By Jaakko Paalanen, Chief Revenue Officer at Leadfeeder
B2B lead generation is a costly endeavor. If you have a leak at any stage within your sales and marketing funnel, it can be hugely wasteful – both financially and in terms of resources within your business.
But longer sales cycles, intense competition and more communication channels have created complex funnels that make it harder to spot leaks and fix them.
While converting 100 percent of the leads you attract is practically impossible, there are several ways businesses can streamline their marketing and sales funnel to maximize conversions and reduce the cost of each lead.
Understand what it takes to convert a lead
It’s more difficult to reach a destination if you haven’t planned the journey. And this is the same when trying to convert a lead.
Before you do anything, start by outlining the three primary stages of the buyer-to-customer journey to get a true understanding of the steps a lead is likely to go through to become a buyer.
Firstly, there is the awareness stage. A buyer is aware of a problem or solution they need, and they go searching for information to understand it in more detail.
Then, there is the interest and consideration stage. This is when the buyer confirms their problem and is looking for someone to help solve it. This is when they need to find you and you need to demonstrate your ability to help – quickly.
Finally, there is the decision stage which will inevitably involve your competitors. At this stage, a buyer will become a customer and choose a vendor or partner based on many factors including expertise, price and service.
At each stage of the journey, you need to have the right marketing and sales strategies in place to capture a buyer’s attention and turn them into a customer – before your competitor does.
Identify leaks using data, not opinion
Data beats opinion, every time. When analyzing your marketing funnel, the key indicators of a leak are exit numbers, bounce rates and high traffic combined with a low conversion rate.
All three factors indicate that you’re targeting the right kind of audience, but you didn’t fulfill their expectations or answer their search intent well or quick enough.
Using Google Analytics or tools that complement Google Analytics, these data points are easy to collect and analyze. Combined with experiences gained from interactions with potential customers and during onboarding, data can provide valuable insights into where you’re leaking leads.
Capture behavioral data too
While web analytics tools like Google Analytics tell you the location of a leak in your funnel, behavioral analytics tools reveal the cause of the leak. They’ll show you what catches or repels a lead’s attention on the page and how a lead interacts with your site.
Behavioural tools include heatmaps, scroll and mouse tracking, and user feedback tools like surveys. This way, you can identify how a user behaves on your website, or a particular landing page i.e., your product pages, and make targeted changes that directly address any flagged issues or outcomes that don’t match your business objectives.
Target long-tail keywords to boost lead quality
Marketing and sales funnels can often end up top-heavy, meaning you may produce many leads, but your conversion rate remains low. A frustrating predicament many businesses often find themselves in.
This is a clear sign that within the ‘awareness’ stage, you’re overperforming. And at the ‘consideration’ stage you’re underperforming.
To address the imbalance, focus on so-called ‘long-tail’ SEO which uses content to target longer, more detailed search queries that buyers will often use when moving from the awareness stage of the funnel to the consideration stage.
Essentially, your website content, marketing comms and sales activity will match up with the questions buyers are asking when they’re most likely to convert. Doing so will also give you a boost in organic performance, as Google will reward your website for answering people’s questions.
Test the small, but significant details
It’s most likely the case that you don’t need to make grandiose changes or undergo a complete redesign to fix the leaks you identify within your marketing and sales funnel.
Instead, the small details which can seem insignificant can be the root cause of the problem and be quietly harming your lead conversion efforts.
Something as minor as a poorly designed call-to-action can be the source of a significant leak. For example, the software company, Veeam, changed a single world within its on-site copy and subsequently generated $15 million dollars in just one month.
By replacing the word “quote” with the word that its customers were using, “price”, Veeam was able to increase click-through rates to its pricing page by an impressive 161.66 percent.
Clearly, sometimes the bottleneck is an unassuming technical or small detail, so never overlook these!