Cash flow is a hot topic for any small business. We caught up with the people over at Fundbox, who know a thing or two about the importance of having cash on hand. Anna Eschenburg offered to give us the rundown on how to get better at lead conversion.

2015_SEP_ALL_MARKETING - 5 easy ways to convert leads into sales

5 lead conversion techniques that can lead to better cash flow

By Anna Eschenburg

If cash isn’t flowing into your business at the rate it should, one of the first places you might look for better results are your sales and lead generation activities.

Whatever kind of business you run, the process of converting leads to sales, and sales into cash is more or less the same.

Here are five ways to convert leads into sales to enhance your cash flow.

1. Target and Segment

Many small businesses adopt a one-size fits all approach to their marketing. They send the same messages and calls to action to everyone, hoping that something will stick.

Good marketing doesn’t work that way. Your customers all have unique needs, budgets, and so on. Your campaigns and messaging should reflect this.

Look at ways to segment your target audience by previous buying patterns, demographics, and other characteristics that are unique to your market. Adjust your messaging for each segment. The easiest way to do this is to segment your email lists. Then you can tweak your message (subject line, as well as email content) and call to action (your offer) for each list. Your email open rates will improve dramatically!

2. Focus on Your Best Prospects First

The simplest route to a quick sale is to focus on your best prospects first. This is usually achieved based on previous buying history. Though it can also be influenced by external factors such as current events or even the weather. Once you’ve identified your ideal prospects by profile, rank them by their perceived value/probability for conversion. Go after the top of the list first.

3. Refine Your Pitch

In addition to adjusting your campaign messaging by segment, you should also look at what you’re actually saying. You need to talk about your business in a way that’s going to make customers want to do business with you. This is where your value proposition comes in.

Work on communicating concisely to your customers. Tell them what you do, what problem you solve, how your business is different, and how your customer’s life/organization will be different after doing business with you.

4. Use Landing Pages

Don’t send out emails or ads that just link back to your home page. Create a dedicated landing page on your website for each campaign. If you send prospects to your home page, it’s up to them to navigate around looking for an offer. That’s a sure fire way of losing that new prospect from the get go.

Include content on your landing page that’s relevant to the message or offer you sent. If you send out an offer to a specific industry, make sure your landing page includes messaging specifically for them.

5. Warm Your Leads with the Sales Funnel

Converting leads can take time if your products have a complex sales cycle or are high-cost. The sales funnel (awareness – interest – sale) has a lot of places leads can drop off. It’s important that your marketing campaigns plan to nurture those leads through each stage. Consider this example:

A customer is interested in purchasing IT security software. The seller could nurture that customer through the sales funnel by educating and engaging them through the following steps:

  • Offer content and information that educates the prospect about IT security via a blog, white paper, video, etc.
  • Encourage them to sign up for your email list (with the promise of good info)
  • Buyers do their research online, so have a PR strategy that gets you media coverage and third-party reviews
  • Put together an email campaign that sends interesting content to new email sign-ups
  • Send them special offers to sign-up for a free trial or consultation
  • Follow up with a sales call, and possibly a sale

In this way, the business is providing value and building relationships before a sale is even made.

Andrea Silvers Xero

Xero is beautiful, easy to use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. Xero provides business owners with real-time visibility of their financial position in a way that’s simple, smart and secure.
Xero has over 400,000 customers in more than 180 countries around the world and is listed on the NZX and ASX. Xero was ranked #1 by Forbes − World's Most Innovative Growth Companies 2014.