Most of us have
worked in a sales capacity; if not by title, then by need. We’ve seen how difficult it is to uncover leads and
how it’s even tougher to actually close on them. We've found a study that documents the difficulty of lead discovery
and quantifies how pitifully low conversion rates actually are.
A Broad and Objective
The study is from Implisit and
was conducted in the business-to-business environment. It offers more understanding of relative conversion-to-sales
rates from various different lead-sources. Based on input from nearly 500 US-based companies Implisit reports
3.6% of leads from customer-referrals and employee-referrals convert to sales. Imagine, 1,000 leads producing a paltry 36 closed sales! However,
3.6% looks pretty hot when it's compared to conversion rates from other lead-sources. Consider:
- 1.6% for website leads
- 1.5% for Facebook/Twitter/Social
for advertising and marketing leads
- 0.6% for trade show leads
- 0.5% for webinar leads
these closure rates probably aren’t a complete surprise. If you consider it further, the superiority of personal recommendations
(referrals) shouldn't be a surprise at all. We’ve previously cited research from Nielsen and other organizations
to reinforce our belief in the power of personal communications versus institutional sources. People simply trust other
There's No Hiding From the Numbers
Yes, Implisit gathered these numbers in a B-to-B environment.
No doubt many consumer products enjoy higher close rates. But even so if generating new sales weren’t so critical
we might be tempted to ‘throw in the towel’ on the lot. After all, the highest conversion rate is a measly 3.6%!
Or, the Reality
The answer might just have to be one of generating a lot
more leads - the most productive type of leads - those generated by customer and employee word of mouth.
Unfortunately, no matter how great your product or service, even the most loyal of customers usually don’t generate
the level of word of mouth you deserve. And strange as it seems, even those people whose paychecks are dependent on
your company’s success (your employees) may not be of the mindset or have the total corporate picture needed to speak
to their friends, neighbors, relatives or strangers about your brand.
Turning Customers (and Employees) Into Everyday Advocates
Positive word of mouth can be an incredibly powerful force
in encouraging potential customer to consider and buy a brand, but it doesn’t easily happen without some facilitation.
Both customers and employees need a well-orchestrated word of mouth management program; one that provides them:
so they can effectively lobby for your brand.
Until such individuals are reminded of their connection to your brand they won’t be motivated to promote it. This
holds unless and until an incident or event occurs that provides them with an opportunity (and content) to share about your
brand. Unfortunately, most such opportunities are moments of failure; and the news that's disseminated about your brand
But we all have the chance to 'arm' our customers and employees with positive stories to tell;
providing them both with opportunities and content. And, the amazing truth? It's all free! Your everyday
advocates are just waiting to be activated!