4 Steps to Convert More Leads into Sales

B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing

October 8, 2013 by

Whether in business, education, entertainment or sports, success is generally associated with the number of achievements—how many customers you’ve served, how many degrees you’ve earned, how many Oscars you’ve received or how many championships you’ve won. People rarely look at the manner by which those feats were accomplished; they often just look at the stats sheet.

Lead generation is a different kettle of fish, though.

When a considerable amount of effort is utilized to generate as many leads as possible in a campaign, less focus is put into looking at the quality of each lead, which in turn becomes counterproductive. A truckload of leads is pointless if only a canister-full can be turned into customers, right? And Lord knows whether those customers would actually follow through.

Rather than aiming for a large number of leads, why not work on increasing the percentage of leads that convert instead? 

By making sure your leads are healthier, you lessen the fuss of numeric quotas and instead hit the bottom line rather dead on. Here’s how to convert more leads into sales:

1. Score your leads, create a ULD, and weed out inessentials

The first logical step is to make things systematic. To distinguish the “cream of the crop” from the pedestrian leads, develop a concrete unit of measure in scoring them based on strength and potential. Others call it a Universal Lead Definition (ULD), but ironically the “universal” part is still subjective. Point is, it doesn’t have to be an industry standard—formulate a scale as you would please, just make it at least reasonable. After identifying the bottom-dwellers, you know what to do. RELATED CLASS: How to Setup a Lead Management Process

2. Develop middle-of-the-funnel content

Now it’s time to nurture those special leads. Marketers sometimes become caught up with focusing only on top-of-the-funnel content—you know, these typical blog posts and how-to-articles which are strictly educational. If you really want high quality leads to stand out, you’ve got to start creating middle-of-the-funnel content. These are more customer-tailored and they tie in information about your industry to your product. Gradually, as these leads view you as a valuable resource, you can insert more substantive content until finally you can harness them into the next step of the lead process. RELATED CLASS: How to Implement and Operate a Content Marketing Program

3. Identify positive patterns and work on them

As middle-of-the-funnel content is more aggressive in nature, you would almost immediately begin to notice which efforts are gaining traction. Now you can gain insight into this data and double down on the strategies that work for you and nix the ones that don’t. You can also gather additional nuggets in the process: Which industries are more receptive? What is the general economic classification of the companies that recognize my content? What is their typical decision-making behavior?

4. Delegate—and dedicate—people

You’re almost there—all you need to do is make sure these leads are brought to the right places. And to do that, you need the right (number and kind of) people. Now you see, you’ve given yourself the luxury of being able to delegate personnel to work faithfully on a promising prospect—an otherwise nearly impossible task had you chosen to sift through piles of questionable leads.

Do you want to nurture more leads to revenue with relevant content?

Watch Creating Content That Converts: Lean Content Marketing for Lead Generation, and in just 30 minutes, you'll learn how to create a high-impact content marketing plan and put it into action immediately. Plus, you'll learn lean content marketing techniques to save time and resources, and how to build your content program around themes and personas. This class is available with a FREE trial to the Online Marketing Institute. Get instant access now.

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