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Seven Critical Steps for Converting Web Leads into Revenue

February 25, 2011

As a marketer, I get excited when a client tells me about that big sale that came through a website design we created, and marketed with our online services. Our team would love to take credit for the “sales”, but we are just one piece of the equation. It’s our job to get the lead to your door (email or phone). From there, it’s how you handle the lead that makes marketing all worth it or a “money-sucking black hole”. Here are a few facts about website leads that will help you get a better conversion rate:

1. Realize that Web Leads Are Hot
Many have compared web leads to leads from a phone directory. Nothing could be further from the truth. Website leads are the hottest leads out there. With an ad in a phone directory or even a print ad, you are limited on space for your message. However a website allows today’s consumer to go in depth into your company’s history, staff, services and products. A web lead is a more informed prospect and thus, pre-qualified. So when you get the call, the prospect has already determined to a certain level that you are a good fit.

2. Instant Response Is Best
Answer web leads within seconds or minutes, not hours. Use this formula…the faster you contact the prospect, the higher the closing rate on appointments and sales. The goal is for a lead to not sit in someone’s in-box, be put on hold or go to voicemail.  Set your organization up to handle web leads…in “real time” (instantly).

3. Have Experienced Salespeople Answer
Don’t give your best leads to a trainee.  They should go directly to an experienced sales professional who can answer questions quickly, honestly, and authoritatively, earning the customer’s confidence and trust.  The customer needs to talk to a live person who understands sales and has a portion of their compensation based on scheduling a call or making a sale. You should notice a much higher conversion ratio if these elements are in place.

4. Satisfy the Prospect’s Needs
Why are they calling? The prospect has a need and usually wants a price before agreeing to move forward. If the prospect is calling around, they might find that your price is higher and you could lose the business. So explaining to them the benefits of your service could make the difference. However, if it’s a price they want, you’re going to have to either sell them on an appointment to build the value or give them a starting price and let them know that there may be additional charges. You can back this up with telling them that pricing is always up front before the work begins.

5. Gather Information for Follow-up
Get the customer name and contact information immediately (in case of disconnect or the call drops during a transfer). Then you can be proactive and follow up with them until they are ready to commit to your services. Calling or e-mailing the prospect right back, gives you the opportunity to get more information and start a conversation. The more engaged the conversation you have with a prospect, the higher the propensity of an appointment or sale.

6. Learn from Mistakes
Sharpen your sales staff. The beauty of a web-based lead is the option of Phone Tracking or E-mail Tracking. If you can capture dialogue between your company and a prospect, it gives you live examples that will allow you to role play and give positive, constructive feedback to your employees one-on-one.

7. Put a Plan in Place
How many opportunities are dropped because of poor follow-up? Never underestimate the importance of the human element. Web marketing is all about statistics, BUT, you cannot predict sales based on mathematical calculations alone.  Companies who invest in a great website, Pay-Per-Click, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services must be ready when the leads pour in. Otherwise, their brands will take a pounding in social media and through word of mouth.

About the Author

Kelsey Huber

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