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How Your Team Can Convert Leads: How to Take a Sales Lead to a Prospect to a Sale

Samantha Pratt Lile
 | 
September 21, 2022
 | 
8
 min read
How Your Team Can Convert Leads: How to Take a Sales Lead to a Prospect to a SaleHow Your Team Can Convert Leads: How to Take a Sales Lead to a Prospect to a Sale

The ultimate goal of most brands is closing some sort of deal. Before sales teams can sell products or services, they need leads. Some leads will be immediately ready to make a purchase, others might express a need but continue to consider their options, and some will be simply uninterested. How sales reps handle each of these opportunities can determine their success in converting leads into customers.

So, how do teams convert more leads into sales? It starts with qualifying leads into prospects, then nurturing those relationships even after closing a deal. Most brands have designed some sort of lead generation strategy, but how do they convert them into sales? Website visitors aren’t enough to foster growth if those prospects never make a purchase. Fortunately, there are proven methods of creating an effective lead conversion strategy and guiding leads through the sales funnel stages.

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is the process through which a prospective customer is led, beginning when they gain awareness of a product or brand and concluding with a purchase. Most of the time, a sales funnel consists of four stages: awareness, interest, decision and action. Also sometimes called a purchase funnel, the sales funnel model helps teams visualize the customer journey.

In addition to gaining a better understanding of the customer’s buying journey, sales teams can use a sales funnel model to track their leads as they progress toward becoming customers. By examining their sales funnel models while noting at what point leads drop out of the process and which prospects convert into customers, sales and marketing teams can optimize their sales strategies.

What is lead conversion?

Lead conversion occurs when a prospect completes the sales funnel process and makes a purchase. Often a joint effort between sales and marketing teams, lead conversion consists of strategies such as behavior automation, retargeting and email nurturing – all tactics that help convince people to buy a product or service.

Why is lead conversion crucial to a brand’s growth? Obviously, a business exists to make sales, but the importance of converting each possible lead can’t be underestimated. Brands spend an average of $198.44 on each generated lead. Achieving a positive return on that investment requires converting as many to customers as possible. Therefore, effective strategies are necessary to transition prospects into paying clients.

How do teams convert more leads into sales?

Sadly, 79% of marketing leads are never converted into sales. How can sales teams overcome odds that are so much against them? Teams can follow a step-by-step strategy to move qualified leads down the sales funnel into prospects before ultimately closing a deal.

1. Understand your leads

What motivates your ideal customer to take action? What are the best ways to communicate with qualified leads? By understanding prospects, sales teams can construct messages that attract leads to a brand. Try developing a buyer persona that symbolizes your ideal customer, and keep those characteristics in mind when communicating with leads.

2. Get sales and marketing on the same page

It’s easy for sales teams to lack proper appreciation of the leads they get from marketing, just as it’s not uncommon for marketing teams to claim sales isn’t effectively following up with prospects. When sales and marketing fail to fall on the same page, however, brands can lose millions in lost opportunity. When the teams work in sync, on the other hand, research shows conversions can increase by 38%.

3. Build an effective conversion strategy

You’ll need a multifaceted strategy to create an effective lead conversion process. This will include not only a lead generation strategy with tactics like guest content, social media advertising and influencer marketing, but also a lead engagement strategy that nurtures prospects using methods like blog posts, videos and email marketing. In fact, strategies should be developed to progress leads through each stage of the sales funnel.

4. Quickly respond to inquiries

Believe it or not, the chances of qualifying a lead are more than 20 times greater when an inquiry is answered within 5 minutes compared to 30 minutes. The same can be said for response times when converting a qualified lead into a paying customer. Quickly answering a qualified lead’s questions about a brand, product or service is crucial since the prospect likely is considering multiple solutions and could opt for an alternative in the time it takes to send a delayed reply.

5. Ask and convert

It might seem obvious, but asking for a sale remains pivotal in the modern marketing environment. Always offer a call to action and a request for purchase once you’ve answered all your prospect’s questions. For online sales, this might be in the form of a one-click signup option or a simple checkout process. A face-to-face deal, on the other hand, can be closed with a good, old-fashioned verbal request.

How can sales leaders train teams to convert more sales?

Any good sales leader wants their teams to convert more customers. What strategies are available to help them produce more productive sales reps? Providing training to both new and veteran salespeople helps them develop their skills and boosts their confidence. Proper sales training also teaches teams to build stronger relationships with customers and clients, while also offering them advanced knowledge of a brand, its products and services.

One popular and highly effective way to provide sales training is by creating an eye-catching visual presentation. PowerPoint-alternative software options like Baeautiful.ai provide sales leaders with a simple way to create onboarding and recurrent training presentations that engage teams while explaining strategies and communicating ways to increase conversion rates.

Sales enablement managers and other leaders can save time while creating a professional-level slide deck with the power of artificial intelligence when they choose to design sales training presentations with Beautiful.ai. They can create a presentation from scratch using Smart Slide templates, allowing the AI design assistant to handle details like margins and formatting. Just add your custom content and watch in amazement as a slide’s structure is magically transformed based on professional good design principles

Or, sales professionals can educate teams by customizing a presentation template that was perfectly curated for any number of topics, including a general training presentation template, a new hire onboarding template and a customer profile presentation template, among many others.  

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager. Examples of her published work can be found at sites including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Buzzfeed.