Some marketers spend so much time talking about generating sales leads that the process of turning leads into sales is sometimes neglected.

BIG mistake.

We are an online marketing company in the MD/DC/VA area and our focus is on generating web leads from SEO/SEM, social media, and email marketing. So most of our posts are on that stuff.

But this idea of turning leads into sales is so crucial that I thought it was a good idea to dedicate this Monday’s post to it.

So gear up and get ready to learn about the #1 BIGGEST, hairiest secret of how to convert leads into sales.

Some things to consider before we start

This is not sales advice. I’m a digital marketer, not a seller. You’re not going to find closing lines or tips on converting more sales. This is simply empirical evidence that helps you GET IN TOUCH w/ more leads, which naturally translate to more sales.

This applies to all lead types. web/internet leads, telemarketing leads, mailing list leads, word-of-mouth referrals – doesn’t matter. Though it does apply somewhat more closely to converting web leads into clients.

It’s stupid-simple. The secret to turning leads into sales is not at all difficult to understand. And it doesn’t take any expensive technology or much technical aptitude at all.

It WORKS! Perhaps most importantly, this is a technique used by the largest, most successful sales organizations in the world, as you’ll see in a minute. It’s been proven time and again by some well-funded, well-conducted studies, which I’ll also share with you in a moment.

If you’re spending money on lead generation, SEO, PPC, telemarketing, mailing lists, or any other type of direct marketing, and you’re NOT doing this..

You might as well set your money on fire

The big secret to turning leads into sales is contacting them as soon as possible! Simple enough, right? You would be FLOORED by the number of companies and sales reps that fail to follow-up with leads in a timely fashion.

I don’t get it.

It’s like, you’re paying a LOT of money for these lead generation companies and software systems. The least you could do is actually follow-up with your leads when they come through!

See this Kellog Lead Response Management Survey for more details.

What you’ll find is that

1) Most companies suck at turning leads into sales – that is, they’re processes are not optimized, and

2) The chances of getting in touch with your prospect, and subsequently the chance of turning prospects into customers dives off a cliff as the minutes tick by.

That’s right, as the MINUTES tick by. How long does it take YOU to respond to leads?

So you want to make more sales, do you?

As you just learned, there are ways of turning leads into sales that don’t involve hiring the snazziest lead generation company to hook up your website, do lead generation SEO and PPC, and whatever else they’re in the mood to do.

Why not do the cheap, easy stuff that you can do by yourself first? Here’s an action guide for how to convert web leads into sales.

Start by following up w/ leads FAST! Here are the key questions to answer:

-How do I know when I get a new lead?

-What is the notification mechanism?

-Is there a lag between the time the lead is captured and the time I get notified?

-How can I ensure that I’m notified immediately?

-Who is responsible for lead follow-up?

-How can I keep a record of how long it took?

If you’re a sales rep or a small business owner this should be pretty easy. If you run a large sales organization, you may have to put some initiatives in place. But the important thing is to figure out what you have to do, and to make sure that it gets done.

Why this gives you a HUGE competitive advantage

It’s been shown that almost 50% of web leads never even receive a phone call. Of the ones that do, it routinely takes hours, days, even weeks.

There is a 238% increase in your chances of turning leads into sales if you’re the FIRST one that contacts them.

What does that mean?

Your competitors are slacking and by stepping up your game JUST a little (by actually following up when people engage you) – you can leave them in the dust.

Our clients have actually taken quite nicely to our repetitive pleas that they stop leaving so much cash on the table. In fact, several of our clients have made major changes in their selling system to facilitate turning leads into sales – with huge results.

One of them, a specialty financial services company, just closed a six-figure deal. Another one, a life and health insurance broker increased his lead-to-sale conversion rates by almost 100%.

This is very possible and it’s well within reach. Try it and let me know what happens.

Don’t get any leads from the internet? Well, that’s another problem. Call us or fill out this form and we’ll help you with that too.

Before I go, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the good people at Speed2Lead. They were one of the companies on the forefront of these studies and their technology is AWESOME! It makes it so that your phone ring in real-time as leads are submitted. It connects you automatically almost instantly. The management is stellar, too.

Learn about Speed2Lead’s Internet Lead Response Management System

Contact WebMechanix for help w/ internet marketing