Nearly every company wants to fill its sales funnel with leads to close more sales quicker. Why? No leads. No sales. It is that simple. As a company fills its sales funnel with leads, a part of its the sales process is nurturing the qualified and weeding out the unqualified leads.
What happens when you notice that the number of qualified leads is lower than the unqualified? It means you are spending more time weeding than nurturing, and your sales funnel’s middle is looking sparse. Fattening the middle of your sales funnel is the goal and here are 3 great ways to help you build higher conversion rates and new sales.
Profile Your Target Audience
Over time, customers change. Whether it be demographics, buying behaviors, or economic, customers change. You still have a great product but sales is down because your message does not resonate with today’s customers. Your goal is to ensure that your product resonates your current and future customers and prospects.
Engage with your customers often to gather feedback. Find out why your customers buy from you? And, what are the common attributes across your customer base? Write down your answers and create your “Client Persona.” Describe your customer’s buying habits, demographics, motivations and personality. Use Google Analytics, your 3rd party email platform, or your CRM to learn how your audience engages with you. Identify trends to help you influence their decision.
Continuously learn how your customer thinks and you will find new opportunities within your customer base and your prospect list to fatten the middle of your sales funnel (MOF).
Laser Focused Prospect Marketing.
Armed with your customer persona, you know your customer’s problem or need and why they buy your solution. Use the persona to know what a qualified lead looks like. Your goal is to hone in on prospects who meet that persona and promote your message in locations (digital and physical) where your lead is likely to visit. When you are marketing in the right places, you will increase the number of leads that reach the middle of the sales funnel
When more leads start in the MOF, more sales occur more quickly with less effort. The math is compelling:
|CONVERSION TO SALES||SCENARIO 1||SCENARIO 2|
|Number of Leads||100||100|
|Number of Sales||10||25|
In this example, you will convert to 2.5 times the number of leads when you target those prospects that meet your persona’s criteria. Or, you will only need 40 MOF leads if your goal is to make 10 sales.
Create Authoritative and Relevant Content
Understand your buyer’s journey and work backwards. Once you know your customer’s buying habits, you can nurture that client so that you are positioned as the expert with a solution. Knowing your customers’ needs allows you to educate them with the best information.
Based on your sales cycle, devise how you will influence your leads’ decision making. Identify what they need to know, when they need to know it and what are the touch points along the way. Plan your engagement to move your leads from interested, to decision and action (i.e. the bottom half of your sales funnel). To engage:
- Update Your Copy: Describe success stories where customer problems were eliminated, or needs were met. Present current use cases to be relevant. For example, if you sell guitars and continue to refer to a great guitar player of the early 2000’s, your product may not resonate with today’s generation of new guitar players. Your content needs to match your customer of today and their desires, wants, and needs. Change your copy regularly so that your targets receive consistent communications as they move toward a sales decision and you remain viewed as the “Go To” resource.
- Know the Vernacular: Listen to your customer and know the words they use so you can stay relevant with your clients, prospects and SEO. When you use the right terms, you demonstrate authority and buyers flock to those in the know. If you use terms that are 5 years old, you might be viewed as that uncle who thinks he is cool, but is not.
- Update Your Visuals: Use your customers’ pain points, business interests and motivations to your advantage. Use visuals to display what you sell and how it solves your prospects’ problems or meets their needs. Show customer relief when the solution is working. Use your visuals to demonstrate capabilities and to allay fears.
- Use Current Statistics: One of the ways to discredit your product is using out-of-date stats. Keep your statistics up-to-date so you don’t look like a has-been.
To fatten the middle of your sales funnel means that every lead is not right for your company. Unqualified leads ALWAYS take up more time and resources for a lesser profit and in many cases, a loss of profit. When you recognize a lead does not fit your profile and is not qualified, it is alright to say “No”. By focusing on the leads that meet your customer persona, you will set salesperson priorities leading to an increase in leads converted to sales with less effort.
Filling your CRM with qualified leads is crucial to the success of your company and your products. If you have questions or want to audit your customer profile and sales funnel, please contact us for a no obligation call.
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