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Load Up Your Sales Funnel With Leads for 2021 With These Actionable Tips 2020 has been tough on everyone, but these sales strategies will help you end the year strong.

By JC Hite Edited by Heather Wilkerson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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There is no denying this year has been tough on business. Lockdowns, lower spending and lessened enterprise and trade have made it a long hard slog to December, but there is still time to propel our recovery and head into 2021 with the best possible start.

Right now, things are starting to turn a corner in business. Spending and commerce are rising. People are being encouraged to boost the economy and get back to some form of normality as 2021 begins. However, many companies wonder precisely how to get their sales team to bring in the results they need for the final quarter of the year.

Your sales team may have worked incredibly hard, but it is now time to end the year strong by adding some additional lead generation elements into the business. Turn those website visitors into sales, and convert those phone calls into orders. So what can you do? There are several tools and strategies that you can implement to help you do that. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to help you rock Q4 and enter 2021 strong.

Get more referrals

Did you know B2B prospects are four times more likely to close when referred by someone they trust in their industry? The key to getting more referrals is to build trust with your existing clients. In the year 2020, we can't afford to leave these relationships untapped. Asking your clients for referrals can pay off massively.

Related: Want More Customers? Get Quality Referrals From Existing Customers

Referral marketing has an impressive ROI, and referrals can be a proven, cost-effective part of your overall strategy to help build your business. "The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers," said referral business expert Van Dennis, the founder of Black Label Digital. Dennis was able to build a large client base for his company that he believes would not have been possible without the help of referrals.

Don't be afraid to ask your clients for referrals, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before going for the ask:

  • Start with your top clients, the ones you have the best relationships with.

  • Always make your request personal. Never send out a copy/paste style request.

  • Offer incentives for each referral, such as bill credits, commissions, or a gift.

Convert ghost visitors on your website into actionable leads

One of the first things you can do when it comes to improving sales is to look at your website and make changes to the way you handle "ghost leads." These are the people who browse your website and do nothing from there. Perhaps they leave a checkout cart uncompleted or get some information but don't act upon it by converting that interest into a sale.

Lilah Waite, Chief Marketing Officer at Lead Forensics, says "As much as 98% of the traffic that lands on your website are considered ghost traffic. That means only 2% of your hard-earned website visitors are making an inquiry. To maximize the ROI of your business website and marketing activity, it's critical to turn these anonymous visitors into engagement opportunities."

To resolve this, consider a software tool that can help your sales team identify demographics, search behavior and see financial information. A bonus would be a tool that can auto-assign the leads and allow your sales team to deliver a more strategic approach to converting ghost leads on your business website.

Get greater insight into your marketing campaigns

Your marketing campaigns are essential. You need to be able to understand and manage the leads generated through marketing campaigns and social media content. A great strategy to consider would be to develop a marketing campaign that identifies the demographics and customers who are not converting.

Develop content that encourages them to take the next step. You can utilize scheduling tools to help you grow consistently, and software options like Monday.com can help your business distribute the leads more effectively.

This tool could help capture leads, nurture the sales pipelines to help retain customers and allow your business to understand the flow of sales leads and manage your team more effectively.

Manage your leads more effectively

Now more than ever, it is vital to nurture and maintain customers, so take a look at how you do this. A customer relationship management system could help you maximize the use of every potential lead and manage your relationships with existing customers. A customer relationship management system or CRM will help you gather every customer's details and allow you to make notes and capture data from previous sales and orders. This helps give your business continuity in terms of customer conversations and building relationships.

People buy from people, and a CRM helps you manage this principle effectively by remembering the little details that could make all of the difference. A CRM's primary purpose is to help you manage potential leads, give you up-to-date information and allow you to log sales activity and organize leads. Helping you to manage your business leads more effectively.

Related: How CRMs Can Spark (or Continue) Fast Growth

Run Instagram ads to your target audience

Many advertisers will tell you that their highest ROI from running ads on digital channels comes from Instagram. The highly visual storytelling platform is often a perfect fit to show your company's products and services. Instagram has more than 800 million users worldwide. While it presents an enormous opportunity, it also can be difficult to stand out on a platform with that many users.

To break through the noise, consider running highly targeted ads to your target market. Instagram expert Michael Hummel from Agency Tycoons helps entrepreneurs scale their business by using his Instagram strategies, which include running strategic ads. He says the secret to generating leads via Instagram ad campaigns is the target market.

"When running ads on Instagram, the key is to get your target market 100% correct," Hummel says. "If your ads end up hitting even a small percentage of users that are outside of your target market the campaign's ROI begins to plummet. Keep drilling down on the location, demographics, and interests of your audience until it has been fully defined so that your ad reaches as much of your target market as possible."

Once you have your audience dialed in, consider running lead ads. Lead ads allow you to collect the data of your prospects using an instant form. This will allow you to gain potential customer contact information and have your sales team follow up with them. Additionally, you can add custom questions to the form to better understand the business needs of potential customers.

These are some highly effective strategies that your company cannot afford to ignore. So set forth and build up a massive sales funnel for 2021.

JC Hite

CEO / Founder of Hite Digital

JC Hite is the CEO and founder of Hite Digital, a white label digital marketing agency. With a passion for business and people, he’s successfully scaled his agency in just two years and counting. Now his companies help other agencies to do the same.

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