Obtaining leads that convert to sales is the one of a couple of holy grail items of sales and marketing. What owners and sales staff desire most are quality leads without any fuss. Just provide sales ready leads is the mantra, checkout Glengarry Glen Ross (a must see movie). In fact, rarely does anyone want to know or 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 here it goes. Let’s begin with discussing why all leads are not equal and how to avoid confusion.

Theory One: Get Traffic and You’ll Get Leads


Web traffic concept, Illustration of seo over black background with green light and blur effect.

Anyone involved in lead generation for any amount of time will know, getting traffic and getting leads are not the same thing. However, this story never stops with many – including ignorant “marketers” – from extolling the value of traffic above all else. In fact, Google long ago abandoned valuing websites based upon sheer website volume. They realize that traffic is not an indicator of value.  Not only that, Google has looked poorly upon sites that pay for traffic to game the system of SEO ranking and now monitors such activity.

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 – or children (who knows), 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, 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 stuff.

Theory Two: Get Targeted Traffic and You Get Qualified Leads

Targeted TrafficRarely identified – less flawed but equally common to the first category – is the notion that targeted traffic obtains qualified leads. Maybe yes, maybe no. It is better to think about what “targeted” means. “Targeted” can be very massive.

When I ask many companies who their target audience is they typically respond, “anyone who…..” Normally, they are way over ambitious and unrealistic. It takes a few more questions to narrow 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”. Really? He doesn’t build homes anywhere in the world. Also, he doesn’t build homes of all price range nor does not build any type of homes (5 story homes or homes with basements). His home construction types are limited to certain materials. So, his idea of targeted traffic prior to a realistic clarification of his audience would result in a lot of disqualified leads. What if we took his answer and then started a paid marketing campaign nationally for anyone looking to buy a home. 99.9% of the leads for him would be garbage because they would NOT be qualified at all.

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. This is a very important point to understand. By applying the buyer’s journey, we understand that shoppers are naturally in different stages of ‘ready to purchase’. Treating them all the same means losing a lot of potential customers. And, the higher your price tag the more segmented your audience is (because purchasing is usually slower and more considered), plus they are also better candidates for stage based content.

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 <sic>. (Source: MarketingProfs)

I was talking to a customer and he said he wasn’t interested “in tire kickers that wanted information and not purchase”. Okay….I had to reset and then explain. Not all website visitors are going to be ready to buy. The question is how can you manage this. The answer firstly requires the understanding that there is value in early stage engagement prospects. In fact, if one is thinking of everything as binary – buy now or don’t buy at all – you are losing a lot of the traffic that you are paying for. This is a massive mistake. Secondly, we should examine what can we do on the site to engage with those early stage shoppers. This means building relationship, 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 optin-in content (behind a form), list building, along with email drip or nurture you can build pipelines that make sales faster and provides 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. This is very different for an unqualified lead that is more of a temporary status (although it is possible to remain unqualified for a long period of time). Unqualified means that they do not currently qualify.

Seeking Leads that Convert to Sales?

The best way we know of obtaining 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 pipeline and by-pass 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. (Source: Marketo)

Need help?

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

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

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