5 Steps to Generate Sales Leads with Your Website

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October 18, 2011
Nathan Yerian Nathan Yerian

generate leadsYour website should be an integrated part of your overall marketing effort that contributes to your goal of creating more business opportunities. Unfortunately, there are still far too many companies that have websites that function as nothing more than an online brochure. 

How many sales leads does your website generate per month?

If your answer is "none", "a few", or "I don't know", it is time to follow the steps below and transform your website from a online brochure to a lead generating machine.

1. Develop customer personas

A customer persona is basically an outline of each of your different customer types. It is important to separate the different personas because they most likely are purchasing for different reasons, and have different buying cycles. Gaining an understanding of each persona will help you connect with them in a meaningful way.

When creating your customer personas, it is best to be as detailed as possible. What are the customer's true needs? Why is this customer looking for your solution? What is motivating their decision to buy? What other concerns might you be able to assist them with? I would even go as far as assigning a picture, an illustrated name (ie. Sally the Single Mom, Randy the Restaurant owner, etc.) and a full bio. It will help make this customer type real to you and should improve the rest of this process.

2. Identify the buying cycle for each persona

Once you know who you are talking to, you need to look at the process they go through when making a decision about your product/service. Outline a buying cycle for each persona.

By understanding each persona's buying cycle, you can create a plan to connect with each of the personas throughout different stages in their specific cycle. By doing this, it allows you to maximize your relevance to each individual customer.

3. Plan relevant offers

Early in the buying cycle your customer may just be looking for information about your offering, or how you compare to competitors in the market. Offering content like an e-book, or a comparison chart may be the exact piece of information your potential customer is looking for that will move them to the next stage in the buying cycle.

Late in the buying cycle your potential customer may want to schedule an appointment, see a demo, or request a proposal. You need to have components in place that facilitate a "next step" and begin the relationship.

4. Create "Call To Action" buttons around stages in the buying cycle

Once you know what you are offering potential customers to help them move through their buying cycle, you have to make sure that you are informing them that the offer exists. This is where "call to action" buttons come in.

"Call to action" buttons, or CTA's are essentially mini ads that are strategically placed throughout your site on relevant pages that give website visitors (potential customers) the option to take part in your offers relative to where they are in the buying process.

5. Build landing pages that generate sales leads

When your web visitor is ready to take part in one of your offers and clicks on one of your CTA's, they should be routed to a landing page. Here's the good part. This is where you start generating quality leads.

Your landing page should reemphasize all the benefits of taking part in the offer, and should give the visitor a clear direction of what you want them to do. Providing a bulleted list of the benefits and a form field with a noticeable "submit" button will to the trick.

Keep in mind that the more information you require in your form, the less likely it is that the visitor will fill it out. For example, someone at the beginning of the buying cycle may submit their name and email address to download an e-book, but if you require a phone number, company name, and address you will see your conversions drop significantly. Some offers will require more information.  Just make sure that your form fields are as limited as possible.

Once you have these components in place, your website now has the proper elements to generate quality leads for your organization. Say goodbye to your online brochure site, and welcome your new lead generating machine to the team.


Further Reading:

- Redesign Your Website to Attract Visitors

- 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Landing Page

- 5 Landing Page Mistakes that Crush Conversion Rates


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