3 simple ways to optimize your conversion rates

So you've spent a bunch of money on marketing. Just how much of that is converting into sales?

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Conversion has always been the prime focus of any business’s sales and marketing efforts. The more customers salespeople can move from “interested” to “sold,” the better. This can be an ongoing process for sales and marketing professionals who, despite their best efforts, sometimes fall short of their goals.

In recent years, teams have shifted their focus to “conversion rate optimization,” a practice that strives to define the absolute best conversion rate possible for their business. While this is an art that constantly needs to be refined, there are some things brands can do to push themselves in the right direction.

Have the right leadership

Successful sales and marketing efforts start with good leadership. You’ll need a strong product and a team that can quickly resolve any issues that arise in order to win and retain customers. Listen closely to your sales and marketing teams. They often interact directly with the very customer base you’re trying to serve and can give you the feedback you need to refine your product lines.

The importance of talented leadership extends to your sales managers and senior sales leads. This group will be crucial in motivating your sales teams to close deals and increase conversion rates. A good sales manager knows that offering positive feedback and incentives is more valuable than constantly criticizing. During the hiring process, closely review every resume to ensure an applicant’s qualifications are a good match for the type of team you want to build. You can also ask questions during the interview process that help bring out the qualities you’re searching for.

Hire the right people

Conversion rate optimization starts with the recruiting and hiring process. While there are many professionals who claim to have built a career in the field, the truth is that sales ability is a natural talent rather than something that someone can learn. Those who possess the talent can work hard to hone it. Unfortunately, those who don’t have that natural ability will never be able to sustain high performance over a long period of time.

“Words are important. In the dental industry, 'sales' is a 4 letter word. I relate to my audience by using words such as 'treatment planning' and 'case acceptance.'” says Justin Morgan, a marketing consultant for the dental industry. “Your industry can quickly tell if you understand them."

Have the right data

Once you have the right people in place, you’ll need to equip them with the tools they need to do the best possible job. Everything you do from contacting leads to building email campaigns should be closely tracked, with the results carefully studied. This data should be on the mind of every sales and marketing professional within your organization each day. Over time, they’ll have full insight into the techniques that work and don’t work as they pitch new prospects or post updates to social media.

When tracking conversion rates, it’s important to know exactly what information is important. Simply having a large number of clicks to your landing page isn’t as valuable as turning leads into paying customers, for instance. The key is to first plan what you hope to gain from your efforts and then set solutions up that will determine whether or not you’re meeting those goals.

Make it easy

Even the most talented sales professional will often hear the words, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” When that happens, it’s important to have a resource that the potential customer can keep coming back to while making a decision.

“In the search engine marketing world, people are often skeptical about starting, since they don’t always understand the nuts and bolts. We believe transparency is the secret ingredient. In our case, we have everything available via the reporting on our website, which alleviates the unknowns and can generate more closures” explains Clayton Johnson, who owns a digital marketing firm.

A professionally-designed, informative website could bring in more conversions than repeated sales calls. Make sure customers can easily access the information they need, both through the website URL you provided on your business card and a basic Google search for your signature products or services.

Your landing page can also serve as a valuable tool for converting website visitors into newsletter subscribers or email opt-ins. Make sure while customers are browsing your site, they’re prompted to sign up to receive this information. This will give you the opportunity to continue to try to convert the customer long after the initial visit to your website.

Conversion rates are important to businesses, whether they’re focused on sales, marketing, or a combination of both. When conversions are optimized, a business sees a better ROI on all of its efforts and avoids wasting excess time and resources on campaigns that don’t work. With the right team in place, a business can deploy more effective campaigns and see a long-term improvement in cash flow.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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