Cultivating and Converting Leads of the Future
One of the biggest challenges brands have today is cultivating and converting leads they’ve already obtained or are currently obtaining. And the truth is that it’s hard, so don’t be discouraged. A lead is hard to qualify unless you put them through a jungle of conversion points and track their behavior throughout the buying process. Some classify leads as “warm” or “hot” to indicate how likely they are to become a customer, only to find out they jump ship if they don’t find what they’re looking for or feel distanced from the brand. At this point you need to examine your inbound process and determine if you’re cultivating and converting your leads to the best of your ability.
Data, Data, Data,
It should go without saying (but we need to anyway) that the best way to cultivate and convert your leads is by knowing as much as you can about them. This can be done by reviewing your website analytics, newsletter engagements, social activity, PPC engagement, hot graphs, etc. Basically any data that can build a picture of what your target customer looks like. To keep this data segmented and saved for future reference, marketers like us typically develop personas, which are an target audience overviews that help define attributes, goals, motivations, fears, and opportunities for how we build engagement.
A simple way to fully understand how a lead may interact with your brand is to chart a customer journey. This can be in any format you’d like, and typically it identifies the touch-points a customer may have - whether that’s on your site, in your store, on social media, etc. The great part about this exercise is that you can essentially build a journey that the customer will take on their path to purchase. Little do they know that you’ve identified the touch-points, messages, and conversions they will engage with.
CRM / Workflow
The aforementioned activity is all for not if you don’t have a CRM that works for your business. A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management tool that helps manage customer and prospect communication and enables your business to track engagements and customize messaging towards those in your database. Some CRM platforms allow you to do much more, like list a slew of background information you may have on a contact, assign agents to contact your leads, develop custom emails and landing pages, build workflows, automate communication, etc. In the end, the best CRM is one that covers your basic needs to cultivate and convert your leads and also offers enhancements for when your business or marketing needs grow.
Progression tracking is a exactly what it sounds like. You track the progression of a lead throughout the customer journey. This is an important process because we can note where a lead spends more time, bounces off the journey, or even when they come back. It may be an opportunity to better understand the lead, but also enhance the customer journey where trends start to form. This will ultimately help the conversion process.
Attributing leads to your marketing efforts is where you will win or lose the future of your work. Many times, brands only look at the starting point of attribution. That’s not wrong, but it’s also not the full picture. You need to fully understand where your leads are coming from, what information encouraged them to engage with your brand, and what drove them to convert. Being able to replicate this over and over is the key to success.
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