When it comes to converting prospects and leads into customers, as little as 22% of businesses are satisfied with their current conversions rates, according to Econsultancy. Entrepreneurs and business leaders alike have big goals when it comes to expanding their network of customers, but how do you make those goals a reality? Start by reading these six tips on how to turn potential clients into loyal customers and make your customer relationship dreams come true.
- Keep track of your leads and opportunities
When it comes to developing connections with leads and prospects, the most important thing to have under control is your knowledge of where you and your prospects stand. Know what contacts are coming in, where your opportunities are coming from, what their activities are and what you need to change or improve in order to advance your interactions. The more you know about your KPI’s, the more likely you are to meet revenue goals. According to Hubspot, 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals didn’t know their visitor, lead, MQL or sales opportunities. You should have that information. While it is important to keep names coming in frequently, it’s even more important to stay on top of communication with them. Don’t let a lead go cold by leaving them in the dark for too long. Instead, keep track of your interactions and stay on top of your plans for existing leads.
- Organizing your contacts is key
We aren’t all natural organizers — often a busy mind with big ideas translates into a messy desk — but organization is key when developing future customers. “No business can succeed in any great degree without being properly organized,” said James Cash Penney, American businessman and founder of JCPenny. Know who each and every one of your contacts are and keep a detailed history of how you connected with them. Something as simple as organization can give you an advantage; when you know more information about your contact you can develop a more defined way of turning them into a customer. Along with that, if your team has multiple sales members, organization will help your team stay connect. When you know which team member works with whom, you can stay on top of interactions with prospects. With an orderly list of contacts, your leads can stay hot and your communication can always be moving forward.
- Map out your goals
This might seem obvious, but have you set clear goals for your business? Even if they are in your head, writing out benchmark goals and big-picture items to work towards can help you put a strategy in place. Believe it or not, people with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve them than people without goals, according to GoalBand. Start by mapping out what you want to accomplish in 5 years, then 1 year, then the next month. By breaking it down in time, you can really focus in on what you need to prioritize and what you can eventually work towards in terms of developing any customer relationship. It is vital to map out short- and long-term goals to stay on top of your business objectives. Once these are in place, work with your team to develop a game plan.
- Create action plans for your goals
Now that your goals are in place, it’s time to set up a plan of action to reach your ambitions. Build out action plans for your leads, opportunities, account, contacts, etc., by setting up tasks, creating deadlines and scheduling dates for communication — over phone or email. This can be much easier with the help of a CRM, a customer relationship management tool. If used frequently and correctly, CRM’s have been found to improve customer retention by as much as 27%, according to Trackvia.com. Map out the plans you’ve created as far into the future as you need, and let your sales staff chime in on what deadlines and timing between communication is best for them. When you schedule emails, phone calls and other plans down to the details, you give yourself the power to keep your leads engaged. Now you have the steps set in place to actually accomplish those goals you created.
- Stick to your deadlines
After all of your action plans are put in place, it is up to you and your team to stick to the deadlines you put in place. Every meeting and exchanged you scheduled should be made and reported on, so you continue to have a history of the actions that took place with your contacts. “As you schedule individual tasks, give yourself a cushion. Mark the due date a few days ahead of the action deadline so you have time to deal with changes or last-minute emergencies,” said businessman Harvey MacKay. Utilize automation to make things easier — whether that be scheduled reminders to keep you on top of deadlines or automatically sent emails. Don’t let opportunities fall through the cracks. You set up this timeline for a reason, and it’s your job to stick to it.
- Review your system and make changes
After your new system of organization and scheduling is in place and you’ve spent some time working through what you’ve set out, take a step back and review how it’s going. Speak with your team to see how it’s working for them. Are more sales taking place? Is it easier to communicate with contacts now? What changes would they make going forward? By addressing and reviewing your new system, you can take the opportunity to improve it even more. Turn any feedback into a way to increase your connection with leads and customers. Tweak deadlines, change reminders or fix potential issues. As long as you’re using a flexible system — like a CRM — making these types of changes can be easy.