Figure out a way to convert 100 percent of your leads. Disqualify leads that don’t fit so by the time they come to you, they are ready to buy. You’re not selling at the end. – John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing in a talk on Building a Producer Model at Inbound 2015.
I really wish I had thought of that. It’s such a simple concept but requires a philosophical shift. An effective web and content strategy should strive to convert 100 percent leads instead of the traditional goal that is to get the phone to ring. “We just want people to pick up the phone and call us. We don’t want to lose the opportunity to sell them.” Well, the 1990s called and they want their sales tactics back.
Further, it doesn’t really matter what you want, because your buyer has the power, and they want to find what they are looking for without having to pick up the phone or make an appointment.
Let’s take, for example, the other day when I was vetting a software solution for a hospitality client. After spending several minutes and several page views on their website, I still couldn’t figure out exactly what the software does so I took the opportunity to fill out the contact form and ask “What exactly is it you do?” and you know what? He had to schedule an appointment with me, and because my schedule is what it is, we scheduled for the end of the week, and I finally learned, a week later what it is exactly. Five minutes into the call I kindly said, “Thanks, that’s not what we need. But you should put what you just said on your home page.”
I hope they take my advice because I’m sure I was far more patient than any of their other prospects who would have simply moved on to the next solution.
Now, we take the approach that our sales teams shouldn’t be qualifying leads, they should be closing business.
Idealistic, I get it, but it’s an approach, not an objective.
How to Convert 100 Percent of Your Leads
This approach forces brands to be clear in messaging (unlike my example above) and to give their audience the information they are seeking. To that end, you need to go find out exactly what they want. What problem do our prospects need solved?
We start by getting an understanding of the buyer decision-making process. It’s varied and unpredictable in many ways but by understanding the questions and challenges they are seeking from top of the funnel to bottom of the funnel, we can ensure we have content out there in the right places so they appear at the right time.
Problem-Based vs. Solution-Based Searches
In other words, those at the top of the funnel are doing problem-based searches:
- My dog won’t lie down.
- How do I teach a diverse class of learners?
- I need a romantic getaway in the mountains.
During the problem-based search, they begin to learn about possible solutions. Now they want to know more about:
- Arthroscopic surgery for canines
- Online curricula for teachers
- Hotels in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (respectively).
As they get closer to the sales decisions, searches become more solution-based. Content should be created accordingly.
The Website Audit
Next, put yourselves behind the keyboard of your prospective buyers and test your customer experience.
Do they have easy access to the information they need? You might need a User Experience expert to help you with this depending on the complexity of your business model. Are the next steps clear?
How much does it cost?
Do as I say, not as I do. Everyone wants to know how much it is going to cost. If you can’t tell them exactly, then at least give them an idea of what it will cost. I don’t yet have it here on the Big Leap website and I need becauseI’ve wasted a lot of time in the proposal process with clients who don’t have the budget. My not having pricing on my website has actually cost me money. I could write an entire blog post on it but Marcus Sheridan does it here so I’ll send you there instead.
Your audience is no longer researching you during business hours. They are looking on a Sunday evening, or late at night. I don’t care what business you are in; how big, or how small. How long your purchase cycle is or how short. If you haven’t gotten them most of the way to the “yes,” they are moving on to find someone else who will.
Go for 100 percent lead conversion rate. I dare you.[ssba]