In this guest post, Jason Cutter, Founder of Cutter Consulting Group sheds light on what may be wrong with your lead conversion strategy and sales process.
Drawing on his extensive experience helping sales teams get it right, he offers important tips on how to convert more leads into sales and make the most of your lead buying.
About Jason Cutter
Jason Cutter is an author, speaker, sales coach, and host of the Authentic Persuasion Show. He offers his knowledge and 20+ years of sales/leadership experience to help companies and individuals improve their selling effectiveness through scalable, repeatable, and amazingly effective processes.
The Problem With Your Lead Conversion Strategy
I talk to a lot of folks in the business of converting leads into sales. Unfortunately, a lot of times, it goes a lot like this:
“What’s your lead generation strategy?”
“I don’t like making cold calls, so I buy leads from a company.”
“How’s that going for you?”
“Not well. They don’t seem to want to sign up with me. I am definitely not closing enough of them to make it worth it.”
This is a conversation I have had with many salespeople across numerous industries. And it turns out that many of them share issues with their lead conversion strategy: Each person thinks their product and sales process is unique.
But the fundamentals of converting leads into sales and profitable new customers at scale are all the same.
Whether you are an insurance agent, a financial planner, a clean energy consultant, or an attorney – or you are serving up paid marketing to your sales team – my goal is to help fill the gaps in your process that are costing you marketing dollars instead of generating you revenue.
Stop Blaming the Leads
Before we dive into my tips for converting more leads, there’s one thing we must make sure to be on the same page about.
Repeat after me: “The leads aren’t bad. It’s not the lead’s fault they aren’t closing. It is my process that isn’t working.”
Seriously: Please stop blaming the leads.
Yes, at some point, you will do better with higher quality, more targeted leads. But to start, it’s not the leads. It’s you.
I know that can be tough to admit. The ego doesn’t want to acknowledge what could be true, but great job being open to ways to do things differently. It’s the first step toward more successful results!
Alright. Now that we’re on the same page, let’s start filling some holes in your marketing/lead conversion bucket. Use these tips and strategies to convert more leads into sales.
1. Start With the Right Sales Technology
First, let’s talk about technology. I don’t normally start with sales tech because I see a lot of people and companies trying to make up for missing or bad sales processes by buying more tech. When it comes to your lead buying, you need to have an effective sales process in place. But you also need to have the right sales tech to support it.
Make sure your sales technology stack supports these two key measurements in particular: speed to lead and contact rate.
Speed to Lead
One of the most important factors to succeeding with a lead buying and lead conversion strategy is speed to lead.
Why? That person who filled out a form or raised their hand in some way is most likely doing that with other companies, sites, and ads. On top of that, as humans, we want what we want when we want it — now.
If you sell insurance, for example, that person who filled out a form is trying to get their insurance taken care of now. It’s on their mind, on their task list. It’s an open loop in their brain or in someone else’s brain who is asking them and/or nagging them about getting it done. Most of the time, the first person to make contact wins.
As humans, we want what we want when we want it — now.
Make sure you have a CRM and phone system that will take that new lead in and make contact right away. (If you do not have a dialer that will do it automatically, at least make sure you get an alert when it hits your system. And here is the big key — actually call it!)
I talk to so many salespeople and teams that complain about their Cost Per Acquisition and conversion percentage while, at the same time, they are taking days to call new leads. As soon as possible, make sure to get a dialer platform that does it automatically and instantaneously.
Contact Rate and Spam Likely
Make sure you have a phone system that will constantly monitor and improve your contact rate.
That means having the robust reporting and analytics tools that can monitor contact rate (and much more) in real time and over time. But it also means being able to avoid rampant call blocking and flagging issues.
Buying a batch of leads and investing in marketing, only to not reach most of them, is frustrating and painfully expensive.
Your low contact rate could be a function of your phone number and caller ID coming up as “spam” or “scam likely.” And unless that prospective client really wants help or is the type of personality who answers every call no matter what, most people will avoid your calls like gas station sushi.
Your outbound calling technology should have a way to monitor the health of your caller IDs and help you quickly address your contact rate issues.
2. Improve Your Sales Process by Actually Having a Sales Process!
As I said, I don’t normally start with tech, but in this case, it is so important because if you cannot get your leads on the phone, nothing else matters.
But once you are connecting with more of them, it’s time to move on to the second of my strategies for converting more leads — improving your sales process.
Knowing how to improve your sales process starts with the most basic thing: actually having a sales process. If you’re not tracking, reaching out to, and following up with leads in a way that’s repeatable (and measurable), you’re leaving conversions on the table.
Knowing how to improve your sales process starts with the most basic thing: actually having a sales process.
It’s Not All About Your Product
So, what should a sales process actually look (and sound) like?
For one thing, it should be customer-centric. That is, at least at first, it shouldn’t be about your product or you, the salesperson; it should be about the experience of the person you’re selling to.
Many people in sales are trained on their product and only their product. They know how life insurance, solar, or investments work. They know how to win cases. And they feel like that is enough:
Just talk about the features and benefits, they think, and that will get people to sign up. Offer a good price, or bribe someone with a discount, and they will become a client.
The problem: that doesn’t work. Not at scale. Not unless that person already knows what they want and/or is desperate and doesn’t care about how you present things.
Focus on the Sales Experience
Otherwise, people want sales experiences that match their expectations. They want someone to give them a proper analysis and diagnosis, then a prescription of what is best. They want a sales professional to help them figure out what works for them in particular. They want personalization.
How do I know this? If they didn’t want your help and guidance, they would just order it online or take care of it themselves. Yes, someone can just get legal help, solar panels, financial help, insurance, or a mortgage online without ever speaking with a “salesperson.” They are speaking to you because they want your help.
People want someone to give them a proper analysis and diagnosis, then a prescription of what is best. They want a sales professional to help them figure out what works for them in particular. They want personalization.
Remember: It’s Not About You, Either
Bring it back to your actual process now. Create a sales process that focuses on the sales experience they want — not the one you think everyone wants.
But remember, they don’t care about you — they only care about themselves. Personalization is a one-way street. And they aren’t interested in your features, benefits, or company facts at first. They want to know you care about them as a person and individual, then you can get to you and your product.
Delivering on that first part is key to moving on to the second — and it’s key to both establishing and improving a sales process that converts more leads for your business.
Don’t Resist the Script
Mindset isn’t everything, of course. Don’t forget, this is about creating a process that you can repeat. Doing things better and then doing them again is how you drive sales improvement that’s sustainable.
Despite this, I see a lot of salespeople who resist sales processes or won’t include scripting in that process. Instead, they just want to talk to people and hope that is enough.
What they don’t realize, though, is that having scripted portions of your conversation is necessary if you want consistent results. You don’t necessarily need to script everything, but you must always keep heading toward the finish line.
Learn how Convoso’s dynamic scripting software can help you drive more sales while supporting compliance. Easily create scripts, increase conversion rates, and reduce onboarding time with customized sales scripts that adapt to the flow of each conversation.
3. Make Your Follow-Ups
The last category for succeeding at performance lead buying is the bane of so many salespeople — the follow-up.
The biggest problem I see is that salespeople literally do not do follow-ups.
They do not call people again if they didn’t answer initially. They don’t make the third, fourth, fifth call to that lead that someone paid good money for. I even see salespeople who speak with someone, the person doesn’t enroll, they need to call them the next day or week to move it forward, and they literally don’t call them again.
That is money left on the table. Not just revenue to be made, but a loss of those marketing dollars.
This one is easy to resolve: simply make your follow-ups. And don’t rely on your memory or ambition. Because, again, it comes down to technology. Have a system, a CRM, and the right automation, ideally not just to remind you but do it for you. Rather than leave it to chance, your software can ensure that you call leads back at the right time.
Get Started (or Get Help) Today
The good news is that you can fix your follow-ups — and your whole lead conversion strategy. Today! Right now. Even put some new processes in place before your next call. With your pipeline of unclosed, uncalled leads. Now.
And if you are unsure where to begin, or you want to build it out and need some guidance, check out the Lead Buyer Success Program — a course specifically designed for salespeople who want to win at the game of purchasing performance marketing and turning it into a profitable, scalable level of new clients.