A client’s desire for “More leads from Marketing" is often the impetus for our firm’s engagements.
We’ve learned that “more leads” can be great.
There’s something that companies need beforehand, or “More leads” won’t do much good.
My colleagues who are expert in eCommerce have proven that before investing to bring in new leads, it almost always pays to work on increasing conversion rates.
That means increasing the percentage of people who respond at each step in the progression from awareness to research to consideration to purchase.
The same is true in businesses where revenue is transacted offline.
Unless you have already worked hard over time to systematically optimize intermediate and final conversion rates, investing in lead generation is likely premature.
If your conversion rates aren’t already strong, you can likely benefit from more compelling messaging in your marketing and selling materials. If trying to generate leads with messaging that’s old or similar to what competitors are saying, for example, you can’t expect much ROI.
There’s no need to invest in bringing in lots of new leads before working on the multiple steps that your prospects and customers need to pass through before most are ready to buy.
Even those of us whose transactions are done 100% offline can still increase prospects’ and customers’ receptivity to what we offer them and increase the conversion rate at each step.
We can look at the touchpoints in the prospect’s and customer’s experience with us in these stages:
Defining Offering & Price Structure
Awareness, Consideration, & Buying Process
From my 2011 book Daring Caution: The Executive’s Guide to Pricing Improvement
Try expanding that second block, Awareness, Consideration, & Buying Process. Rough out a set of steps that many of your prospects would take on the way to buying.
Let’s assume the product or service is new enough to be unfamiliar, and will deliver significant business impact.
Whether the prospect’s need is latent or recognized, once the prospect becomes aware that there may be a good solution, it’s a good bet that “Get more information” is one of the next steps. Ditto, sharing information with colleagues and asking their opinions.
How are you meeting those needs?
Can a visitor to your website, for example, quickly see who your company serves and the problems you solve? Can visitors easily find educational materials that meet the need for information about the new product or service that they can absorb and share?
Viking-Masek, a packaging machinery manufacturer, includes a “First Time Buyer” section on their website. This wins them new friends, many of who become customers when the time is right.
The Google Analytics built into your website can help you assess where prospects go “cold” instead of proceeding through the next steps to saying yes. Which pages do visitors go to, and what do they do? Which pages do they exit from?
Does your site have valuable-but-free offers that are easy to say yes to? These can make great next steps when people aren’t quite ready to schedule a discussion quite yet.
To use my own material as an example, on this page I offer visitors a free download of my e-book, Find Your Hidden Value.
At the end of the e-book is another valuable-but-free offer.
After people have a chance to interact with both pieces of my content, it’s usually more comfortable for them to start a conversation with me.
In similar ways, you can provide extra value to prospects and increase conversion rates.
Then it’ll be a great time to invest in lead generation.
If you or a friend are concerned about not enough leads, let’s get on the phone so we can explore ways to achieve better conversion and more leads. You can schedule an appointment here.