Your content marketing and social media marketing programs are humming along nicely. You’re web traffic and leads are up and growing each month. Now what? How do you improve lead-to-customer conversion rates? After all, you’re still on the cost side of the equation until you can convert leads into loyal customers.

  1. Align Marketing and Sales Messages – make sure your people arespeaking the same language and understand the value of your products and services the same way. Failure to do this can lead to confusion and alienation of potential customers.
  2. Introduce Your Sales Force Earlier – get your sales people involved in blogging and social media engagement. By doing so, you can start to build those critical sales-consumer-support relationships and enhance lead-to-customer conversion rates.
  3. Build Smarter Landing Pages – design your landing pages to achieve specific sales goals:
    1. Segmentation – who are your leads? What region? What industry? What are they looking for and how soon will they decide to buy? Design your landing page forms to capture information that is important to your sales process, but don’t scare people away with forms that are too long and obtrusive. You can try A/B testing to find just the right balance between capturing information and converting leads.
    2. Source – it’s very important to understand where your leads originated so that you can find the best “sweet spots” for lead conversion. Did they come from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, E-mail, or Google?  How did they find you and what were they searching for. This information helps your sales force know how best to communicate with leads and understand their needs and preferences.
    3. Analysis – you need online (even mobile) lead conversion analysis tools that are readily available to both marketing and sales in order to monitor lead conversion events and quickly decide how to respond. You need to be able to analyze and compare landing page messages, layout, forms and positioning in order to optimize lead conversion rates.
  4. Notify and Assign Leads – how many potential sales are lost because your team failed to recognize an opportunity and respond immediately? Your lead generation system and strategy must be set up to immediately notify both sales and marketing people, to quickly assess the “warmth” of a lead, assign the lead to the appropriate sales person and monitor progress towards closing. The ideal solution is a CRM system integrated with your marketing/lead generation platform. You can automatically assign leads via segmentation rules, send out notifications via e-mail and text messaging, and quickly assess needs and qualifications of your leads. These features make your sales/marketing team more efficient and improve closing rates.
  5. Close the Loop – once your sales and marketing people are working as a team, you can start to improve the overall process. Feedback from sales people to marketers can lead to better calls-to-action, landing pages and content. Communication between marketers and sales people can help to align messaging and communication with leads during the sales process. Working together, sales people can spend less time prospecting and more time closing sales. Marketers can better understand what it takes to close a sale and improve their inbound marketing  content accordingly.

The next time your CEO asks you how well your inbound marketing  program is working, think about the impact on sales. What can you do to improve performance and convert more leads to paying customers?


John McTigue is Executive Vice President and Co-Owner of Kuno Creative, an inbound marketing agency based in Avon, Ohio. John has 30 years experience in IT sales and marketing, the past 12 in Web development and Internet marketing. Kuno Creative is a Certified HubSpot Partner and offers comprehensive inbound marketing services to both B2B and B2C companies.