A comprehensive strategy is necessary to convert leads into sales. It requires the use of technology, training, and many other elements.
This is a huge task and is why companies with serious goals and a healthy budget work with the best Inbound Marketing agencies to help them grow their businesses through multiple digital channels.
This article focuses on three main reasons sales leads don’t turn into customers. It is addressed to business owners, internal teams, and start-up agencies.
Your foundational strategy
Your strategy should begin with lead qualification. This is a simple matrix and one that HubSpot recommends:
The top row shows leads that are a good fit for an aggressive inbound strategy that uses marketing automation software. The bottom row shows leads that are not a suitable fit. It could be because of their industry, sales cycle, or other factors.
The leads who have already engaged with the content are in the left column, while those who only made one touch point that resulted in little engagement are on the right. This is a traditional way to start qualifying leads. However, you can add a third column to include those who have spoken with or expressed a desire to speak with someone in sales.
It is not difficult to distinguish good-fit leads and bad ones. Your team needs to know which buyers are more likely to invest with your company than those who struggle to see the value of what you have to offer.
These metrics are subject to change, so be aware. As you begin to qualify leads with this matrix, you will notice the average conversion rate for each bucket. You may need to move groups to another bucket if they convert at a lower rate or higher than others in the same bucket.
After you have identified your buckets and their internal buyer groups, you can start to build a strategy based on real living data.
The disconnect between Sales and Marketing
A disconnect between marketing and sales is one of the reasons leads don’t turn into sales. These two departments have a long-standing hate/hate relationship.
A HubSpot study found that 87% of terms used by sales and marketing to describe one another are negative. Marketing sees sales as “simple-minded”, incompetent, and lazy, while the sales team views marketing as “arts & crafts”, “academics”, and “irrelevant”.
Leadership must ensure that these departments are aligned while reminding them of the same goal: creating revenue. Managers need to align their teams around the same goals. For example, using marketing pipelines to reach sales quotas.
Poor communication is the result of poor alignment. Poor communication can lead to leads falling through the cracks if there is no alignment within the company. Marketing and sales should communicate buyer persona information throughout the company. They must also educate each other about new details and form specialty teams around specific personas.
Poorly designed landing pages and site architecture
A website and the associated landing pages should look like they were created back when Slim Shady was showcasing his gob. This will make it difficult for businesses to convert leads into customers.
Websites and landing pages that have an outdated look and feel are not only less attractive than those with zero sexiness but also convey to prospects that your products and services are obsolete.
Make sure your brand has a modern look consistent with your identity and the people you wish to do business with.
Leads can also get lost in the site architecture. ClickTale’s marketing director Abi Solomon says that many online leads fail to convert because of poorly designed sites.
Visitors may get lost on the path and not reach the final step. Or the path is too long and requires them to complete too many steps before reaching the final step.
Your homepage and navigation should be easy to use. Visitors shouldn’t click more than three times to reach your offer.