Short, Medium & Long-Term Tips for Improved Sales Conversions
If sales was as simple as answering the phone to a prospect and helping them to fill in their contact and payment details with a view to making a purchase or signing up for a service in a matter of minutes, everyone would be doing it. To those outside the profession the sales industry seems relatively straightforward. After all, we’ve all dealt with salespeople before whether it’s buying a car, buying clothes or trying to get the best deal on our home insurance. They either promote a product or service that we might be interested in and then we either say “yes, go on then” or “no thank you” and move on. For those who are working in sales, however, it’s much more complicated than that. There is a lot of legwork that goes into each and every conversation let alone each sale, and the skills you learn as you progress through your career in sales help you to identify which route to take with the conversation and whether or not this is likely to be the kind of lead you want to spend time pursuing. When you get a lead through, either from your marketing team or from the website directly, you have to assess your options and make a decision whether or not this lead is likely to convert. Sometimes people will show interest but be unwilling to pay (and often you can spot this in their messaging), but on other occasions you’ll find that prospects or leads have a genuine interest in your brand, product or service and it’s then down to you as the sales person to work your magic. Unfortunately, even what looks like a great sales lead might turn out to be lukewarm rather than red-hot, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead in the water and this is what we’re going to talk to you about today. If you’ve been generating new sales leads but found your conversion rates plateauing or even dropping, there are a number of ways in which you can resurrect cooling leads, even if you’re willing to invest yourself for the long haul. Here, we’re going to share some of our top short, medium and long-term sales tips to help you boost those conversion rates - but remember, it’s down to you to assess which category your current lead falls under. (If they were all on the short-term list everyone would be doing it!)
Short-term tips to improve sales conversions
When you’re approaching the end of the month and you’re tantalisingly close to your sales targets it can be so frustrating to know that you’ve got leads that are almost ready to convert, but not quite over the magical line.
To help you hit those goals, here are a few short-term tips to help clear your pipeline and increase monthly sales - but remember, they’re not ideal for medium or long-term sales strategies.
Be transparent and upfront with your pricing
When you tell a lead exactly how much the product will cost them it enables them to make a decision on whether or not the investment would be within their budget. They may also ask if there are any additional fees to pay for specific add-ons, or if the contract renews at a different price after a certain period of time.
If it’s too expensive then they can give you a ballpark figure that outlines how much they would be willing to pay and - if it’s within your power to do so - you could look to match this price or come down slightly to something more affordable for them to get the deal over the line.
Short term promotions and special discounts are also great for getting the conversions up, but you often need the permission of your sales manager in order to put these through.
We’ve all been there as customers whereby we’re keen on something but not quite happy with the price, only for the sales person to go away and come back with permission to apply a ‘special’ discount to the offer that is only available to you if you buy today. A bit like using a staff or friends and family discount card.
These types of offers are ideal at the end of the month where you’re trying to get leads over the line to hit your targets, but they don’t always work.
One day-only incentives
Our final short-term tip to ramp up those sales conversions is to offer a one-day discount. If you’ve got pipeline leads that have been toying with you for months, perhaps now is the chance to decide once and for all if they’re a buyer or someone to move to the lost list.
Getting on the phone or sending out a promotional email offering a discounted price if they sign up today only is a great way of generating a few fast conversions, enticing interested customers in with a Black Friday-style offer they can’t refuse.
Medium-term tips to improve sales conversions
These sales strategies are better suited to warm but not quite hot leads. Yet.
A lot of sales leads will show an interest in a product or service but might say in your early exchanges that they don’t quite have the budget or they don’t have a need right now but may in a few weeks or months’ time. Well these strategies could be what you need to show a glimpse of what you can offer while also providing the kind of incentives that get them to move down the funnel sooner rather than later.
A lot of companies offer free trials of their products that offer an insight into the kind of features they will be able to benefit from, without giving away too much at this stage. There might be a few of the key features that help to whet the appetite, and then there may be a few features that come as standard throughout the product or service that you don’t mind showing in more detail to give people a feel for the product.
This free trial might run infinitely if you don’t mind giving that kind of option, but be prepared that they might not choose to sign up and will instead benefit from the basic, free features; or you may offer a free trial that lasts for a set period (such as seven days or a month), before blocking access or forcing the user to sign-up at the end of that period unless they cancel the trial.
If you can get a lead onto a free trial then this shows that they have the intention to sign up and a genuine interest, and it’s over to you to speak to them (casually) throughout the trial period to see how they’re getting on and remind them that there is more to come should they sign on the dotted line.
Packaging a few of your products or services together can also be really beneficial in boosting sales.
A lot of leads show an interest in a service but often aren’t quite sure which package is the right one for them, and that confusion can be the stumbling block. They might see that there are two packages which would help them achieve their goals, but they don’t want to pay for both - or can’t at this time.
By packaging some of your products together you might just find that your conversions go up as you can remove any confusion by offering two for the price of one.
Long-term tips to improve sales conversions
When you’re not in a rush to get your sales stats up, but would still like to keep the pipeline moving, there are a number of longer-term tactics that you can employ.
In these instances flash sales and bundles might not be the answer, but if you bide your time and keep your leads warm you can still look to convert them down the line rather than having them causing a backlog in your pipeline.
Follow-up personal emails
When you’ve had initial contact with a lead who is clearly interested but not ready to convert, there’s sometimes no point pushing them as, if anything, you’re likely to push them away.
Instead, it’s important to wait for the opportunity to come back in a few months’ time when it might be a better moment for that business or individual to invest. One highly effective way of doing this is to utilise personalised, automated follow-up emails that reach out to leads to keep them warm and keep you in their minds.
Often referred to as lost leads, these are potential customers who have remained (to a degree) in your pipeline, perhaps stating that they don’t have the budget until the new year or new tax year, or that they’re currently undertaking a lot of work as it is and need to wait until they have cleared a backlog before they can grow again.
When this happens your automated emails can reach out to them to reignite the conversation and even book a follow-up call in the calendar for you to see what their business needs are at this point in time and to provide them with the opportunity to invest this time around when they have more money to spend or when they’re ready to undertake new projects.
Ultimately, the sales industry is all about using your skills, understanding and expertise to identify opportunities to give your customers what they want. You might not seal the deal in one phone call, or even one month, but by utilising a variety of different techniques and strategies you can ensure that you hit your sales targets in the end.
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