B2B lead generation and conversion take tremendous patience. My experience communicating with leads and taking a lot of rejection has taught me there is no one-good-tactic to persuade B2B leads. Every prospect is like Cinderella, ever-elusive until you find her shoe and set it on her foot. But once you find the right shoe, it’s near-certain that you will convert that lead.
Does it mean you need different tactics for each lead? Of course not. I promise there is a method to this madness. Once you grasp the strategy to convert one lead, you can customize it to convert multiple prospects. And here are the five steps to improve B2B lead conversion rate:
Step 1:- Be stringent while defining a lead.
A lot of jargon gets thrown around lead qualification, and for once, I endorse it. You see, defining a sales-qualified lead (SQL) is an excruciating process for any business.
When new to sales, I would put my money on anyone who would pick up my cold call and say, “I will let you know by tomorrow.” I mean, why wouldn’t they? In my head, they would be awake all night, discussing with their business partners and family about my exceptional services. But the next day, they would barely remember me when I called them.
Is that a lead? Of course not. You need to figure out criteria to qualify leads. For instance, ask yourself these questions: Did the prospect ask enough questions regarding your service? How much time did they invest in it? Did they reach out to you after you called? How many of your assets did they consume?
Put a check-box in front of all those questions. Don’t qualify them as SQLs until they tick at least 80% of items in the list.
This step would filter out poor-quality leads. What you now have is a smaller list. But it has high-quality prospects with better odds of conversion.
Step 2:- Track your leads.
Not every SQL has equal potential to convert. Some prospects need a lot of proof and information before they arrive at a decision. You need to keep track of their intent-to-buy at every stage of the sales funnel. To do that, you must have a mechanism for tracking leads.
Let us elaborate on that with an example. Suppose the lead has already consumed assets A, B, C, and D. You need to ensure that the prospect accesses assets that are qualified for the ‘consider’ stage of buying. You do not want them to access content that they have already scrutinized. It might be annoying for the prospect to see an email that is selling asset A, but if they get asset ‘E’ that talks about a success story, it may well receive a click from an SQL.
It’s quintessential to be aware of the stage of the buyer journey. If you are retargeting a prospect, the asset you use will be different from the one you use while trying to upsell.
Step 3:- Have a clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
The objective of sales is to keep prospects interested until they buy. Often, I see perfect sales copies that are super-engaging. They align with the prospect’s requirements as well. But, they do not nudge the lead to do anything.
Figure this: A dog lover watches your dog videos because they love canines. But if you don’t ask them to try the new pet toy, they will walk away with a smile on their face, and you miss out on a sale.
Similarly, for any product or service, if you do not delve into the ‘sales’ aspect of things, you will never sell! I see so many salespersons who are apprehensive in asking the prospect to discuss buying or pricing. But without it, you will go nowhere.
If it is a sales page, you want to ask them to go ahead with the purchase, but you need to include a soft-CTA to keep engaging the leads who are not ready for the sale yet. In the dog toy example, you can guide the prospects to watch another dog video where the canine is playing with the dog toy. The leads should keep consuming one asset after another until they finally convert into a customer. Have a CTA to facilitate that. Have a CTA to improve B2B lead conversion rate.
Step 4:- Create urgency.
Very often, your prospects may want to delay – they are afraid of buying as they have been in deals that have proven disastrous. But once you give them time to think, your prospects of sale plummet as soon as you put the phone down. You won’t be a distant memory.
To avoid that, you need to offer something that the prospect can’t refuse. To do that, you need to knock objections out of the park. What better, turn around those objections and use them as the lever for sale.
The intent is to help the prospect arrive at a decision. See it this way, your product or service will make your prospect’s life easier; by not convincing them of that, you are doing a huge disservice. When the leads ask for time, offer them your time. Since you are right there, you can answer their questions in a jiffy.
For instance, if they claim they need to consult their team or family, offer them the service or product for free for, say, a month. Suddenly, the prospect is out of excuses.
Step 5:- The walk away
This step deals with the human aspect of sales. The sales team needs to be ready to walk away once they know the product or service is not apt for a particular lead.
This mindset is not to gain the psychological advantage but to make the job easier for the service team. It also helps engender brand loyalty in the leads that convert.
If you manage to secure a sale while knowing that it is not in favor of the buyer, you will not retain customers. They will soon realize the farce and leave a negative review, much to the chagrin of the service team. A negative review will discourage any future leads to interact with your business.
You need to walk away even if the lead is not ready for the product. For instance, if a prospect is motivated only by price or not showing any enthusiasm for what you offer, it’s better to walk away. Instead, invest that time with a prospect who values your time and services. Optimizing where your sales team is spending time will boost your conversion rate.
Phew! There you have it – 5 steps to improve B2B lead conversion rate. keep this strategy at the core of your lead conversion campaign. But remember, it is just the skeleton. You need to customize and personalize it for each lead.
I admit it will take a lot of effort and time to push a new process through, but I have had tremendous results for my website with this strategy. From my experience, the first step is the most difficult one. Businesses are rarely okay with having fewer leads month-to-month. But once you get over that obstacle, the subsequent steps will flow easily.