Every seasoned marketer and sales professional is highly aware of the sales funnel. It is a fictitious funnel with various stages that turn website users into paying customers through a specialised buyer journey.
Starting with awareness and culminating in a sale, the sales funnel is a critical component in every marketing and sales process that is strategically designed to convert. In order to measure the efforts of this process and the strategies behind it, a sales conversion rate is used.
But what exactly does this mean, how is it calculated, what is a good benchmark for your industry, and what tips and tricks can you use to boost it? These are the questions we explore in this article, so keep reading to find out more!
What is a conversion rate in sales?
A sales conversion rate is a numerical metric expressed as a percentage that describes how many website visitors become paying customers.
This rate is measured when a visitor moves from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel, meaning that a conversion takes place after previous steps have been completed.
This necessarily means that the process of conversion requires lead nurturing from the top of the funnel where awareness takes place until the visitor is actually ready to buy from you.
What qualifies as a conversion in sales?
In order to determine what would qualify as a conversion, it’s important to understand that conversions are actual sales of products or services that your business offers.
This means that a conversion rate is measured once payment is made by the visitor-turned-customer of your website.
How do you calculate a sales conversion rate?
If you are wondering about how to calculate a sales conversion rate for your business, there is a specific sales conversion rate formula that looks like this:
Conversion rate = (Total number of sales/Qualified leads) x 100
An example that illustrates how to make this calculation is as follows:
For example, say that you made 25 sales in the previous month while having 100 leads. This would mean you’d need to divide 25 by 100 to give you 0.25. After this, take the 0.25 and multiply it by 100. The answer you get is 25 or a 25% conversion rate.
What is a good sales conversion rate?
On average, a good conversion rate is said to be around 10% but again, this will depend on your industry, business type, sales process, and other factors.
Because every business is unique and because conversion rates depend on several factors, there is no set industry benchmark on which you should base your sales strategy and efforts.
For instance, your conversion rate will depend on your aspects such as your sales process, product, sales cycle length, lead qualification, discovery calls, product demos, proposal submissions, negotiations, and target customers, among many others.
Even Google search is quite ambiguous about what a good sales conversion rate is, placing this at between 2% and 40%.
To avoid a situation of comparing apples to oranges, it’s essential to gather data about how your team is performing at this given moment. This means you can set and determine your own benchmarks against which to measure performance.
14 ways to improve your conversion rates
Improving your conversion rates should be your top priority. That’s because sales are the lifeblood of your business. The higher your conversion rate, the better your performance. But saying this is easier said than done.
That’s why if you want to know how to increase conversion rate in sales, you need to guide your visitors through your marketing and sales funnel very carefully while keeping these 14 tips in mind.
1. Define your ideal buyer persona
Every business should spend time considering who their ideal customer is. This means understanding aspects such as their demographics and pain points.
You need to know why your product or service is the ideal solution for them. Having a clearly defined buyer persona is the first step in understanding who your target audience is and this will enable you to better define your sales process.
In addition, you want quality leads as opposed to multiple leads that will not convert.
2. Have a clearly defined sales process
Having greater clarity around your sales process should be your starting point as this will help you diagnose where any issues in it may lie.
For this purpose, you need a clearly mapped out sales journey, clear terminology, well-defined marketing and sales metrics, a shared team understanding of the buyer journey, and what happens in each stage.
When you know, for example, where your buyers are dropping out of the buyer journey, you can take actionable steps to improve their experience and prevent losses of qualified leads and potential customers.
3. Nurture your leads
In marketing and sales, there are cold and hot leads. Cold leads may have visited your website but they are certainly not ready to buy.
Hot leads, on the other hand, may need some slight convincing to make a purchase and these are the ones you should be nurturing.
You can help boost the buying cycle and speed up sales if you focus on hot leads as opposed to cold ones.
4. Retarget your prospects
To make sure your business stays top of mind for hot leads, you can further retarget them with various content and advertising strategies.
This means you’re aware that they’re on the verge of buying but they just need a little nudge in the right direction.
Whether it’s emails that offer discounts, valuable content, or retargeting adverts, use the tools in your arsenal to help them come full circle and buy.
Offering value wherever possible and even considering redefining your deal can help them make this decision.
5. Create focused landing pages
There are several best practices involved in creating a focused landing page.
These include creating a page that is simple to navigate, not overly cluttered with pop-ups and multimedia, and that has a clear and strong call to action that urges prospective customers to buy.
6. Perform A/B testing
A/B testing is another important way to see which of your marketing and sales strategies are working more effectively.
A/B testing involves sending out two versions of your content to a small group of leads and measuring the results.
Usually, one of the versions performs better than the other and this is the one you want to send out to a wider audience because the smaller “focus group” has shown that they prefer it.
7. Integrate with a CRM system
Customer relationship management (CRM) system is an essential part of a marketer and sales professional’s toolkit. It enables you to keep track of all information related to your leads.
For example, you can see which platform they came from (e.g. websites, social media, email marketing, etc.) and then you can help tailor content and your sales strategy to their needs in order to boost your sales conversion rates.
For example, with ServiceOS’ customer relationship management feature, you can track every interaction that can eventually turn into a sale, helping your sales team move the leads through the sales funnel.
8. Rely on social proof
Social proof refers to existing customers’ experience with your brand. It can take the form of testimonials and reviews, case studies, or even user-generated content.
This is a prominent way to ensure that your prospects see how your current customers feel and it’s a strong factor in influencing their decision to buy from you.
As such, you should always aim to emphasise the social proof of your product or service when attempting to convert leads into customers.
9. Optimise your use of live chats
The prominence of live chat is growing exponentially. That’s because businesses are realising how important it is to have either artificial intelligence (AI) or human agents respond to prospective customers’ queries and ensure that they help guide them through the sales funnel while answering their queries and addressing any concerns they may have.
10. Optimise your content to add value
You’ll not only need to create content for all parts of your sales funnel; from brand awareness, discovery, consideration, or interest. Content can come in many different forms including blog posts, e-books, infographics, case studies, etc.
Make sure that you have clear calls to action and also be sure to personalise your content as far as possible, including your email campaigns.
Also worth considering is that you need to always have your ideal buyer persona in mind when creating content so that you are always adding value at every step of their journey.
Finally, be sure to optimise your content for search engines so that you can drive more traffic to your website through organic channels while aiming to convert.
11. Add pop-up forms to your website
As part of your lead nurturing process, you should also build pop-up forms on your website. These pop-ups should show up on certain pages.
These pop-ups add value to your prospective leads and at the same time, you can gain access to their content details, ensuring you have a wider email list that you can promote your sales strategy through as an additional channel.
12. Use a cold-calling script
Using a cold-calling script can increase your sales conversion rates, especially if you are already prepared for such conversations.
Although it can take much time and resources to create the perfect script, partners such as ServiceOS are well-positioned to help you automate the sales script distribution for you and your team.
Your sales team can add existing sales scripts to the scripts library, track the performance of different sales scripts, and make necessary adjustments, ensuring continuous improvement in sales strategies.
13. Make scheduling easy by embedding it on your website
Engaging with your leads at the moment of interest is a critical point when you can catch their attention. Making it easy for them to contact you at a time convenient for them while they’re still “hot” is the perfect way to engage them.
This not only creates an exceptional customer experience but helps you steer them through the sales funnel that much easier.
And, to track and better manage your bookings, you can always opt for an online booking system designed specifically for your business needs.
14. Optimise your website for mobile devices
With a growing number of searches being performed through mobile devices, it’s important to consider optimising your site for mobile, too.
This means ensuring your site loads fast so that you can instantly cater to your users’ needs.
While this is not an exhaustive list of ways in which you can improve your sales conversion rates, they are considered some of the best practices in the industry.
What’s more is that with the right partner at your side, you can speed up your conversion process through streamlined CRMs and cold-calling scripts that work, among others.
With ServiceOS helping your conversion efforts, your business will go a long way to experiencing greater levels of success.
Schedule a call with our friendly specialists to see how ServiceOS can help you hit your business goals and grow!