maximise your conversion rates
As the new year gets underway, it seems sensible to ask ourselves what our priorities should be for 2019. Clearly, priorities vary from business to business, but as the economy threatens to tighten, and the pressure on return on investment continues to dog us, there are things we should all have as priorities in 2019 – or perhaps any year.
This is the first of ten THOUGHTS addressing our priorities for 2019.
Some years ago, a client called me and suggested that he needed to increase his advertising spend. Thinking it was already high, I asked him why? Not surprisingly, he answered – because sales are falling. On analysis, I found that sales were, indeed, falling. However, this was not due to a lack of advertising. In fact, his advertising spend per sale was already far too high.
After a review, I established that what had changed was his conversion rate. Enquiries were the same as the previous year, as was the quality of those enquiries. What had changed was the competency and approach of his sales team. This was largely due to a higher than average turnover in staff.
I was talking to the marketing manager of a very large property developer recently. He suggested that conversion rates were one of his biggest problems. He also suggested that he believed his business could achieve a much higher rate of sales with fewer, and better sales staff, supported by a telemarketing capability.
Like so many businesses, each of these was suffering from lower than acceptable conversion rates. This, in turn, resulted in a higher than acceptable cost per sale.
As it turns out, this problem is common across the globe. A recent US study found that only 22% of businesses were satisfied with their conversion rates.
Maximising conversion rates is an important issue as it directly impacts on not only the advertising or marketing cost per sale, but also the overall number of customers and, therefore, the number that can be further developed and ultimately the overall return on investment.
There are many factors that can limit conversion rates. In my experience, the most common include:
- An undifferentiated product – this places too much pressure on the sales process
- Not paying enough to engage sales staff who can develop the empathy required to establish relationships, regardless of product differentiation
- A customer journey involving experiences that are less than engaging, too difficult, or simply unpleasant
- The absence of the attitude, systems, and technology needed to follow up every enquiry to its natural end.
Each of these issues is easily addressed, and needs to be addressed well before advertising budgets are increased. Interestingly, action may even result in a reduction of advertising budgets.
Place conversion rates near the top of your agenda in 2019. Know exactly what they are and understand the factors that influence them.
Build a culture that recognises the importance of conversion rates. At the same time, ensure that the attitudes, systems, and technology required are in place.
Sack sales people who do not get it! You are better off having no one!!
SOURCES OF STATISTICS
Wordstream, SIO Digital, Salesforce, Annex Cloud, Nielsen, Seth Godin and Small Business Trends John
MORE THOUGHTS – www.djohncarlsonesq.com