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Why Is My Lead Close Rate So Low?

Posted by Fernando Gallo on Monday, October 12, 2015

Topics: Sales Process

lead-close-rate-so-lowWe’ve talked about Glengarry Glen Ross on this blog before, but it’s such a phenomenal movie about sales, it bears mentioning again. After all, how many movies are actually focused exclusively on sales?

In one compelling scene, Al Pacino’s salesman delivers a wistful monologue about love and life to a stranger in a bar; except it’s not really about that at all. It’s all just a pretense to try to close a sale for bad real estate. He gets the sale, but when the sucker has second thoughts later on, Pacino’s boss sabotages everything by mistake. What follows is an eviscerating dressing down by Pacino of a hapless Kevin Spacey, and it is electric (warning: language quite NSFW).

The point is, leads are extremely difficult to close. You can beg, plead, berate, charm, schmooze and cry, and the lead still might tell you to take a hike. If your lead rate is unnervingly low, you may be doing something wrong, or you may just have unrealistic expectations. Let’s discuss what’s keeping your close rate so low.

First things first: Just how low is it?

The phrase “low conversion rate” is a bit misleading, because all lead close rates are very low. Like 5 percent low. In fact, if your conversion rate is above 5 percent, you’re actually doing a tremendous job.

Sales is very difficult (another point proven in Glengarry Glen Ross), and today’s consumer is more skeptical than ever, so don’t expect to have a tremendously high lead conversion rate. If you’re at less than 2 percent, then it’s time to worry. But anything above that is in-line with the industry averages.

So what’s making your lead rate tank?

Complaining about your lead rate is as old as digital marketing, so don’t feel bad about it. However, if you want to go beyond merely complaining, let’s talk about how to fix that lead conversion rate:

If you have plenty of leads, but can’t seem to close – Your salespeople are struggling here, but it’s not always clear why. Your first step should be to train these salespeople a little more. Sit in on some sales calls and double check the follow-up emails they send out. Work with them as much as you can, but keep in mind that some folks just aren’t cut out for sales.

If you have trouble turning visitors into leads – You need to reevaluate your content offers. Are they strong enough? Would they compel YOU to submit contact information in exchange?

If you’re not getting enough site traffic – It’s time to evaluate your buyer personas. Remember, a buyer persona is essentially a stand-in for your ideal customer, so this persona will be very interested in the products/services you have to offer. And because this persona is an ideal customer, you want to cater all of your blog posts and content to that persona.

Any business utilizing inbound marketing should have at least 2-3 buyer personas. If your blogs aren’t getting enough traffic (and your lead rates are low), there’s a good chance your personas need some tweaking. Conversely, you may need to adjust your writing to meet the needs of these personas more effectively.

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