In my last post I explored how (not) to get conversions through your website. After diving into the most common approach professional services firms mistakenly take with conversions, I want to spend time going through how you should approach conversions within your website.
I’m not going to sugar coat anything. The conversion process is a hard and difficult science. When you undertake it, it’s going to give you a headache. However, when you get through it I promise the world is brighter on the other side. The clarity around your prospects and leads will be enlightening. Your President and CFO will have fewer questions because you will have more concrete proof of ROI and transparency on who’s on your website and what they’re consuming.
The Holy Grail of Creating a Conversion Driven Machine
The process around implementing an effective conversion process into your website is just that, a process. Your call-to-actions need to have purpose and meaning. You need to understand the value of your content and its hierarchy for consumption. You also need to know what you want the user to do next after they convert. And most importantly you need the proper systems in place to not only make all of the data useful but also to automate the early stages of qualifying a lead for your sales team. To do all of this, focus on four areas:
- The Initial Form: At the initial consumption stage only implement a simple form asking for the name of the user, their email, and their company name in order for them to download and/or access a more important piece of content (research study, white paper, etc.). At this point you only need to know who they are. The biggest mistake here is asking for too much. It’s not relevant…yet. They’re not ready for a conversation and you shouldn’t be either. The reason is because nobody has truly qualified each other which doesn’t mean you need to start having a sales person begin the qualification process just because you have a name and email. That comes later.
- Progressive Profiling: At this stage you need to think about progressive profiling which will help automate your qualification process. That is coming up with a series of forms which progressively ask for a little bit more information about the consumer each time they want a piece of your content. A good platform (we like Act-On) will allow you to display a new form inquiring for just a little bit more detail on the user each time they try to download your content. To explain the progression, you’ll notice I initially talked about the initial form where you only want a name and email. At the second download you now may want to ask for their title and address. At the third download, maybe their industry and revenue level. The whole point here is the more they download, the more they show interest. And the more they show interest, the more you will want to inquire about them. So rather than jumping at the sales call at the first point of conversion, you can instead automate a portion of the qualification process by learning a little more about the person each time they want your content. This allows the user to keep their “I’m safely checking you out” approach while allowing you to slowly qualify them and see if they fit your client definition.
- Lead Scoring: You need a platform that allows you to lead score your conversions. Once somebody initially converts on your initial form, you can begin lead scoring them based on their behavior. This could involve tracking and scoring based on individual content downloads or by visiting specific web pages you deem most valuable to a buyer. The formula is endless on how you can score, but the whole purpose is to take the initial conversion and use lead scoring to help with their qualification. This will help you segment the heavy users of your content and those clearly interested in you versus those who download and disappear. This detail allows you to put resources towards visitors scoring high and little to no resources towards those who only convert once.
- Smart Call-to-Actions: With the right system in place you can implement a series of smart call-to-actions (CTA). Smart call to actions are a hierarchy of CTAs that know your user and display in order based on behavior. Essentially how they work is you first have to define the hierarchy of your content into a series of CTAs. If someone then downloads content “X,” the system then knows to put a CTA in front of them that pushes content “Y.” If they then consume content “Y,” the system then puts a CTA in front of them to consume content “Z.” Smart CTAs allow a level of sophistication that keeps the user engaged with relevant content while allowing you to automate both a portion of your sales process as well as your lead qualification process.
You’re a Lead Qualifying Machine
Imagine a world where your marketing team has useable and relevant data for your sales team. That’s always been the challenge in professional services right? Well by combining progressive profiling, lead scoring, and smart call to actions you now eliminate a large portion of the lead qualification process for your sales team. They instead focus more on closing rather than selling. You can now inform your sales team about a lead’s behavior and interest such as who specifically they’re calling, what days they visited the site, what they were interested in, what content they downloaded, and even what they already know about you. If you give your sales team this level of information about a lead, I promise their initial conversations will be less about selling the firm and more about aligning to the needs of your prospective client.