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6 Steps to Close Leads to Customers & Create a Successful Small Business

October 23, 2014 / by Jessica Miley

Turn_leads_into_customers_to_create_a_successful_small_businessWe get it, the sales jargon can get a little confusing when you are learning ways to create a successful small business that is full of passion and provision. By using inbound marketing services in Norther California, you are able to increase the number of leads closed to customers which will increase your return on investment. Doesn’t that sound nice? But let’s go over the basics to get you there.

What is a Lead?

A lead is a person that has been qualified as being a potential customer for your business. This person’s contact information is how you interact with them during the closing process. While practicing inbound marketing, we don’t believe in cold calling, door-to-door sales or anything of the sort. Traditionally, you would interact with leads with their email that they gave to you. So all of the information, service or product that we send to them is helpful to them.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing focuses on creating content (blogs, offers etc.) that attracts qualified people to your business. But not just any content, appealing content that helps people by answering their questions and solving their problems. This is marketing that people can fall in love with and that is effective! Here is the Inbound Methodology that helps bring an understanding of the process of attracting, converting, closing, and delighting your potential customers. Here we are going to focus on the closing section on the methodology.

Inbound_Methodology

(Photo courtesy of HubSpot)

Within the Close stage of the inbound methodology, there are 6 steps that are common within any sales funnel. Let’s go over these steps to help you understand the basics of the sales funnel.

1.  Research and Prospect

One of the first steps that your sales team should take is to do some research on the leads that your marketing team produce. Understanding the lead and their individual buying process will help you close them from a lead to a customer.

2.  Connect with Your Lead

Once your lead gives your sales team their contact information, it is time for more interaction between your business and your lead. This can include sending nurturing emails to encourage checking out a special feature on your website, downloading another offer etc. There are email tools that make this nurturing process automated, working for you 24/7 and cutting down on the time your sales people need to manage the process. And you'll be sending emails that address their specific needs or issues filled with helpful answers to their questions.   

3.  Qualify Your Lead

With your research, you are able to decide whether or not your lead is qualified. This is important to know so you don’t waste time. Another key to connecting with your leads is to keep your contacts organized by using a CRM.

4.  Strategize with Your Goals

Does your business needs to create more leads? Should your focus be on a certain campaign for a new product? These goals need to be strategized before you make contact with your leads so you have an idea on where the conversation should go. How do you manage all of that? There are many products out there, such as Sidekick, that help manage your contacts and interactions that you have with them.

5.  Presentation & Experimentation

This is the time where your sales team will offer a trial of your product or service, setting up a free consultation or whatever you can to give those leads a teaser of what your business can do for them. The lead must find use in your business and see how you can help them solve a problem. This step will look different depending on your industry and whether your business sells to consumers or other businesses.

6.  Contact & Close

Now you have come to your closing process. This step typically includes asking for the sale, submiting a proposal, getting an agreement or having your lead make a purchase. Don’t be pushy, remember that inbound marketing is the business of helping people solve their problems. Focus on the experience of the sales process for the lead and this will help increase your odds of closing them to a customer.  

Congratulations! You have closed a lead into a customer! Now you are able to delight them and nurture them to become promoters. If creating a successful small business full of passion and provision by implementing the inbound marketing methodology sounds like something that you want to read more about, then check out our blog. If inbound marketing is something that you want to implement today, then contact us so we can get your business closing leads to customers. We're an agency in Northern California that offers marketing, advertising, and consulting and we'd love to help.

To learn more about hiring an inbound marketing agency, download the free guide below!

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Conversion

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