So you have done the hard work, marketed your product or service well and found a lead.

What do you do next to turn that lead into a sale?

Research has found that most leads fail to convert into sales because a company hasn’t bothered to follow up or has mishandled them.

Here are five steps to take to make sure that doesn’t happen:

1) Move quickly

According to industry research, most leads go cold after 90 minutes.

It’s therefore crucial to make sure that the leads are going to the right person to deal with them in the first place.

This can be achieved by having a process in place for responding to leads, structuring your sales team effectively and using the relevant customer relationship management software or system.

Once you have captured that lead, it’s essential to respond as quickly as possible to their demand or enquiry, and continue to channel them through the sales funnel.

Personalise your response so that the lead feels valued and therefore more inclined to make the purchase, but make sure you don’t jump straight in with the hard sell.

2) Keep them warm

Once a lead has shown an interest in your product or service, you need to maintain that.

You can do that through a range of methods including talking them through the features and benefits on the phone or by video link, emailing or texting them to arrange or confirm an appointment, or interacting through social media.

Using whitepapers, blogs, videos, free e-books, testimonials, frequently asked questions and other reference materials including more detailed information about your offering and its application, or on a related subject will help support this.

Asking them questions is also good way to get them to reply to you and maintain contact.

But make sure that your sales material is targeted and relevant, and, above all, doesn’t contain any waffle.

3) Help them to overcome barriers

There are three main reasons why a lead won’t buy from you.

The first is that they don’t trust you or think you are credible, maybe because you don’t support what you claim your product or service can do, you have a lack of contact information, or your website is poorly-designed and you have non-targeted content.

The second is that the price you are quoting doesn’t match their perceived value of your offering.

And the third is that they don’t feel the time is right to make the purchase.

In order to overcome these hurdles you need to show them proof your product or service does what you say it can do, backed up with reputable customer reviews.

Then you need to explain to them exactly how they will get a return on their investment and the added value they will receive.

You must also give them a compelling reason why they should buy from you now rather than wait several months or not do anything at all.

4) Make it easy for them

There’s no bigger turn off for the customer than a complex and long-winded buying process.

So make it as easy as possible for them to sign up for your product or service at the click of a button with as few fields as required and a simplified checkout and payment process.

You also need to make sure that your website is optimised for customer use, particularly the mobile version, given the increasing move towards smartphones and mobile devices.

And listen and learn from feedback on how you can improve the process for them and then put it into action.

5) Follow up

It doesn’t finish once you have made the sale.

You need to follow up to make sure that the customer is happy with your product or service.

There’s also the opportunity to sell them more by capturing their details on your mailing list and contacting them about new products or services, promotions and offers, or just as a means to stay in touch and let them know you are there through a free newsletter or tip sheet (after all, who doesn’t like a freebie?).

You can also ask the customer to give you a rating, review or recommendation that you can then use on your website or in your marketing material to help enhance your credibility and ultimately increase your customer base.

Purge any unresponsive leads, for example those that you don’t hear from after 30 days, sending them a message telling them that they are welcome to get back in contact if they want to do so later on.

Finally, you should review each and every sale and see what you can do to improve it for next time.

Get in touch

  • Getting the leads but unable to turn them into sales? For help getting your prospects over the line give me a call on +44 (0)7949 590213 or email