For almost every business, each lead that is sourced by the marketing team has the chance to convert into a customer. Keeping that customer loyal not only boosts customer satisfaction, but also provides a constant source of revenue and boosts the chances of obtaining more leads, and the cycle continues.
The reason why this conversion rate is not placed at 100% is that, like almost all business processes, it is plagued by a number of obstacles. In the digital age, where information can easily be lost or forgotten, one of the primary barriers to a successful customer conversion is timely lead follow-up.
Although follow-ups may seem like a pretty simple and clear task, more and more companies are failing to perform it, either by choice or by chance. Furthermore, business representatives who do manage to follow up with the lead or customer are either not effectively trained or are not appropriately equipped to effect a conversion, and might even result in setting the wrong business image.
To counter this issue, businesses must look to incorporate best practices and perform an extensive market and customer study to recognize which customer should require how many follow-ups – it should neither be so less that the lead is eventually lost, nor should it be so excessive to cause the lead or customer to become overwhelmed and annoyed, leading them to cut ties with the business.
- Make first-contact with your customers and prepare your sales team
Time is of the essence, and this is especially true and important when applied to a sales team. As soon as a lead is generated in the system, or a lead or prospect’s status is improved, a sales representative should attempt to engage with them and provide complete transparency while offering the products and services.
A CRM software service is extremely valuable for collecting and organizing the information on every lead or prospect, and auto-assigning them to an idle sales representative. This not only ensures that every sales personnel is busy catering to a potential customer, but it also provides valuable insight into the time it takes for a particular sales representative to secure a deal, so that the sales manager can train them and shorten the sales cycle.
- Use distinct channels to communicate
Persistence is the key for a sales representative to successfully convert a lead into a customer. However, constantly interacting with a lead through a single mode of communication can make them frustrated and disinterested towards the product and the company.
To circumvent this, it is important to identify the number of channels that the company can reach the lead, and seamlessly deliver a consistent message across each channel. For example, a lead could be initially contacted through a telephonic exchange, and later offered more information through e-mails or social media platforms.
- Schedule your communications
Once you’ve decided who is responsible for converting the lead into a customer, and how they’re going to do it, it’s important to look at the ‘when’ aspect of the process. Waiting too long between follow-ups will make the lead lose interest, while timing them too closely will make them less likely to want to interact with you.
A CRM software service provides automation tools that can be used to effectively understand the lead’s behavior from their available data, and schedule calls, e-mails, social media platform engagements at the most appropriate time. This not only increases the chances of a successful conversion, but also helps you understand lead behavior in a much better way.
By using a carefully planned follow-up strategy and integrating it with a well-established CRM software service, companies can improve lead-to-customer conversion rates, boost revenues, and increase the sales and number of referrals.