Obtaining leads that convert to sales is the one of a couple of holy grail items in sales and marketing. What owners and sales staff desire most are quality leads without any fuss. In fact, rarely does anyone want to  deal with the complexities involved in qualified lead generation. They just want the leads – the sales ready ones, the good ones.

However, we believe you want to know the ins and outs of how lead generation works, so you can gather more high-quality leads for your business. Let’s begin with discussing why all leads are not equal.

Theory One: Get Traffic and You’ll Get Leads

Anyone involved in lead generation for any amount of time will know that getting traffic and getting leads are not the same thing. However, that fact doesn’t stop many – including some “marketers” – from extolling the value of traffic above all else. In reality, Google long ago abandoned valuing websites based upon sheer website volume. They’ve even gone as far as looking poorly upon sites that pay for traffic to game the system of SEO ranking and monitoring such activity. They realize that traffic is not an indicator of value.

As you can see, it’s clear that getting traffic is not correlated with getting business leads.

Let me explain even further. Traffic can mean anyone at all. It’s a warm clicking body (in some cases not even that). Traffic can be paid for in the form of computerized search that hits your site. There’s even paying for people to click and view your site. However, this concept also extends down to doing mass campaigns that have very wide appeal or are highly engaging but not targeted.

Let’s say you have massive ads giving away a free car for any product. Do you think that all that traffic would result in leads interested in your offering? Unlikely. Most are interested in that free car. Yes, you’d generate a lot of traffic, but not good traffic. That traffic is extremely unlikely to convert on your forms into leads unless they want to get more free stuff.

Theory Two: Get Targeted Traffic and You Get Qualified Leads

A less flawed theory but equally common as the first is the notion that targeted traffic obtains qualified leads. The answer? Maybe yes, maybe no. It is better to think about what “targeted” means, as this can be a vague and misused term.

When I ask many companies who their target audience is they typically respond, “anyone who…” Often, they haven’t taken the time to narrow down their exact audience and instead offer up an unrealistic answer. It takes a few more questions to narrow that answer down and for someone to realize their ideas are a bit flawed. Here’s a real world example.

I met with a prospect who builds homes and asked him who his audience was. His answer was “anyone looking to buy a home.” However, he doesn’t build homes anywhere in the world. He also doesn’t build homes of any price range, nor does not build every type of home, such as 5 story homes or homes with basements. His home construction types are limited to certain materials. We needed to narrow down his answer to “Those looking to buy this style of home made of these materials in this price range.” His idea of targeted traffic prior to a realistic clarification of his audience would result in a lot of disqualified leads. If we had taken his answer and started a paid marketing campaign nationally for anyone looking to buy a home, 99.9% of the leads for him would not be qualified because we were casting too wide of a net.

The moral of theory #2? To get qualified leads you need truly qualified traffic!

Lead Segregation

Obtaining qualified leads with qualified traffic still does not imply that all leads are sales ready. Shoppers who find your site are naturally in different stages of being ‘read to purchase’ – we call this phenomenon the Buyer’s Journey. Treating them all the same means losing a lot of potential customers. The reality is that you should target your content to buyers at different stages of this process. The higher your price tag is, the more segmented your audience is (because purchasing is usually slower and more considered).

67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed digitally. (Sirus Decisions)

Marketers who segment their email recipient lists achieve 39% higher open rates, 28% lower unsubscribe rates, 24% better deliverability. (MarketingProfs)

I was talking to a customer who said he wasn’t interested “in tire kickers that wanted information and not a purchase.” It’s important to understand though that not all website visitors are going to be ready to buy. The question is: how can you manage this? First, you’ll need to understand that there is value in early stage engagement prospects. In fact, if you approach all of your leads as binary – buy now or don’t buy at all – you will lose a lot of the traffic that you are paying for, and we don’t want you to waste money! Secondly, we should examine what can we do on the site to engage with those early stage shoppers. This means building relationships, addressing their questions, and most importantly accelerating their time to purchase by educating and providing them with special offers that match their desires.

By segmenting leads into categories and leveraging various marketing methods such as valued opt-in content (behind a form), list building, along with email drip or nurture, you can build pipelines that make sales faster and provide you with visibility into future business.

Disqualified or Unqualified?

Remember: there’s always a place for identifying leads that should be disqualified. Disqualified is a lasting status and means the prospect is NOT a viable customer and won’t be in the foreseeable future either. This is very different than an unqualified lead, which is a temporary status that can change (although it is possible to remain unqualified for a long period of time). Unqualified simply means that they do not qualify at this very moment.

Seeking Leads that Convert to Sales?

The best way we know of to obtain leads that convert to sales is by aligning your marketing to your buyer’s journey. By adopting and adhering to the buyers journey methodology, your marketing tactics and processes will naturally be adjusted, tuned, and optimized. The result is that you will build relationships and a sales pipeline while bypassing the faulty notion of “buy now or else.”

Research has shown that 96% of website visitors are not ready to buy, and that only 2% (on average) convert on the first visit. (Marketo)

Need help?

74% of deals are awarded to the sales rep and company that was first to add value and insight. (Corporate Insights)

We are experts when it comes to assisting dealerships in developing their buyer’s journey, building content, and driving targeted traffic to their business. We can convert your website visitors into leads all throughout their shopping experience and accelerate your sales revenue. CLICK HERE to contact us.

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