Every bit of web traffic that comes to your website has the potential to be a customer. So why not make the most of it and convert more visitors to customers.

Your website visitors are at some point of the buyer’s journey towards making a purchase. How far along the journey they are can be fairly well aligned with points on the sales funnel, as seen below. Today, we will look at how you can lead your website visitors further down the sales funnel, and ultimately to becoming a paying customer.

buyers journey sales funnel

Step 1: Offer something irresistible

Visitors generally arrive at your website because they have assumed your content would help them. Your headline has attracted them, and your page should deliver what your headline promised. But even if you have sorted them out for now, the one thing you want is for them to come back. Especially if they have the potential to take on your services.

You need to give them a little push to encourage them to connect.

Offer your visitors something they consider valuable enough to gladly exchange their email address for. What you offer should be relevant to the content your visitors have arrived at and relevant to your target audience.

Lead Offers

Your irresistible offers could include:

  • Ebooks
  • Guides
  • Webinars (Live & Archived)
  • Checklists / Worksheets
  • Industry Case Studies
  • Industry Research
  • Free Tools
  • Free Trials
  • Product Demos
  • Consultations
  • Coupons

These lead magnets help you convert more visitors, so you can continue building relationships through email marketing.

Step 2: Nurturing your email list

Your email list is a valuable asset to your business. You have leads at hand that you are free to communicate with. But keep it consistent, in moderation and of value to the recipients. Hold back on ‘selling’, but be generous with ‘helping’.

The best approach is to set out a schedule for your email marketing, so you have better control over delivery and outcomes. Your schedule could be something simple like this:

  • Quarterly:
    • Case Study
    • Company / team update
    • Industry report
    • Tips and reminders
  • Monthly / fortnightly:
    • Blog digest
    • Content offer (as in Step 1, above)
  • Seasonal:
    • Promotion – such as a webinar, seminar, discount, event

Be sure to stay relevant for your audience. Segment your audience as you need – your resellers may not want to receive what your direct customers need to know, for example. This will mean fewer ‘unsubscribes’ from your list, and keeping your list healthy.

email marketing

*Source: MailChimp Inspiration

Step 3: Smarketing – integrating sales and marketing

Too often, this can be the stone in the shoe of customer conversion. The communication between sales and marketing teams can often fall down, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment get 20% annual revenue growth.

A system can be put into place that smooths out the integration, so everyone is working on the same page and achieving greater outcomes:

  1. Speak the same language
    • Be numbers driven so you are aiming for the same targets.
    • Define the stages of the sales and marketing funnel (see below)
    • Define a sales-ready lead – eg. a contact filled out a particular form on the website, or a contact who is a decision-maker.
    • Get clear on buyer personas and who you are all selling to
      buyers journey sales funnel smarketing
  2. Set up closed-loop reporting
    For example: when marketing sends leads to sales they should get feedback – Are the leads good? Is there enough information? Are marketing efforts profitable?

    • Benefits for marketing: up to date on contact status, learn which marketing programs work or not, increase marketing ROI
    • Benefits for sales: help prioritise leads, help make warmer calls, increase close rate
  3. Implement a Service Level Agreement
    A Sales-Marketing SLA defines what each team commits to accomplishing in order to support the other.

    • Marketing to sales:
      • How many leads of a certain quality does a sales rep need to make quota?
      • Quota (revenue) / avg. revenue per customer = # customers needed
      • Customers / avg. lead to customer close % = # leads needed
    • Sales to marketing:
      • How many calls or email attempts should a sales rep make to every lead to not waste leads?
      • With X leads and Y hours/month, how many follow-up attempts should a sales rep be able to complete per lead?
  4. Maintain open communication
    Regular meetings are held to discusses numbers and successes, share upcoming marketing campaigns, and share updates on products and services.
  5. Rely on data
    Create and share a dashboard with reports that align with both teams. It should be checked daily and any problems attended to promptly.

smarketing data

Aligning sales and marketing teams may be a challenge at first, but it will pay off in profits and morale.

Carolyn Wilson
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