If you're like most business owners, you know that sales qualified leads (SQLs) are the lifeblood of your company. Without them, your business would quickly dry up and die. But what do you do when your SQLs aren't turning into closed deals?
This blog post will discuss some common causes of this problem and offer solutions that will help you convert more of your SQLs into sales!
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Before we get into the meat of this issue, let's first make sure that we're all on the same page regarding what sales qualified leads are.
Sales qualified leads (SQL's) are potential customers who have been contacted by a sales representative and determined to be a good fit for the company's products or services. In other words, they're not just tire-kickers or looky-loos; they're people who have real potential to become paying customers.
Sales qualified leads are different from just regular sales leads. This is important.
A sales lead is simply any potential customer who might be interested in what you're selling. They've looked around and displayed some interest in your product or service. Perhaps they:
Whatever the step, the individual went beyond casual browsing. A sales qualified lead, on the other hand, has been vetted by a sales rep and found to have a high likelihood of becoming a paying customer.
Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are potential customers who have engaged with your company and COULD become a customer if nurtured correctly. These individuals haven't reached the SQL stage yet! Consider them a step below a sales lead.
Take a look at this graphic to understand the process from start to finish:
Image courtesy of Chili Piper, Inc.
There can be several reasons you're having trouble converting your SQLs into sales. It's essential to first ensure that your entire customer conversion roadmap works appropriately.
The sales process is the series of steps that a sales rep takes to turn a lead into a paying customer. If any part of this process is broken, it can cause sales to grind to a halt.
Here are three common reasons why sales qualified leads might not be converting into closed deals:
When a sales rep contacts a lead, they should know where the individual is in their journey. Are they still just a prospect? Or have they been determined to be sales qualified?
Remember - a prospect is just beginning their journey with you. A sales qualified lead has already communicated with your organization and is in the decision-making process!
Treating these two groups the same way will result in lost sales. Why? Because you need to take a different approach with each.
A sales qualified lead has already been vetted by your sales team. They know that there's a potential fit, and they're interested in learning more. On the other hand, a prospect is still a potential customer.
Your sales reps should be taking a consultative approach with sales qualified leads. This means having a conversation to understand the customer's needs and how your product or service can meet them.
With prospects, on the other hand, sales reps should be focused on education. They need to provide enough information so that the individual can decide whether or not to do business with your company.
If your sales team is treating sales qualified leads and prospects the same way, it's no wonder you're having trouble converting them into paying customers!
As previously stated, how you speak to your lead matters based on their purchasing readiness.
What's the plan when an individual initially finds your website or calls your company phone? What can you offer them other companies can't - or won't? Can you show them why you're a worthy investment? Do you understand their pain points?
If you're not familiar with the current common struggles homeowners are going through currently, download our free guide to learn more.
That's where content comes in. What do we mean by this?
Your sales reps should have a wealth of resources at their disposal to build up the relationship with the potential customer.
This could include:
Photo Courtesy of Bethink Marketing Consulting
When you don't have content like this, your sales reps are left to 'wing it.' They might be able to get lucky and land a sale here or there, but without content to help them, they'll have a much harder time converting leads into paying customers.
Creating this type of content can be time-consuming and expensive - but it's worth it! You will be able to close more sales AND do so at a higher price point.
If you don't have this type of content, now is the time to create it
Remember. Show. Don't Tell!
When a sales rep contacts a sales qualified lead, they should already know who the individual is and WHAT they are interested in. This information can come from a variety of sources, including:
With this information in hand, the sales rep should the data needed to put together a tailored sales pitch that speaks to the individual's specific needs.
Let's look at how smart data usage can help close more sales. Juan's HVAC system stopped working in the middle of the night. Tired and sweaty, he conducts a Google search to find a local company that can help. Five potential solutions pop up, and he examines each one's website.
He finds a specific page discussing common causes of HVAC system breakdowns on your website. He reads through the information and is impressed with your company's knowledge.
He comes across your website and submits a form to request service. When one of your sales reps contacts Juan the next day, they should already know that he was on the website late at night, what pages he looked at, and his specific pain point. They can put together a sales pitch that directly addresses Juan's needs and close the deal with this information.
If your sales team isn't using data in this way, they're missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with sales qualified leads and turn them into paying customers.
What if your sales reps don't have access to this level of information? In that case, they'll be forced to take a generic approach that might not resonate with the sales qualified lead. As a result, you could lose the sale.
To avoid this problem, make sure your sales team has access to the information they need. This might mean investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) system or sales intelligence software. We recommend starting with Hubspot.
With the right tools in place, your sales reps will be able to gather the information they need to close more sales quickly.
The best way to qualify sales leads is to use a lead scoring system. With this system, you can assign points to each lead based on their likelihood of becoming a paying customer.
For example, you might give leads a certain number of points if they meet certain criteria, such as:
Once you've assigned points to each lead, you can prioritize your sales reps' time by having them focus on the leads with the most potential.
If you're not using a lead scoring system, now is the time to start. Download our FREE lead scoring template to better qualify your sales leads today!
If you're not closing as many deals as you'd like, it's time to take a closer look at your sales qualified leads. With the right tools and processes in place, you can start converting more SQLs into sales and grow your business.
By following the tips in this blog post, you'll be on your way to closing more sales and generating more revenue for your business.
Do you have any other tips for converting sales qualified leads into sales? Share them with others in our "Grow Faster" Facebook Group. We're a group of home services company owners and decision-makers just like you, committed to helping each other succeed. We provide resources, advice, and support so you can take your company to the next level.
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