Congratulations! A visitor to your website has officially become a lead. They've developed an interest in something you offer, they've filled out a form, and now you have hard data about the actual person behind the clicks. They're now in your sales funnel and you have a potential sale on your hands. Now what? Turning a visitor into a lead is a huge first step, but it's not a conversion. Until money changes hands, they're still just a potential customer. So, how do you make sure they continue through the funnel all the way to a conversion. Once that happens, how do you get them to re-enter the funnel for another go-round?
The Nurturing Process
At this point, all the lead has shown is curiosity. You need to nurture that feeling to the point of true interest. That process is called nurturing. They've already been drawn to your website by something. You need to find out what that something is, and give them more of it. Using the information they've given you, it's time to establish a more personalized marketing approach.
Using the data you've collected, you need to put together a marketing package that's directed toward the particular lead. That doesn't mean that you need to create all new materials for them. Hopefully, you're already using buyer personas to create marketing content and landing pages designed around specific interests. Find out which interests best fit this lead, and steer them toward the content you've already prepared for their persona. The fit doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be as close as possible.
Moving from Marketing to Sales
If you've chosen the right content for the lead, you should see a steady progression through the sales funnel. They've gone from a mild curiosity about your products to a true interest in the materials you're providing them. Maybe they're downloading white papers, maybe they're responding to emails, or maybe they're reaching out via your contact page. Either way, they've now become a "hot" lead. It's time to move from marketing to sales.
Guiding, Not Pushing
The job of the sales funnel is to let people move organically from interest to purchase. This has to occur at their own pace, or it won't happen at all. As a salesperson, it's your job to help guide them through the last stage of the funnel, not try to push them through. They've shown an interest, what's stopping them from making a purchase? Reach out and find out what's making them hesitant. Teach their motivators to buy, and demonstrate how your products can help fulfill their needs. Remember, your job is to meet their needs, not sell products.
Post-Sale Follow Up
Once you've closed the deal, you've already done most of the work for a second sale. They've moved through the funnel once, and now it's your job to get them right back into the funnel. Continue marketing to them with content that's relevant to their stated needs and interests. Don't overwhelm them with information, but don't let them feel like you forgot them as soon as the check cleared. You want to stay fresh in their minds, and keep your products in their line of sight when they're ready to make another purchase.
From Lead to Loyalty
Converting a visitor into a lead is a good step. Converting a led into a loyal customer is a huge leap. Once you've done that, you've maximized the ROI on all of your marketing and sales efforts. Doing it repeatedly lets you build a pool of reliable customers that will come back time and again.