Technology has made B2B buyer journeys increasingly complex, and closing sales has grown more challenging. With the number of technology tools now used to interact with buyers—including social media, texting, emails, and phone calls—the number of touches required to close a B2B sale has grown 52 percent in recent years.
The good news is you can improve your sales team’s performance by optimizing the steps in your sales pipeline’s process. Here are three keys to optimizing your sales funnel in order to generate more leads, improve your conversion rate, and make more sales.
1) Integrate Online Marketing with Your Sales System
One reason sales pipelines often underperform is a lack of integration between the leads coming in from your marketing funnel and what represents a qualified lead for your sales team. If your marketing efforts are attracting unqualified leads, your sales team will waste a lot of effort on prospects who aren’t likely to buy.
A proven method for addressing this issue is to use a lead scoring system to make sure the leads coming into your sales funnel are qualified. To make this strategy work, your marketing and sales teams will need to agree on what characteristics define a qualified lead. Once you’ve identified these characteristics, your marketing team can focus on campaigns that attract these types of leads, and your sales team can set up a scoring system to evaluate incoming leads. Using this strategy can double your lead qualification rate while raising your lead conversion rate by 38 percent.
You can even take advantage of CRM consulting to help automate the process and use the CRM more effectively. This can help your sales team leaders understand how to set up and use advanced CRM features to optimize your sales pipeline.
2) Use Landing Pages to Improve Your Conversion Rate
Another important tool for integrating your marketing and sales funnels is your use of landing pages. A landing page forms the gateway which converts visitors to your site into prospects who have provided their contact information. Using well-designed landing pages can significantly boost your conversion rate.
An effective landing page should offer information that appeals to your target market and makes it easy for visitors to provide their contact information. Matching the information on your landing page to the keywords or topic that brought your visitor to your site can increase your page’s conversion rate. It’s also better to use simple fields that request a minimal amount of information, such as an email address, rather than requiring visitors to fill out a long and complicated form.
You can test the effectiveness of your landing page by using A/B split-testing. The average landing page conversion rate is 2.35 percent, but testing at least four different versions of your landing page can improve your conversion rate to 5.31 percent, while testing ten versions can boost your conversion rate to 11.45 percent.
3) Focus on Follow-up Marketing
It takes an average of 7 to 13 sales touches to convert a lead into a sale, according to the Data & Marketing Association. This means that if you’re not doing enough follow-up marketing, your sales rates are going to be lower than they could be. By increasing follow-up marketing on your initial leads, you can increase potential sales opportunities by 80 percent.
To improve your follow-up marketing, sales teams should implement a policy of following up until a prospect has said ‘no’ at least five times. Additionally, doing follow-up cross-sell and upsell marketing to customers can increase your average value per sale, the average lifetime value of your customers, and your revenue from repeat business.
Using a CRM tool to implement a lead scoring system can improve the quality of leads being funneled to your sales team and ensure that your representatives are spending their time on qualified leads. Applying split-testing to improve the quality of your landing page design can improve your conversion rate and steer more qualified prospects into your sales funnel. Focusing on follow-up marketing can help you capture sales opportunities that would otherwise be lost in order to increase your sales volume as well as your revenue from cross-sells, upsells, and repeat business. Implementing these strategies will boost your team’s sales performance, translating into more sales and higher profits for your business.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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