Converting inbound Marketing leads into real orders is a topic that comes up with a lot of companies around the World, when I deliver my International sales training. It seems that whole many people can often convert enquiries from their existing customers into orders, many are struggling to convert their new enquiries into orders and grow their customer base.

Andy’s Sales Tip No 1 – Understand Their Interest In YOU!

This is something most people don’t do. Sometimes because they don’t think about it, and sometimes because they’re scared to ask! Most people will ask ‘how did you hear about us?’, which is a marketing question, designed to help you understand what parts of your marketing are working, so that you spend more money in those areas!

Yet they don’t often ask about why the enquirer has come to them for a price or quotation! What interest they have in your company specifically. What prior knowledge or experience they have of you, and what has motivated them to approach you on this occasion? Having the answers to those questions can completely change your sales process, and how you convert them into business.

Andy’s Sales Tip No 2 – Understand Their Readiness To Buy

Another critical area is to find out where they are in their buying process, and how ready’ they are to buy. Far too many salespeople waste time on people that are just ‘shopping around’, or getting an idea of price – when they aren’t ready to make a buying decision.

Let’s face it, if someone is just after an ‘idea’ of price, but has got some prices already, they already have an idea of price, don’t they?

Giving your price when they already have a number of prices from other potential suppliers usually results in you LOSING the business, unless you have done a number of critical things first! Unless you are by far the cheapest price of course, but even that doesn’t guarantee you winning the business!

How quickly can they make a decision? Are they ready to buy right now? Or do you want to discuss other things first, before entering into a conversation about price?

Andy’s Sales Tip No 3 – Understand Their Other Options

This something I would CERTAINLY want to do before giving a price (as mentioned in the last tip). You need to know WHO and WHAT you are competing with, BEFORE you give your price!

There are 3 levels of competition to you winning this order, and potentially this customer. You will always come across ONE of these competitors, and sometimes ALL of these competitors, in every single deal! And you need to know what you’re up against, in order to sell effectively against them.

1) Direct Competitor (another company that provides a similar product or service to you)

2) Indirect Competitor (usually a competitive process that they may choose instead of your solution)

3) ‘No Change’ Competitor (the prospect decides to ‘stay as they are’ for now)

All of the above are ‘competitors’ to you winning the deal – and you need to know which are true in each sales situation, in order to sell against them effectively, and give yourself the best chance of winning the deal!

Andy’s Sales Tip No 4 – Understand Their Buying Process

If we’re going to give ourselves a good chance of converting this enquiry into an order, we need to understand the prospects buying process. In other words, how they are planning to buy.

Failing to understand their buying process (or who is involved in it) will often result in the deal being ‘taken away’ from you, often at the last minute.

One of the best ways to find this out, is to ask them what process they went through when they last made a purchase like this. That will give you an idea of their usual process, and potentially who is involved as well!

If the person you’re talking to doesn’t know what their process is (last time and this time), that’s a clue how much involvement they have in the decision process!

You need to have a level of influence with everyone involved in the buying process (where possible) to have the best chance of converting your enquiries into orders! Good luck!