5 Drivers of Business – Part 3: Conversion Rate
10 Tried-And-True Ideas for Improving Your Conversion Rate
Continuing my series on the “5 Drivers at the Core of Your Business”, it’s time to take a closer look at how you can improve your conversion rates. If you’ll remember, the 5 drivers formula creates big impact from relatively small changes to your business—just a 10% increase in any one of the five drivers can have an exponential impact on your revenue.
At a business level conversion rate actually has more to do with sales than marketing. So don’t underestimate the value of improving your sales process as part of your conversion considerations. You’ll see a mix of marketing and sales suggestions in these 10 proven tips for boosting your conversion rate.
1. Get Specific About Your Positioning
The fact is, brands that are more niche tend to have better conversion rates. It makes sense; niche brands can speak very directly to a particular audience, meeting their exact needs.
Think of it this way. Say your business really needs a new website. You have a strong in-house marketing team, but you’re looking for someone who can really take your site to the next level. Would you rather hire a full-service marketing firm who does websites as part of a laundry list of other marketing services, or would you rather hire a company that specializes only in websites?
Now, I’m not telling you to change what your business offers. But trying to be all things to all people never works out. Dial in your messaging in the areas where you have true expertise, and share that with the audiences who really need it.
2. Have a Compelling Website
When I was just getting Skyhook started, we worked out of my house. After a while, we grew and got a few employees—still working out of my house. Not only was my wife [understandably] getting frustrated, I found clients weren’t thrilled about working and meeting with a company in a home. Once we finally got into an office, I was blown away by how many more customers wanted to do business with us. A professional building with a nice lobby added credibility that no amount of my team’s experience could generate on its own.
The lesson: first impressions matter. Think of your website as your lobby, the first place potential customers likely come to when considering your business. If you have a poorly designed, poorly written, clunky website, the trust isn’t going to be there and you’re going to have to work extra hard to land the sale. A well-designed, well-written, cleanly developed website will make a HUGE difference in perception.
(By the way, this isn’t just my opinion. Tons of research has been done around the topic of credibility and design).
3. Marketing Automation & Nurture Sequences
I’m an RC enthusiast. I spend money buying planes, helicopters, batteries, cameras and so on for this hobby. And like a lot of you, I hate weeding through all the junk in my email. But I open the ones from my favorite hobby store because it’s fun to see the latest gadgets plus content personalized to things I’ve looked at or bought in the past. Inevitably, I end up clicking through and buying something.
I do this because it’s relevant to me. And that hobby store knows it is, because they’ve taken the time to set up automated marketing emails based on my engagement with them. Automating your marketing AND sales processes can help you drive up conversions and revenue with less effort.
4. Create Content That Evangelizes Your Approach
Do you put a different spin on the same thing competitors offer? Tell people about it!
Let me give you an example using local market research expert Susan Baier. You could argue that market research is generally all the same: you find out who they are, create personas, and that’s about it. But Susan has a different spin—personas are stupid because everyone is doing it and they tend to be very surface-level or make assumptions. She evangelizes her approach which focuses much more around specialized attitudinal research, which, of course, she is the expert on because it’s “her thing.” Evangelize people to your way of seeing things.
5. Invest in a Selling System
A lot of sales people sell on pure talent (or think they do). “Oh I’m persuasive, I can sell anything, I know how to talk to people.” But they’ve never gone through any kind of sales training or adopted a strategic system. Well in my opinion, that’s like thinking you can beat anyone up because you’re big and strong—until of course you encounter someone who’s been trained how to fight by professionals.
There are a ton of proven sales systems out there. Don’t base your company’s conversions on “talent” alone. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Sandler Selling System. Do a little research and find the one that resonates with you and your business needs.
6. Set up a CRM to Help You Follow Up
A lot of salespeople go off notes and scribbles and Excel sheets and white boards. I probably don’t have to convince you too hard that this system is inefficient.
A CRM gives you a centralized place to log all the information about every lead or account you have. This way, anyone can see the details and status of a contact at any time. At Skyhook, I use SalesForce, and it is basically my sales to-do list. Every Monday I come in and look at who I’m following up with this week, easily accessing and referencing all my notes from conversations and emails with them.
7. Continually Engage in Sales Training and Education
Sales is really such a deep profession. It’s psychology, leadership, communication, body language and instinct wrapped all up. Like any skill, the more time you spend training and educating yourself, the better you’ll be. Listen to sales podcasts (I love Advanced Selling), find sales workshops, even practice through role play. Within the framework of any selling system, there’s still plenty of room to hone your skills so you can be prepared for any situation.
8. Offer a Guarantee That Hurts to Break
Generic “satisfaction guarantees” have no real teeth when it comes down to it. A real guarantee should hurt if you don’t deliver. On the flip side, it promotes a huge amount of trust from the get-go. I’ve seen this happen in clients we’ve consulted with. It shows potential clients that you understand that they are taking a risk with you, and you are willing to meet them with your own level of risk.
9. Actively Improve Ratings & Reviews
Third-party testimonials are huge for increasing conversion rate. If you have a customer who emails you a great review, ask them to share it on Google, Yelp or other places that make sense. Also, don’t be afraid to draft testimonials and then run it by them. This way, you get to communicate what you want while saving the client time on writing it themselves.
10. Fix Your Mindset And Know Your Value
This is my #1 tip for anyone who does any kind of selling. Be confident in your abilities and connect with potential clients as a solutions provider instead of a sales person. Remember that they have come to you seeking a solution in an area in which you have experience. And if it turns out you don’t have that particular expertise, be honest. Having a service-oriented mindset builds trust. Even if they don’t end up being your customer, they may tell someone else about you—and you better believe your honesty will be a key talking point.
As you can probably tell, this is clearly a topic I’m passionate about. Some of these tips are easier to implement than others, and not all will apply directly to your business. But investing in even a few of these areas will absolutely result in a boost in conversions and ultimately, a boost in your revenue.
Like this? Check out the rest of the 5 Drivers Series:
Part 1 – 5 Drivers: The Simple Math at the Core of Your Business
Part 3 – 5 Drivers: Conversion Rate
Part 4 – 5 Drivers: Average Dollar Sale