The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the quality of your leads, your sales process, and the effectiveness of your sales team. However, there are a few general tips that can help you convert more leads into sales.
Generating quality leads
The first step is to ensure you are generating high-quality leads. This can be done in two ways (and we suggest adopting both).
Firstly, have a very clearly defined target audience who you know are more likely to engage with your offering. Most businesses are scared of niching down as they feel they’ll miss out on a possible deal. The reality is, when you go broad, you’ll attract a lot of timewasters. Speaking to them distracts you from the gold nugget clients who would have breezed through your sales funnel.
It’s also worth pointing out you can only have so many conversions in a day. Therefore it’s surely better to have 5 brilliant conversations rather than 20 poor ones.
The second tactic for ensuring lead quality is to have a clear qualification process. What information must a prospect be prepared to give you for you to start the sales process? After all, writing proposals takes up a lot of time and money. If a prospect isn’t prepared to answer a few questions, that should be a red flag straight away.
Have a script
People often think scripts can be robotic but that’s simply because they’ve not practised them enough. The best example of this is comedians. Comedians will have a finely tuned script they tell evening after evening but at no point do they sound robotic.
That’s not to say they can’t move away from a script when situations like hecklers occur, but they’ll always return to their tried and tested routine once the unexpected has been dealt with.
Your sales team should be the same. They should know by heart what to say in a given situation that guides a prospect either out of the sales process if they don’t pass the qualification, or onto the next phase of the sales journey.
Make sure you have a process in place for tracking an opportunity from the initial inquiry all the way through to confirmed won/lost status. Spreadsheets are a good starting point but for larger sales teams consider a CRM such as Pipedrive.
These systems will not only help you keep track of where all your prospects are up to, you will be able to identify common areas leads don’t progress past. This will help focus on spotting then fixing bottlenecks.
Have a clear sales process
Once you have high-quality leads, it’s important to have a clear sales process. This will take ongoing refinement to develop an approach that excels at guiding a prospect through the decision-making process.
The key here is everytime a deal comes to a close (either lost or won) take the time to debrief and understand what went well, and what needs improvement. This can then be fed back into the business and minor tweaks be made for the next opportunity.
To get started with this, consider the following;
- What information do you need from the prospect?
- Will you visit them or do any fact finding remotely?
- How will you select the best team to work on the sale?
- How will the solution be presented to the prospect?
- Who and how will you follow up after the pitch?
Part of your sales process should include at least three practice runs prior to the pitch. This helps work out any kinks, spot any errors, and ensures everyone knows what they’re doing.
You wouldn’t expect an athlete to turn up for the Olympics and not do a warm up, so why expect less from your sales team?
Very few, if any, individuals will buy without having trust in you, your business, and your service. At every stage of the sales process you should aim to build increasing levels of trust. Key things include;
- Doing what you say you will
- Being on time
- Being professional
- Showing past experience/work e.g. case studies
- Showing happy customers e.g. reviews and testimonials
- Industry accreditations
- Industry awards
- Having all expected documents ready and quickly available
- Consistent branding from email signatures, website, and proposal documents
- Responding quickly, even if it’s just an acknowledgment email
A very under-appreciated consideration of a customer’s decision making process is how well your team gets along. If a prospect senses your team don’t like each other they’ll worry they won’t work well together which will impact the quality of service they receive.
People buy people after all so a team that clearly gets on will almost always sell better than one that’s frosty.
Focus on the customer
A common mistake during the proposal phase is to spend the first half of the meeting telling them how great you are before finally telling them what you’re going to do.
Instead try focusing on them from the start. What problem do they have? How is this impacting them? What solution do you suggest that solves their problem? Now you’ve got them really engaged by talking about them you can build trust by telling them how you’ve fixed similar problems for other businesses, the results you got from those businesses, how long it took, and how much it will cost.
You could even send all the introductory information about your company and your team in a credentials deck the week before. That not only builds trust by having these documents to hand, it allows the pitch meetings to focus 100% on the things they care most about – them!
If you want to explore how to improve your results, get in touch. Start here by booking your call with Chris > Book your call