Getting over the hump: 3 ways to turn engaged prospects into opportunities

So you’ve created some great top-of-funnel (TOFU) content and you’ve got a nice group of engaged prospects who subscribed to your blog, opened your emails and regularly downloaded your eBooks. If you’re like many marketers, though, not enough of these engaged prospects are turning into sales appointments. When too many of your prospects say, “thanks for the free stuff,” but don’t turn into sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and opportunities, following are some tactics for moving things along:

Create more mid-funnel (MOFU) content

If most of your content is dedicated to getting a wide range of prospects to engage with you, it’s time to create content that moves them further down the funnel from engagement to consideration and conversion.

Take a look at your current content. Are any of your blog posts, eBooks or videos focused on pre-empting sales objections? If not, that’s a good place to start. Outline some of the main reasons prospects cite for refusing an initial meeting and create some content to overcome that objection.  For example, if prospects often say, “My contract doesn’t renew for six months,” as a reason to avoid a meeting, you might write a blog on why reviewing prospective vendors should begin eight months before a renewal date. If they think changing vendors will be a hassle, create an infographic on how quick and easy it is to implement your solution. Is cost an issue, create an ROI model.

If most of your content is dedicated to getting a wide range of prospects to engage with you, it’s time to create content that moves them further down the funnel from engagement to consideration and conversion.

Other conversion-focused content might include client case studies, product FAQs or suggested questions to ask when evaluating a product or vendor in your industry.

Mix in a non-digital or offbeat tactic

Prospects who have regularly engaged with your content, but continually ignored (or refused) requests for an initial meeting or demo may need a new approach.  For high-value accounts, this might mean moving beyond the digital by sending a personalized gift or hand-written mailing or even an offbeat tactic like have lunch delivered to the prospect and his or her team. You might also take an account-based approach, reaching out to additional influencers within the same organization or participating in the organization’s preferred trade shows as an attendee, exhibitor or sponsor.

Host a prospects-only event or webinar

For prospects who are not yet qualified as high value, consider developing an event or webinar designed specifically to qualify and convert engaged prospects.  This event is designed to bridge the gap between an educational topic and an initial sales call or demo. For example, you might make your experts available to discuss the latest industry developments, along with how your service or technology is delivering value in the new environment. Consider inviting a successful client to present on how they are utilizing your product in new or creative ways.  A key to this tactic is clearly communicating that attendees should be in the market for your product. This way, participants will be a self-selecting group of highly engaged prospects.  They will also be expecting a follow-up call and, therefore, be more receptive to your business development or sales representative.

Taking the time and energy to reassess your strategy and develop more powerful content can deliver increased pipeline velocity, a higher opportunity rate, and more closed sales. At Marcom Exchange, we love to help clients come up with creative and successful ways to move prospects through the marketing and sales funnel. Ready to talk to a consultant about your marketing goals?  Get in touch and let’s start the conversation.