How To Learn More About Your Leads & Increase Conversions

Generating leads is a vital challenge that many businesses face, but focusing too much on lead gen at the expense of lead nurture and closing sales is a serious waste of resources.

Sales conversion rates can vary wildly by industry, but 45 percent of the firms polled recently by Data Box reported a rate of less than 10 percent. This means that regardless of the situation you're in, the lion's share of your leads will inevitably become dead ends. Rather than focusing only on how to continually increase the flow of incoming leads, it's important to also work on improving your conversion in tandem.

This is especially true if you find lead generation is an expensive process for your business.
Sometimes your conversion rate will stay stubbornly low because of the industry you're in. If this is the case for your company, it's all the more important to be able to quickly disqualify the leads that are unlikely to convert. This frees up time for your nurture efforts and sales reps to follow up with more promising options.

While you can use manual research to enrich your leads, for most businesses, it's better to invest in a tool that does it for you instead

To a great extent, knowing to which leads you ought to pay the most attention comes down to having access to the right information. With poor data, it's hard to know who is unlikely to convert and who you should get on the phone with as soon as possible. This is what lead scoring is all about.

The more you can learn about your leads before you contact them, the more likely you are to be able to convert them. On the flip side, if you learn something undesirable about a lead, you can disqualify them faster too. This article will help to bridge your information gap.

Work backwards based on what's already working
One way to learn about how you should be prioritizing is to focus on the loyal customers you already have.

Engage with them and ask them if they are willing to tell you more about themselves. You could incentivize them by entering them into a raffle for free products or subscriptions if you find not many are willing to talk.

From this data gathering, you can better understand what traits are common in those who have previously converted and start to compile useful ‘buyer persona' sketches. Then you can sort leads based on whether they meet the same criteria. For instance, you might find that of the current customer base, most have less than ten employees, so you can target other companies who are of a similar size.

You may find the assumptions you make of your customer base don't actually reflect reality. This can also inform shifts in your lead generation too as you hone in on the groups most likely to buy.
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Upgrade your lead enrichment processes
While manual work can lead to great improvements in your knowledge about your leads, it can also be time consuming.

This costs money not just in staff wages but also in the reduction in the team's capacity to focus on selling. Many businesses would benefit from using digital tools to do some of the work for them.

There are many options available so you should assess lead enrichment data sources based on what industry they focus on and what kind of data they provide. It's worth spending some time doing your research to ensure you get the best value for money.

Specialized tools are often a better choice than ones that cover broad information as they go deeper into each individual lead. These tools can automate your lead qualification process which further frees up time for your salespeople and improves their effectiveness.

Focus lead generation on the most important questions
You can use a free online quiz maker to gather information on your existing and potential customers. These compile the information in a way that is simple for you to use rather than relying on responses to an email or comments on social media.

While form markers are usually quick and easy to set up, you must be diligent in what you include. The more questions you ask on a lead generation form, the more friction there is for it to be filled to completion. It's better to obtain some useful information than to have no information at all.

In particular, you should avoid asking for any unnecessary personal information which could make a survey participant feel uncomfortable. Traits such as home address, gender identification and religious beliefs are generally not needed and people may wonder why it's relevant identity theft and other cyber crime is rampant, and people are understandably guarded with their personal information.

You should cut the number of questions down as much as possible to only what is important for you to qualify leads. Ideally, you want no more than five questions overall.

Where to augment your information
If you want to gather even more information manually, there are several sources you should be using. You can create a process for your team to use whereby they go through each of these sites in order to record the same data. This ensures there is consistency in the quality of your lead enrichment.

For B2B companies, use:
LinkedIn - Most companies have a presence here which they will keep up to date especially if they are hiring.

CrunchBase - They have an enormous database on worldwide companies and in particular track level of funding. This can be useful, as companies with more funding may be more willing to invest in your product.

Company website - The company website itself will often have an 'About' section. The 'Careers' section also will tend to have useful information.

Business registries - Depending on where the company is headquartered, they may have indepth information publicly available.

Along side these sites, you should set up an alert tool, such as TalkWalker, that tells you whenever there's news about the lead. If they've just announced they are cutting 50 percent of their staff, they probably aren't going to be the hottest lead you can target, for instance.

Wrap up
When sales conversion rates are so low, increasing your knowledge about your leads can result in significant revenue gains for your company. A small increase in your rate from 10 percent to 12 percent can mean a 20 percent increase in sales. This may be easier to achieve through the methods outlined here than trying to increase your number of leads by the same amount.

While you can use manual research to enrich your leads, for most businesses, it's better to invest in a tool that does it for you instead. This way your sales people can focus on what they do best engaging with prospects and selling.