able to increase your bottom line, you must have the best sales and marketing strategies in place to generate leads, qualify them, and guide them down your sales process to convert them into paying customers or clients.

Use Leadfeeder in conjunction with Google Analytics to help increase the number of prospects by:

  • Determining who is visiting your website
  • Analyzing the pages they have viewed
  • Recording the days and times that visitors arrived on your site   

In addition to the above valuable information, you also need to know if your business is driving the right types of people to your website. Not everyone is going to be a good fit for your products or services. If you are not getting qualified leads, you are wasting your time.

Leadfeeder helps you determine what kinds of companies are visiting your pricing page, what other pages they’re looking at, and cross-reference that to your buyer personas. It may also provide contact information for decision-makers at those companies.

Hotjar is a tool that analyzes your website traffic data to help you understand what your visitors are doing on your website. It breaks down your traffic into hooks, drivers, and barriers to help you foster leads by getting insights into what is successfully converting your visitors into customers.

Aeroleads is a Chrome Plugin that allows you to search and add prospects and leads, build email lists, and gather data about the decision-makers in a company - all in real-time.

Marketo is a high-end marketing automation tool that provides insights into what website visitors are looking for, engages them wherever they are online, and fosters relationships that result in stronger and more successful lead generation efforts.

7)     Be Social

To remain competitive, not being active on social media is no longer an option for companies that are looking to grow and increase their bottom line.

However, you have to use social media the right way. It is not a one-way communication channel where you broadcast your message to an unidentified audience.

The correct way to use social media channels is to participate in two-way conversations with your target market. Be sure to acknowledge and respond to comments and questions people post on your updates.

Focus your attention on how to improve the number of leads you generate, qualify them accurately, identify your best lead sources, and use automation tools.

Do these well and you will be well on your way to turning more business leads into prospects and then converting them into paying customers.

About David Trounce

David Trounce - Mallee Blue Media

David is a small business consultant based in Australia. David has worked in small business tourism and retail and also writes for Business.com, GrowMap and Born2Invest.

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