You shouldn’t have to wrestle money out of your leads…
Last week we posted about the importance of measuring your business metrics for all round success; but we know that for SMEs, they are usually so focused on growing their customer base that lead conversion becomes their main priority (and rightly so).
There are a few common themes when it comes to lead conversion that SMEs often struggle with, as reiterated by Forrester research:
- Creating awareness and relevance for their products and services
- Knowing who their potential customers are
- Generating new leads
- Increasing sales from existing customers
- Standing out from the competition in a crowded market
Marketers in Asia who measured marketing analytics 2+ times a week were twice as more likely to achieve greater ROI
How does a good ERP help SMEs overcome these issues?
Your chosen ERP solution needs to underpin your organisation’s strategy and vision, across all departments and functions. This means having a full view of your customer’s journey from unknown entity prospect lead customer advocate.
It also means not just tracking past behavior but being able to reliably predict trends and patterns so you can meet the developing needs of a complex customer base. Pulling in data from all of your business areas can help to uncover new ways to reach new and existing customers.
1. Listen to your customers
Use data from across your business to drill down into your customers’ behavior and act on what the information is telling you. For example, analysing your most common customer service complaints might reveal that a high volume of urgent customer orders were not dispatched on time, so you could review your fulfillment and delivery rates to look for improvements.
2. Nurture your community
Reviewing inbound consumer data will provide a plethora of information on why customers are attracted to your product/service so you can expand on it. For example, tracking relevant hashtags on Instagram could uncover a new market segment you had never previously considered.
Asian marketers’ top 2 inbound marketing activities are growing SEO/organic traffic and creating blog content
3. Get into your leads’ minds
The nitty gritty part of sales – actually closing the deal. Going from ‘interested party’ to ‘paying customer’ is still a difficulty for many SMEs, so where’s the bottleneck in your company that is holding you back?
Understanding your customer’s journey can help to uncover this. For example, your data might show that prospects are looking likely to convert to a customer until they are burdened with signup paperwork from your company. They will often choose an easier route with another company.
You wouldn’t just sell someone a burger, you would offer them fries and a drink – or even an upsize and dessert on top of that!
Whichever side you sit on in the debate about whether it is cheaper to sell to existing customers, it doesn’t hurt to ensure those who are already customers or advocates remain that way!
Your ERP platform should help this in numerous ways, for example, by creating customised client preferences with timely and relevant deals, by ensuring VIP customers never even consider moving to your competitor, and by analysing order trends and patterns to pre-empt your customer’s requirements.
5. Be the go-to company
Develop an edge over your competition – if you sell pizzas, make sure anyone craving a pizza thinks of you. You sell software? Same thing.
On the topic of competitors… Most SMEs would rate this as a top priority in their customer acquisition strategy. Your ERP should not only analyse your own data but also available data from other organisations so that you can compare, for example, unit prices, shipping rates and delivery times, giving you an opportunity to retain an edge over the competition.
Your ERP should be your all-knowing, reliable best friend in the office – there to answer any and all questions about your business data and also to show you the way to acquire more customers and grow.
If your ERP solution is not helping you to achieve this, you are at a major disadvantage. Contact the Blue Ocean Systems team to learn how to turn this around quickly.
Have you ever struggled with lead conversion? What methods have worked for you?
Let us know in the comments below!
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.