Lead lists are easy to come by, but converting those leads isn’t guaranteed. How do you increase your overall lead conversion?
It’s not simple, but it’s possible. These six steps will have your team producing more opportunities and driving revenue from your leads.
1. Get as much information as possible about the lead when you purchase it.
When you work with organic leads, you can enrich your leads with your own intent data and lead scoring tools. By combining your internal data with your lead profile, you can better understand who the lead is, where they live in the funnel, and whether they’re a good fit for your product.
You don’t have the same advantages of data context with most purchased leads. That leaves you with two choices:
- Work with a vendor that will give you as much information as possible about a lead
- Take the time to gather intent data on your purchased list
The easier of the two options for you is to get lead context straight from the vendor. Ask questions about your leads, including:
- What actions have they taken to prove interest
- How many touches have they received before the handoff
- What’s their stage of the funnel
- The follow-up steps the lead vendor recommends next
In addition to saving you time and work in the long run, asking these questions of your lead vendor tests how well they know their product. Give your vendor credibility points if they can answer directly or can produce this data on a reasonable timeline. Then test that data to make sure it’s correct.
2. Nurture with the right content for their readiness to purchase.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but not every purchased lead is ready to buy. Actually, most of the leads you purchase need several low-pressure touches before you reach out to them directly.
Do not call out on every lead. Use the data you gathered from your lead partner to segment your leads. Then assign each segment a lead score and insert them into (or build) drip and outreach campaigns that align with their readiness to purchase.
Make this easy on your marketing team and automate as much as possible with email newsletters, retargeting ads, drip campaigns, and chat bots. Introduce the leads to your brand at low risk to the lead and low effort from your teams.
Reserve your manual actions for your highest value and highest scoring leads. Set up lead readiness alerts in your marketing automation tools that notify your sales team to reach out when those leads have crossed a readiness threshold.
3. Don’t be afraid to drop poor-fit leads.
Use your lead scoring to advance good-fit leads toward sales, but don’t be afraid to disqualify leads, too. Not everyone who fills out your online form or shows interest in your emailed white paper is a good fit for your product. And that’s okay.
A lost lead is not failure, it’s data
Individuals show interest in marketing assets for many different reasons, which means that a percentage of the leads that you purchase will be a poor fit for your product — right now.
The funnel gets smaller at the bottom for a reason. A lost lead is not a failure, it’s data.
Use poor-fit leads to refine your targeting, improve your marketing outreach campaigns, and produce more targeted content that will attract better leads in the future.
4. Chill out.
I’ll say it again: don’t call out on every lead you receive with the intent to sell. You should gradually build the frequency and intensity of your touches as a lead score improves.
- Don’t bombard a TOFU lead with case studies and retargeting ads that scream at the lead to buy. Instead, consider thought leadership with a light value prop CTA.
- MOFU leads should also be treated with care. While some may jump the funnel to purchase, most want a continued stream of content that speaks to them. If they don’t score well on your lead scoring tools, don’t hit them with the pitch yet.
- When a lead scores high enough or responds to a clear purchase intent call to action, begin that conversation. Even in the BOFU, leads can be skittish.
How much you’ll need to reign in your sales reps will depend on the length of your sales cycle and the processes that work best for you. But if you suddenly ramp up outreach and sales pressure in the BOFU, you’re likely to scare away as many leads as you connect with.
If your sales team is under the impression that a lack of speed stands in between them and closing the deal, they may want to check their assumptions. What if the problem is that your team failed to sufficiently nurture early on, and therefore missed the lead’s comparison stage entirely?
Chill out, follow funnel and pipeline best practices, and have some sense. Too much pressure or a full-on sales pitch too early in the process will scare your leads right into the arms of your competitors.
5. Test, test, test.
Once you’ve gathered as much contextual information as you can about your leads and you’ve built processes that nurture them respectfully, it’s time to start testing your internal best practices.
Get scientific and use sample groups that run through cadences of different lengths, intensities, and combinations of touches. You’ll want to make sure that your lead sample size for each of these tests is big enough that you can gather data. If you have the bandwidth to build the tests and the lead volume to support it, try to run a couple of tests at once. Ideally you could run a test on a single variable for each of your lead segments without muddying your results.
And don’t forget to follow good scientific protocol. Track your tests in a single spreadsheet or project management tool, document your findings for each test that moves the needle, and use your findings to build more tests.
6. Knowing what you are buying is half the battle.
The biggest reason lead programs fail is that the expectation of success is too high. If you expect every lead that you purchase to convert, you need to reevaluate your priorities.
A lead is not a promise of conversion, it’s an opportunity to have a conversation.
Once your team has mastered the best practices for nurturing leads, all you have left to improve is lead quality. Most providers can’t change their process or quality, but they can help you align your expectations around how their leads usually convert.
If the benchmarks that your lead provider gives are unsatisfactory, you have two main options:
- You can accept the benchmark and work to improve the price you pay for the conversion your team gets from these leads
- You can find a vendor who can promise a higher benchmark
Keep in mind: you pay for what you get. Switching providers may get you a more qualified lead, but you’ll likely pay a premium finder’s fee.
Work with a provider that supports you.
By partnering with a lead gen provider who gives you contextual information about your leads and who supports you in building a suitable nurture cadence for their leads, you have a head start on increasing your lead conversion.
Take a look at our full-funnel lead options. We can help you find the audience you’ve been missing while improving your conversion rates and increasing your bottom-line.