Online advertising can help your small business generate new leads. But getting those leads is only the beginning. To turn those leads into sales, you need to manage them effectively. Here are five lead management tips to help you grow your sales.
Beyond online advertising
- Be responsive. If you've ever perused online advertising and then contacted multiple companies to get estimates or find out more about their services, you know how frustrating it is when days pass before you get a response — or when you don't get a response at all. When it comes to sales, the early bird catches the worm. According to a landmark InsideSales.com study, a prospect that fills out a web contact form is 100 times more likely to answer when called within the first 5 minutes than when called in 30 minutes. To ensure you get the jump on your competitors, use lead management tools that alert you of new leads and help to automate your responses.
- Know where your best leads come from. By tracking which leads convert, where they come from (such as online advertising or traditional advertising), and other characteristics of these leads, you will be able to judge which marketing channels deliver the best leads. (Check out these B2B lead generation benchmarks to see if you agree.) This can help you assess the value of your leads and decide which ones to focus on first.
- Know what stage the prospect is in. A lead that's close to making a purchasing decision should be pursued more avidly than one in the early stages of research. You'll want to engage with these leads more frequently and devote more attention to them. You can tell whether a prospect is showing intent to buy by monitoring how they interact with your business. Are they downloading sales sheets and requesting price quotes, signaling they’re close to making a decision, or are they just visiting your homepage to find out what you sell? Creating different online advertising and different calls to action for various stages in the purchasing process will help you segment leads by stage.
- Nurture early-stage leads. Of course, even leads that aren't ready to buy shouldn't be ignored. That's where creating a lead nurturing system comes in. Develop marketing content and marketing messages tailored to different types of leads. Then use marketing automation tools to send the right marketing messages to early-stage leads with the ideal frequency to keep their interest. By providing the right content at the right time, you can engage early-stage leads with your business and guide them along the sales funnel until they buy.
- Track your results. Look for marketing solutions that make it easy to track your leads, your interactions with leads, and the results of your online advertising and marketing tactics. (Here are some ways to track your leads, and more about what marketing metrics to measure.) When you monitor how well you're doing, you will be able to fine-tune your sales and marketing efforts for continual improvement.
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