Are you a business owner ready to scale your lead generation? Without new sales, your company can’t grow. But how can you know how to increase your sales leads?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve written this monster guide that covers everything you need to know about how to boost your lead generation using your website. We’re giving you everything you need to know about how to ensure your business is bringing in qualified new leads through the best practices.
So, keep reading to increase your sales leads so you can scale your optimized sales funnel and grow your business like never before.
Why You Need an Optimized Funnel
A sales funnel gives you a roadmap to guide your potential clients and customers along through their buyer’s journey. Rarely does someone visit your website and immediately purchase your largest services package without first needing more information. Each time you interact with a potential client and provide more valuable information, the more you’re layering this prospect to become a future paying customer.
Once your business has an optimized sales funnel you’ll be able to generate new leads automatically every day. This guide is meant to be the one resource that will guide you in the process of creating your own optimized sales funnel.
A business without new leads is going out of business soon. You need a continual source of new leads so that you can grow and scale your business to the level you’ve always wanted. And you’re not interested in any leads that can be bought from a service, you’re interested in qualified leads your sales team can convert into high paying customers.
To do this, you need a process to guide your customers as they make their purchasing decision. You will be able to improve your sales conversions and bring in more revenue when you follow a process every time. Your sales team will then begin to build their morale as they close more sales than ever before. And this will lead to better results and more growth for your business.
What Is Lead Generation?
You started your business because you want to help people. You have a product or service to offer and you know that it will help your audience. But first, you must build your audience, and this is where lead generation comes in.
First, we need to define what a lead is and then we can define how you can generate new leads for your business every day online. Some people use the terms lead and prospect interchangeably. But for our purposes in this guide, we will use lead as a new name and contact information. And a prospect is someone who has moved through the sales funnel and interacted with your company and brand through your content.
So, this begs the question, how do you get a lead to give you their name and contact information? You do this by generating interest in your company by offering free content about a subject or a question your future clients want to know about. Today’s customers are savvy and informed consumers. You can’t build your business without first giving your customers valuable content.
Great examples of valuable content your customers would be willing to exchange their contact information to get include:
- White papers
- Case studies
In order for someone to give you their contact information, you need to first offer them something valuable that they want in return. And to do this you need to know everything there is no about your audience. This is your first, and most important, step in the process of creating a great lead generation strategy.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Before you can start to build your sales funnel, and begin to generate new leads every day online, you need to first define who you’re targeting with your content. This goes beyond a general snapshot of basic demographics. You need to know who you’re targeting as well as what their thoughts are, what their questions are, and what their biggest problem is.
Then you will create content that solves their problems and answers their questions. The type of content you pick isn’t as important as creating amazing and valuable content. So, whether you choose to use the written word with blog posts, audible podcasts, videos for YouTube, or IGTV, the most important key is to create content that is useful to your target audience.
If you’ve been in business for a while, this step might be easy for you. However, if you’re new to business or you’ve never done this before, take some time to delve into detail about who you’re targeting and what their pain points are. This will make all the following steps much easier to complete as you won’t be guessing what content to create. You will know because you know your target audience inside and out.
To complete this step, grab a piece of paper and answer the following questions based on who, what, and where:
- Who is your ideal persona?
- Where do they go for information every day?
- What is their biggest problem or difficulty?
Now that you have this information clearly outlined, you’re ready to start building your audience. You will find the following steps much easier now that you know what information to create based on their questions and problems. Plus you’ll know where to post it because you took the time to find out what online platforms they already visit every day.
How to Increase Your Sales Leads
There are several ways you can increase your sales leads. Some of these ways are better than others. Some you can scale, others you can’t. Some might cost money while others are more passive and will take more time. Here are five general ways most businesses increase their sales leads.
- Buy leads from a service
- Run paid ads to a landing page
- Use SEO best practices to organically drive traffic to a landing page
- Run paid partnerships with other business owners
- Organize a networking event in your area
While new leads are important, you want to create a system that can be repeated and automated. You want to scale your business and to do that you need to create a scalable process.
From this list, we’ll cover how to use search engine optimization to organically drive traffic to your free offer. We’ll also show you how you can then pair that strategy with paid ads to double your efforts and increase your conversions.
Simply buying new leads will garner quick names and numbers. But they won’t be qualified and this won’t be scalable in the long run. The best way to increase your sales leads is to follow the best practices.
Follow Lead Generation Best Practices
As you create your sales funnel you need to stick to the best practices that have proven themselves to convert consistently time after time. As you create your sales funnel, you will need someplace to send your traffic to as you build your audience. This is usually your website as this is the one piece of online real estate that you own.
Many businesses have tried to shortcut the process and use a social media platform to draw customers to their businesses. But this isn’t best practice because you don’t own your social media profile and are at the whims of the platforms, their algorithms, and audience complacency.
So, to build your audience the right way you need an optimized website that attracts your ideal audience with valuable content. You can do this by writing helpful blog posts that attract your ideal audience. Your blog posts will send your audience to the following six steps in your sales funnel.
1. Start With the End in Mind
As cliche as it may sound, you must always begin each project by first defining your end goal. What do you want to accomplish with your sales funnel? Will you sell directly through your funnel? Or will you use your funnel to set up discovery calls with your sales team?
Imagine the success your sales team will start to see if their calendars are full of pre-scheduled calls with warm prospects. Instead of wasting their time cold calling leads you’ve purchased, you can now focus their time and attention on those people who already shown themselves to be interested in what you have to offer.
So, before you start to build your funnel or begin to grow your audience you first need to grab a piece of paper and map out what your final goal is. Now, you can focus the rest of your funnel to drive your audience towards this goal.
2. Have a Strong Offer
Remember in the beginning when you were challenged to map out your target audience? Did you take the time to do this exercise? This is where that information will come in handy.
You need the information about what their biggest problems are so you can create a strong offer that will compel them to sign up and exchange their contact information. You must create a product that is valuable enough for your future audience to be willing to exchange their contact information.
Many people are distracted every day with information overload. So you can’t afford to create elementary content that merely skims the surface. To stand out in the crowded online scene you must create stellar content that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Take this guide to funnels for example. We could have done what every other business does and create a short blog post that simply tells you what lead generation is without giving you the entire process. But, instead, we are giving you everything you need to do it yourself if you want to, or need to financially.
However, we’re willing to bet that once you see how vast an optimized funnel can be, then you’ll turn to an expert for help with creating one for your business. So, for your own business, don’t settle for creating basic content that doesn’t give your audience amazing value. Instead, create the best guide possible and show your audience an offer they can’t pass up.
Once you have a strong offer, you need an offer page. This is also called a landing page and your next step in an optimized funnel.
3. Optimize Your Landing Page
Your offer page is a stand-alone page on your website that offers your freebie to your audience in exchange for their information. How much information you ask for is up to you. You can ask for their name and email address only, or you can ask for more such as a phone number or their business name.
It’s vital that your landing page is on-point and converting well. You’ll spend the most time on this stage ensuring that your offer page is the best it can be. This could mean a difference between 10 new leads and 25 new leads every day. What would your business be able to accomplish with 25 new warm leads being generated by your funnel every day?
There are several features that all need to work together to constitute a well-converting landing page. Namely, you want to create a webpage that is focused solely on your strong offer created in the previous step. For example, you don’t want any information that takes attention away from the offer such as a sidebar or navigation bar.
The landing page draws your audience to the clear call-to-action for your visitor to give you their contact information in exchange for the free offer. The information on your landing page needs to be short and simple which is focused on the features and benefits of your offer for your audience.
Your landing page only has one goal and that is to convert your visitors to your email list by signing up for your free offer. So, don’t confuse your audience by giving them multiple choices or too much information. Keep your landing page simple and straight to the point. This will increase your conversions and drive more subscribers to your email list where you’ll nurture them with more valuable content.
4. Nurture and Give Value
Now that you have converted your visitor to a lead, your job isn’t done. You still need to guide your new lead through their buyer journey. This way when they arrive at the end of the funnel and schedule their discovery call with your sales team they are a warm and educated prospect. This will, in turn, increase your conversions for your sales team.
Your nurture sequence is a set of automated emails that are set up to be delivered to your audience at a predetermined schedule after they sign up for your free offer. The goal of your nurture sequence was established in the first step. Did you decide that it will guide your reader to the sale itself? Or will you guide your new lead towards scheduling themselves for a call with you or your team?
If you didn’t take the time to establish this goal back in the first step, it’s now crucial that you do it before you begin creating your nurture sequence. But before you can ask for your final goal, you must first give valuable content. Just as you did with your blog posts, you must show your audience that you’re an expert in your industry and that your number one goal is to help them solve their problem.
The more your lead opens each email in the sequence the warmer they become. This makes them a more qualified prospect and will help your sales team convert more customers. But first, you must give your leads a strong call-to-action.
5. Have a Strong Call to Action
You’ve warmed up your lead by sending them an automated nurture sequence. And you’ve shown them that you’re the best expert to help them solve their problem. Now, you need to give them a strong call to action by either buying your product or scheduling themselves for a sales or discovery call.
Your call-to-action button should be simple and concise. Don’t get overly creative with your graphic design, you want the focus to be on signing up for your free offer. Look at your brand colors and choose the one that is bright and bold. Use this color for your button.
Test different phrases on the button and see which one resonates best with your audience. Sometimes a bold statement works best while other times a simple phrase converts better. You need to constantly tweak this as it is a key feature on your landing page.
As you build your sales funnel you will want to test and track several different areas to ensure that you’ve created the most optimized page that will give you the highest number of conversions.
6. Test and Track Your Numbers
Your sales funnel is not a finished product that you will launch and then never improve. Instead, this must be a dynamic process that is continually improved and optimized to increase your conversions. So, be sure to test and track your conversions.
You will use a concept called A/B testing. And you do this by creating two landing pages and trying out different headings, different persuasive copy on your page, and different call-to-action buttons. Each time you make a change you must document what you changed and then track your conversions over a specific time period.
The longer you can track each change the better your data will be. So, don’t give up if your landing page isn’t converting after the first week. Continue to draw visitors to your page until you have a large enough data set to make an educated decision about whether or not it’s working.
Additionally, each time you make a change, only change one feature so you know whether or not it worked. If you change your heading, update your images, and add testimonials to your landing page all at once you won’t know which change was the one responsible for the increased conversions.
So, while it may be painstakingly slow, be sure to make one change at a time and then wait a reasonable amount of time to track your conversion numbers before you make any more changes.
Build Awareness for Your Brand
Now that you know who your audience is and how you’ll convert them into leads, it’s time to build awareness around your business and brand. To build your audience you must draw your customers to your offer, and you can do this in several different ways.
We’ll explore the top four methods that many businesses successfully use every day to generate leads and increase sales on autopilot.
Maximize Visitors With SEO
One key aspect of automating your lead generation is to maximize the potential for visitors from search engines. Google gets an average of a little more than five billion searches every day. You can’t afford to neglect the power of organic search traffic to your website.
You must have a cohesive strategy to create content that people are searching for every day. You’ve already done your research in a previous step, you have the information you need, now it’s time to create content that will get you found in the SERPs. For every landing page you’ve created you need at least a dozen pieces of content on topics leading to that conversion.
For example, do you own a chiropractor business and you’ve just created a document with a checklist of the top ten things people can do every day to relieve back pain? If so, then you want to create several blog posts on all the various different aspects of back pain. Then each article leads the reader to click over to your optimized landing page to sign up for this free download.
Now you’re organically drawing in your ideal audience through the power of SEO and growing your customer list continually. Once you’re ranking for certain keywords you’ll find that you draw in your target audience naturally and systematically. This is the key to building a lead generation system that will work for you, even if you’re not working on it yourself.
Incorporate a Social Media Strategy
Consumers in today’s market expect your company to be on social media. They want to know what you stand for and who else is following you. They will take the time to read your reviews and see how your company responds to each review.
If you’re not on social media already, this needs to be a priority for your company. People-based marketing is taking the business world by storm and you will need to be on the social platforms so you don’t miss out on it. When you first created your target persona you also made a note of where they already get their information online. So you should already know where to focus your time and attention.
Now you need to create valuable content for your audience on your social media profile as well. Too many marketers make the mistake of only posting on their social media sites when they’re running a sale or want to promote a product. This is a big mistake and you’re turning off your customers if you do this too.
Just as with your blog posts and your emails, you must give value consistently if you want to build an engaged audience. Why should they click on your profile or share your most recent post? Give them value and you will find your engagement increasing as well as your conversions.
Retarget Visitors Who Didn’t Convert
Inbound marketing is great. So, whether you bring in visitors to your website via search engines or social media, what matters next is maximizing each visit to your website. And if you don’t convert each visitor on their first visit to your page, do you give up, or do you hope that they someday remember to come back and visit your website?
The answer is neither.
In order to maximize the potential of every visitor to your site, you must also use the power of retargeting ads to convert those visitors who don’t sign up for your free offer during their first visit. Both Google Ads and most social media ad platforms allow you to place pixels on your website.
Then you can use this pixel to place a cookie on your visitor’s IP address. Finally, you can then target your past visitors with ads that draw your potential clients back to your landing page. During these subsequent visits, you can then optimize your pages to turn visitors into leads.
Retargeting visitors who didn’t convert into prospects or customers during their first visit to your website double your opportunities to generate new leads. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to layer your prospects with more content about your company or product.
Partner up Strategically
As you build awareness for your brand you can also utilize the power of borrowing the audiences of complementary influencers. If you own a fitness business you can partner with someone who teaches about nutritional eating as you know that their audience is already interested in health. The key is to find other influencers with an audience interested in your topic but not a competitive business.
Once you’ve identified several business owners that you’d like to partner with, your next step is to begin a professional relationship with them. Offer to help them with something that you have that will help them.
Many business owners need to create content regularly to keep up with the demands of search engine optimization. However, creating new content regularly can be exhausting, especially while you’re trying to run a successful business. So, offer to create a guest post for them and pitch a topic that you feel will resonate with their audience.
This is a great example of how you can help an influencer while also getting something out of it for yourself. Then after you’ve built a relationship with the influencer and introduced your topic to their audience, you can then offer to teach their audience via a free webinar.
Continue to bring awareness to your brand and business through these strategic partnerships and you will see your own audience start to grow as well. As you build your audience you will continue to filter them through your funnel and send these qualified leads to your sales team.
Feed Your Sales Team Nurtured and Qualified Sales Leads
The entire goal of generating leads is to feed your sales team qualified prospects. Instead of purchasing contact lists and having your sales team cold calling thousands of leads, now you are drawing in warm contacts who are interested in the product or service you offer.
You’ve created your funnel, you’ve optimized it, and you’ve spent time and money increasing traffic to your funnel. Now you will see your sales conversions increase when your team can start contacting warm prospects who are already familiar with your business and have exhibited an interest in your product or service.
As you build each piece of this puzzle you will need to track when and where each lead interacts with your content. Then provide this information to your sales team. This is how you will qualify each lead so your sales team knows who to contact first and who to focus their efforts on.
For example, to qualify each lead you would assign five points for each contact point in the following funnel:
- Visits website and signs up for a freebie
- Opens an email with the freebie
- Downloads free offer
- Watches video linked in free offer with information about a paid offer
Then when your sales team gets their list of new contacts to follow up with, each contact will have a number next to it. In this example, that number will either be 5, 10, 15, or 20 with any leads scoring 20 being very hot leads. And these hot leads must be followed up within 24 hours of watching the video or webinar.
As you build your funnel you need to be tracking your conversion numbers. This will tell you the overall health of your funnel and if you need to continue to make small changes over time to increase your conversions. As a general rule, if you’re converting less than five percent you need to keep tweaking. Anything between 10-20% is industry standard and you should be ready to start to automate and scale the process at that point.
Increase Sales Conversions With an Optimized Process
Now you have a scoring process for your funnel to feed your sales team. So now when your sales team hops on a discovery call with one of these leads, they don’t have to explain who they are or what your company does.
These are all qualified leads, even those scoring a five. Someone scoring a five might have not seen the email. Or maybe they requested the freebie because they need the information for a future project but aren’t ready for it yet.
For that particular lead, set up a time when they feel their company will be ready for the information regarding that topic or project. Then your sales team member sets a reminder in their calendar to follow up with that lead at that time.
In this example, you will have an entire sales team with a full calendar of future scheduled sales calls. And, over time, you will see increased conversions from these warm leads.
Troubleshoot Optimization Examples
If your conversions aren’t what you expected, then spend some time researching what might need updating. Or what calls to action aren’t converting like you thought they should.
To troubleshoot your pages you need to take an objective view of each landing page. If you have a hard time separating from your work, ask a trusted colleague for their opinion. Ask yourself some hard questions such as:
- Did you use a compelling headline?
- Did you focus on the features instead of the benefits to your customer?
- Do you have too many distractions on the page?
- Are all of the links working?
Try clicking on each link within your funnel. You need to be sure that every call to action button and opt-in form does what you want it to do. There is nothing worse than spending weeks creating a landing page and thousands of dollars on advertising only to find out you lost all your traffic due to a broken link in one of your opt-in forms.
This is an area you can’t afford to lose conversions, so consider investing in an automated software that will track this for you. You will no longer need to wonder if everything is working properly because you will get regular reports ensuring that you are in business and generating new leads.
This is another example of how automating every step in your funnel will allow you to scale your growth and take your business to the next level.
Automate the Entire Process
Once you’ve optimized each stage in the process, your next goal is to automate the entire process. At this point, you’re ready to scale your lead generation and continually build your sales every day. Prepare your sales team that new qualified leads will be coming to them every day on auto-pilot. If you need to, this might also be the point when you choose to hire more sales staff to your team.
This is where you will start to see the magic happen in terms of your business running even without you. If you go on vacation or you need to take a few sick days your website will still be running for you. People will still be searching for your keywords you’re ranking for and will still find your site.
Your landing page will still be converting visitors to subscribers and your automated sequence will still be nurturing your future prospects along their buyer’s journey. Your business will be growing automatically every day even if you’re not there to supervise or do any work yourself.
Additionally, with your increased sales staff converting more of the warm prospects being fed to them by your optimized funnel, this is the perfect time for you to take that much-need and long overdue vacation. You’ve earned it after taking the time to work through the entire process and create an optimized funnel that provides your business with new sales every day.
Now You’re Ready to Boost Your Reach and Generate Leads Online Every Day
We took on a huge undertaking with this article. And if you stuck with us until the end, Congratulations. You’re now an expert on how to increase your sales leads with your website.
From organic leads that might find you from searching for information to running paid ads on social media, you can grow your leads from several sources. By offering valuable free information to your audience in exchange for their contact information you can grow your leads without paying for a service or cold calling.
We’ve shown that this form of lead generation is not only cost-effective but also highly converting. So, if you’re ready to start scaling your business through automated online lead generation then be sure to follow the best practices as laid out in this guide.
And if you’re ready to put your mind at ease that you aren’t leaving money on the table with broken links, be sure to automate your link testing. You don’t have time to click on every link in your sales funnel. You have a successful business to run. So, sign up for your free account here, and let’s get you started automating this key piece in your funnel.