How to increase your conversion levels

There’s nothing more frustrating than having people who seem interested in your products but they just don’t buy. It’s expensive spending time on chasing up people who ultimately don’t convert. So how can you increase your conversion levels and ensure that you achieve the sales you want? We offer some tips.

Know your customers

If you’ve done your research, then you should know what your prospects are interested in and what drives them. If you haven’t, check out our article about understanding your customers. Once you know this, you can ensure you’re delivering the right message and demonstrating the benefits of buying from you.

Know your typical lead times

This will show you how long it takes for a prospect to convert into a customer. Of course, everyone is different but an accurate evaluation of the typical lead time will enable you to understand the customer journey more accurately and provide the right information at each stage. If it normally takes a prospect three months to buy, there’s little point trying to close the sale after four days.

Instead use the information you know about your customers to provide them with the right information at the right time. Maybe they need some reassurance about the typical return they would get on their investment or maybe they want to know which prospective customers they might reach. Providing this information can help them move towards buying.

In the worst case scenario, your lead time can help indicate when a prospect may be going cold, so you don’t invest too much time chasing up a lead that just won’t work. Having said that, if the customer has invested a lot of time themselves, they may be reluctant to feel they have wasted it and so may buy from you in the end.

Know how to qualify a lead

Not all leads are equal and certain behaviours may indicate that the person is more involved and more likely to convert. IBM developed the BANT approach which many sales people still use. This stands for:

Budget: can they afford what you’re selling?
Authority: can they approve the spend?
Need: do they have a requirement that you can fulfil?
Timeline: can you both get what you want in a suitable time?

Do check these before you invest too much time with the prospect. This will allow you to target only those people most likely to buy, which will increase your conversion level overall.

Make sure your communications are working

Whether it’s your website, a phone call or an email, it’s essential that your communications work as hard as possible to convert your prospects. Here are some key things to check:

The right headline or subject line: you only have a couple of seconds to grab people’s attention. Make sure your introduction is relevant and makes them want to continue.
The right content: knowing what your customers’ concerns allows you to address these upfront.
The right call to action: let people know what they can do next – and the benefits of doing it. On websites and emails, make sure the buttons stand out clearly and are well-labelled so people want to click on them.
Check forms on your website: these can be a big barrier to people wanting to get in touch. From unclear questions to fields that insist on certain formats, if your form is too pernickety, you may find you’re losing people who could potentially buy from you. Ask a few friends to test any forms for you or run some user testing to spot and fix any problems.
Use social proof: we’re social animals and we like to feel part of a gang. In addition, when we’re spending money we like to be assured that we’re making the right choice. Explaining how many other similar businesses use your service can help reassure people and increase your conversion rate.

Find out what customers need to go ahead

Sometimes you can ask and see what would make people convert. You could phrase the question as “If we could reach a price that you liked, would you be able to go ahead?” This helps you identify if costs are the issue or if there’s another sticking point.

Keep a record

The final step is to keep a record of your conversion rate and try to identify and understand trends. This will allow you to see what changes are impacting on your conversion rate and keep making incremental changes to keep improving it.

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