Balancing Quantity with Quality in Sales Calls and Site Traffic

So you successfully boasted your site traffic and/or call volume, congratulations! Really, that's obviously an achievement to celebrate. The question is, what comes next? Traffic and call volume can be a bit like fishing, you want to catch a lot but if you have to throw them all back, you're going to go hungry. That might be okay if your business has other ways to put food on the table, but if site traffic and sales calls are your main source of bringing in the bucks, you need to land some quality as well as increasing quantity. quality thumbs up

Balancing Quantity with Quality Traffic and Calls

Before you focus on either how many visits and calls you get, or how likely they are to convert to a sale, you first need to know exactly who you're targeting. In most cases your company will have a clear idea of its perfect customer, possibly even with personality profiles set up for each type. If you don't have either of those, take some time to note down the characteristics of the most valuable customers you currently have, especially in terms of their age range, gender, interests, and what motivates them to buy. Once you have this information, even in raw form, you can work out what makes a site visit or call a high quality one, and how to target more of them. Starting from this base of understanding your ideal visitor or caller helps to define what boxes they need to check when they come to your site or give you a call. It also gives you an insight into the type of content you need to create to attract them.  Take the case of Social Fresh, for example, a site focused on providing professionals with the social media education they need to improve their business. Their conversion to sales involves getting those who read and listen to their content to attend conferences on the same subject around country. As they explained on a recent marketing podcast, Social Fresh found that regular shorter form blog articles with generic titles like "10 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers" were by far their most successful posts in terms of traffic, but achieved very low conversion rates. They decided to move to a blog schedule with less frequent articles that are more in-depth, resulting in a lower quantity of traffic but a higher chance of conversion. This is because the company understands its ideal customer, a career professional who requires practical, detailed ideas to apply social media to their business. Their earlier, high-traffic articles reached mainly a younger audience eager to build their social media vanity metrics, rather than business people trying to boost their bottom line. The same idea can be applied to calls. Having your phones ringing off the hook feels good in the office, but if the callers are mainly asking about a product with no intention to buy, or don't have the authority to make that decision, the time of your sales team might be better spent on targeting those who can. man-on-phone(1)

Quality Leads Convert

The simple fact is that a little targeting goes a long way to converting more sales. When your business lives or dies by the visits and calls you convert, it's better to have high conversion rates than traffic that is through the roof but not interested in what you offer. You can measure quality of visitors and callers with a variety of general metrics. These won't tell you everything about who's coming to your site or calling your sales line, but they will give you a basis to build from and include other metrics that define what a quality lead means to you. In terms of site traffic, quality can be measured by:
  • Bounce Rate: The more people stick to your site and click around different sections, the more likely they are to click a call to action or contact you directly for more information.
  • Percentage of New Visitors: Knowing the ratio of new vs. returning visitors to your site helps to identify when it's just the same folks coming to see you again and again. This might not be a bad thing if you have a long sales funnel that requires several brand impressions before a customer converts to a sale, but it's always positive to have a healthy percentage of new blood visiting your site so that you know your marketing is attracting fresh prospects.
  • Goals Completed: Mini conversions along the road to making a sale can be an important indicator as to how your site is performing. Most analytics programs allow you to set up pre-defined goals, such as filling out a contact form or subscribing to a newsletter, which you can then measure against overall site traffic to see if the ratio increases over time.
  • Lead Scoring: In more advanced marketing platforms and databases, you'll be able to track who is visiting your site and assign them points based on certain actions they take, such as reading a key piece of content or downloading an ebook. Over time, this helps to identify the highest quality prospects, or shows when you're not getting the kind of activity level you know you need to convert someone.
  For calls, you also have some excellent metrics to guide your efforts:
  • Call Duration: Similar to bounce rate on site, the longer your team keep a caller on the line, the more likely they are to convert that person to a sale. The overall measure gives you an idea of how effective your team is being as a whole, while individually longer calls are worth flagging for playback later, to better understand what makes a quality caller and how your agent kept them engaged.
  • Repeat Callers: If someone is calling your sales line more than once, it could be a sign that they're indecisive but still a quality lead for your sales team. Flagging repeat callers helps you to do more research on what they might need and schedule a demonstration or some other in-depth support to convince them you have what they need.
  • Call Trends: Determine when your highest quality calls come in by segmenting converted calls into the time of day they were made. If you can see a trend around a particular period, you know that's the time to increase your advertising and get your best sales staff in for those times.
  The bottom line is that increasing the quantity of your inbound calls and site visits is a valuable goal, but should not be taken alone as a sign of success. Your conversion rate is even more important, as it helps you to understand the lead quality of those contacting you and how you can find more like them by fine-tuning your marketing campaigns.

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