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4 Steps to Transform Leads Into Customers

This a guest post written by Greg Alexander CEO at Sales Benchmark Index. SBI is a sales consulting firm who helps companies grow revenue by improving the productivity of their sales forces.  Greg is the author of Making the Number: How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance

Your visitor and lead volumes have taken off since you began using inbound marketing strategies.  Congratulations! The key question now is “How do you convert leads into customers?”

This is where a sales process might be helpful. What is a sales process?   Think of a sales process the way you think of Inbound Marketing, meaning it is a methodology. The inbound marketing methodology has three steps: get found, convert, and analyze.  Within each step you have an objective, a set of activities to accomplish, some tools to do so, and exit criteria that indicates it is time to move to the next step in the process. 

For example, in Get Found your objective is to attract visitors.  The activity to do so is to create remarkable content. The tool you use to create this content is a blog.  The exit criteria that indicates a visitor has become a lead is a form fill. There are objectives, activities, tools and exit criteria for Convert and Analyze.

4 Steps to Transform Leads Into Customers

A sales process is a methodology, just like Inbound Marketing is, but its goal is to convert a lead to a customer. A simple example of a sales process is as follows:

  1. Recognize the Problem:  In this step, the objective is to collaborate with the lead on problem diagnosis. The activity is to quantify how the lead's problem is impacting financial results.  The tool might be a Call Plan and the exit criteria is to perform an assessment with the client.

  2. Define Needs:  Here the objective is to prove there is a real need.  The activity is to identify who the lead's problem impacts.  The tool might be a buyer persona and the exit criteria might be to earn agreement with the lead that this problem cannot be ignored.

  3. Evaluate Options:  The objective is to confirm a list of problem solving options and a set of evaluation criteria used by the lead to choose amongst them. The activity is to determine how each solution option scores against the evaluation criteria.  The tool might be a utility analysis and the exit criteria might be a decision frame work the lead agrees to use when evaluating vendors.

  4. Resolve Concerns:  In the final step, the objective is to overcome the concerns expressed by the lead.  The activity is to perform a risk analysis. The tool might be a risk mitigation plan and the exit criteria is an order.  Yes!!

If the Inbound Marketing Methodology has helped you grow visitors and leads, try using a methodology to convert leads to customers, known as a sales process. Hopefully, you have the same success other Hubspotters have had and more leads turn into customers.

Photo Credit: Images_of_Money

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