Are you driving a lot of qualified leads, but they don’t seem to be converting? One possible reason for this is that you may be using the same sales strategy with top and middle of funnel leads that you use with bottom of funnel leads.
Whereas bottom of funnel leads are typically ready to make a purchase decision, top and middle of funnel leads require more nurturing and more touches before making a purchase. Top of funnel leads are in the research phase. They’re still trying to figure out what exactly they want, and who to buy it from. They’re far from making a purchase decision. Middle of funnel leads are more informed than top of funnel leads, and have likely narrowed down their consideration set, but are still evaluating options before making a decision.
If someone finds you on Google because they searched for your offering specifically, they’re likely a bottom of funnel lead, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to close them fairly quickly. This is one of the reasons we love SEO and paid search advertising. It’s incredibly effective at driving motivated bottom of funnel leads. However, if someone finds you on Facebook because they stumble across your ad in their newsfeed, it’s likely they are a top or middle of funnel lead. Facebook advertising and social media advertising in general is also very effective, but more so for generating awareness and driving top of funnel traffic.
In the Google example, you may be able to close that lead on the first call, or at least advance them to the proposal stage. However, in the Facebook example, a completely different approach must be taken. Rather than trying to close the lead or advance them to the proposal stage on the first call, the goal should be to get as much information as possible about them, assess their needs, and determine how you can best serve them.
Then, have a follow-up process in place to help nurture the relationship, and ensure that you remain top of mind, while the prospect works their way through the funnel. Depending on your sales cycle, this process might take days, weeks, or even months. Certain marketing tactics, such as retargeting and email marketing, can help increase touch points and nurture the relationship. Combining these tactics with personalized email outreach and follow ups by phone can also be very effective.
Finally, it’s critical to understand that just because a lead isn’t ready to buy today, doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified. They just have to be nurtured. Mislabelling qualified leads as unqualified because they weren’t ready to convert after the first touch is a huge mistake, and can cost your business opportunities. If you have enough of these leads in your pipeline, and they’re nurtured effectively, a percentage of them will convert, adding another source of new business in addition to the bottom of funnel leads you’re accustomed to working with.