We often think of our lead conversion funnel as some kind of impenetrable fortress; after all, once leads are in, how could they ever think of slipping away? In reality, it’s more like the pipes under your kitchen sink. Even the best plumbing jobs can spring leaks—and if it goes ignored long enough, it floods your entire home…
A lead conversion funnel has four stages: awareness, interest, consideration, and action. At each stage, you’ll face new challenges to keep qualified leads moving forward. Here’s how you can improve your conversion rates and patch up the holes in each stage.
Four Stages of a Lead Funnel
Stage 1: Awareness
In the awareness stage, your B2B leads become aware of their problem and begin looking for a solution. Your goal is to get your product or service front and center on search engines and social media. So, what’s your biggest leak in this stage?
Leak: Attracting the wrong leads.
Like death and taxes, unqualified leads in your lead conversion funnel are inevitable. Your job is to quickly recognize qualified leads so you can ditch poor-quality leads, saving marketing budget and time.
A quality lead fits your ideal customer persona, responds well to your marketing, and is likely to become a customer.
William Wickey, Content Marketing Manager at LeadGenius, breaks down how to tell if your lead is high-quality.
The key ingredients are:
- Depth: You’ve mapped out an ideal demographic for leads like occupation or income. You even have intel on their company like annual revenue, number of employees, and market share.
- Accuracy: You’ve verified their email after their form submission (usually with a seperate B2B email verification software).
- Reliability: Your lead list is fresh and periodically purged.
- Fitness for purpose: Sales reps have enough information to close.
Easy fix: Before marketing, have your customer profile ready to go. Use a tool like Owler to find company details, build out the characteristics of your ideal buyer, and then hyper-personalize your marketing campaigns. Use data to address your leads’ current events, emotions, and search trends.
The best way to tighten your lead conversion funnel during this stage is with marketing that’s research-backed, data-driven, and verified.
Stage 2: Interest
Stage two is about leads filling out your lead form so you can get their info into your CRM and send email nurturing campaigns.
Leak: Leads not signing up.
Why is it so hard?
Because your competitors have enticing lead magnets too! Your challenge is to stand out with a first-rate offer that doesn’t sound like other brands.
Easy fix: Optimize your lead capture page and form. Give them an incredible lead magnet that immediately provides insight into their problem and your solution.
1. Optimize Your Lead Page
Integrate‘s lead capture page makes an eye-popping statement with its lead magnet. It promises to tell you in 15 minutes how their top customers generated $1 trillion in leads. And you’ll walk away having already started on your own pipeline. How many of Integrate’s competitors can promise such value? Go BIG with your lead magnet offer.
2. Optimize Your Lead Form
Leads abandon your funnel when your form has:
a. Too many fields
b. Irrelevant questions
Use Lusha Forms to keep your form short and to the point. All Lusha needs is an email address, and it will search its database for info like the number of employees and industry. This data goes straight to your sales team, and leads are less likely to leave because your lead form is half the length of your average competitor.
Stage 3: Consideration
In the third stage, you have your prospects’ contact details; your lead conversion funnel should now help them understand why your product is different—and help you analyze how they respond to your marketing efforts.
Leak: Differentiating yourself from competitors.
You may have a crisp, unique selling point, but if you can’t execute your value consistently through marketing campaigns and content, your prospect’s knowledge of your product or service will have gaps.
Easy fix: Educate and build trust in a way your competitors don’t. Think: How can you spice up the usual content?
For example, if you have a lengthy research report that provides prospects with new marketing statistics, build trust by walking prospects through your findings and allowing them to ask questions.
According to Demand Gen Report, 51% of B2B businesses place the most value on the trustworthiness of the source when making a purchase decision. Break your research down and create 25 short Q&A videos to drip out over LinkedIn and other platforms. Not only is it great for SEO, but you also create awareness, nurture, and help answer questions to bring prospects a feeling of certainty.
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Stage 4: Action
Finally, your prospect is ready to take action. This means one of three things: they leave, they need more time, or they’re ready to buy. If it’s the latter, it’s time for your sales team to shine.
Leak: Closing the sale.
Why’s it tough?
- You must demonstrate how you’re different and better
- Prospects can be resistant to change
- Gaining trust is hard
Easy fix: Ask the right questions.
An open question like “What do you think will be your biggest challenge this year?” can make a world of difference as your sales rep goes for the close. It will help your prospect open up emotionally, and help you pinpoint whether they need more nurturing or if it’s time to close.
Healthy Lead Conversion Funnels Will Always Have Holes
So, we’ve stopped all 4 major leaks. No more water under the sink—ever. Right?
Unfortunately, the perfect lead conversion funnel simply doesn’t exist. Even with the best lead capture form, you’ll occasionally attract unqualified leads, screw up campaigns, or leave a prospect hanging waiting for an answer. Even the best sales reps will have an off day!
That’s okay; by making these improvements, you’ll reduce these occurrences, save quality leads, and have an unstoppable lead conversion funnel that drives maximum conversions.
To repair your funnel your first step is team alignment. Everyone who touches base with your leads establishes a goal for each stage, what areas need fine-tuning, and which individuals are responsible. This is the time for separate departments to remove any silos, become more unified, and communicate what needs to happen to bring qualified leads to your website.