Getting a Website Conversion and Closing the Sale, Part Two
Part Two: Closing Web Leads
By: Thomas Young
Part one of this two-part article reviewed Website conversions and gave several examples of how the Web generates leads. This second part looks at what happens after a conversion and closing Web-based inquiries. The goal of this article is to provide several strategies for integrating these leads into your sales process and how to avoid common mistakes.
Get Inside the Head of Website Visitors
It is a big step for Website visitors to move from the anonymity of reviewing a Website to actually contacting your firm. Website users are moved to action when the content on a Website motivates them to get more information or buy. This usually happens after several Websites are visited, researched and your Website content wins them over. If your Website does its job, it will be easy for Web leads to understand why you are better than your competitors. Website visitors have done their homework and want to be taken seriously. Because of this, a Web lead is a very important lead.
First Mistake to Avoid
The biggest mistake sales teams make is to discount the importance of a Web prospect.
Web leads are very different from traditional leads because they have already done their homework. Tradition sales leads, who do not research online, may take more sales time and are usually not as prepared. A sales lead is not necessarily a better qualified because they take more time. Sales teams should spend much more time listening and understanding the Web-based prospect and less time explaining what the prospect has already read or seen on the Web.
Set-Up a System for Web Leads
The second biggest mistake companies make with with Web leads is not having a structure or method for dealing with leads or follow-up to online sales. Sales people should be reporting on the status of Web leads and your Website stats should be tracking all conversions. Sales management should know the time it takes to get back to Web leads and the process for follow-up with Web leads. Make sure your sales team is trained to effectively manage leads from the Website and to take theses leads seriously.
Timing is Critical
The faster your sales team can respond to a Web-based lead, the more trust is built in the firm and the higher the chances of closing. Respond immediately for better results. Web users appreciate this and you can catch them with your company fresh on their mind. In fact, Web-based software allows you to respond to Web leads while they are still on your Website!
Use Email as a Stay-in-Touch Program
Many leads will need multiple contacts before they buy and some may take a few months to become buyers. Use an email stay in touch program to follow-up with Web leads. This is especially important because your Web-based leads will soon overwhelm your ability to follow-up properly. Write valuable email content because important emails get read and junk email gets deleted. All Web-based leads should go into the stay in touch email program.
Questions to Ask the Sales and Marketing Team
Here are a few questions to ask your sales team about how Web leads are handled:
- What is our strategy for handling Website leads?
- What are the steps in converting Web leads?
- What is our conversion rate on Web leads?
- Where do Web leads fit in our sales process?
- How do you follow-up with leads and sales from the Web?
- What content areas and pages on the Website generate leads?
- Can we use live chat on the Website?
- What happens after the sale is closed from our Website?
Asking your sales and marketing managers these questions will lead to greater success with Web leads
Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and usability firm. To learn more about Intuitive Websites contact Tom at 719-481-4040 or tom@IntuitiveWebsites.com.