When it comes to growing your insurance business, lead generation on its own is not enough. You also need to excel at converting leads into sales. Doing so isn’t just a numbers game. You may convert one out of every five leads (or whatever ratio you may be experiencing), but at what cost? There are ways to be more efficient.
Achieving a higher sales conversion rate can mean you earn more new customers, while also saving time and money. Instead of focusing on leads that have little chance of becoming customers, direct your resources toward the best ways to convert leads into sales. This is a quality over quantity play and it can be very effective.
However, converting leads to sales isn’t as simple as, say, offering more discounts to new customers. Or advertising on Facebook to draw in new prospects. While these tactics may work at times, converting leads to sales largely depends on understanding who you’re trying to sell to and developing prospect relationships so they want to buy from you.
Converting leads to sales can also become easier if you simplify the sales process for customers. In general, the fewer hoops prospects have to jump through to purchase a policy, the more likely they’ll choose you over the competition.
In this guide to converting leads into sales, we’ll explore more how gaining a thorough understanding of the various prospects you already have can help you convert a higher percentage of leads to sales. We’ll also dive into how you can analyze your efforts to figure out the best ways to convert leads to sales and how insurance agents can make it easy to close deals.
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Understanding Your Leads to Convert More Sales
Not every lead responds to sales and marketing tactics in the same way, nor do you necessarily want to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Some leads may respond better to one-on-one meetings, some may want to interact with you on social media, while others may not be worth spending much time on if they’re unlikely to make a purchase.
By understanding who you’re trying to sell to, you can then tailor your approach. Some of the opportunities to better understand your prospects so you can figure out the best ways to convert leads to sales include:
A high-quality lead might be worth spending more time and money trying to close a deal, whereas you might not want to go all-in on a cold lead that you know very little about. That’s not to say that you should only focus on warm leads, but you may be able to better prioritize your efforts through lead scoring.
“Lead scoring is the process of analyzing everything you know about a lead and coming up with a number that represents both how likely they are to become a customer and how valuable they will be to your business as a customer,” explains Proof, a marketing technology company.
You can do so on your own, or there are many types of lead scoring technologies available that can help. As you score leads, you may then decide to use this data to inform your marketing efforts. For example, you might invite high-scoring leads to a networking event you’re hosting, helping you get quality face time with these leads. Low-scoring leads can still be converted into sales, but you might want to take a lower-effort approach, like adding some of these prospects on LinkedIn and seeing how the relationships progress naturally.
Customer Journey Mapping
Related to lead scoring is customer journey mapping. Plotting out where your prospects are along a spectrum of learning about your business to becoming loyal customers can help you then adjust your efforts. For example, you likely wouldn’t want to waste money on ads that explain your policies to prospects who are already very familiar with your business. Instead, you may find success converting these leads to sales by offering personalized policy proposals.
As marketing platform/research company Alexa explains, the five phases of the customer journey include:
- Awareness: when prospects first become aware of a need they may have (e.g. obtaining commercial insurance) and a brand that may solve that need
- Engagement: when a potential customer starts to engage with a brand they’re aware of, such as by following them on social media
- Evaluation: when a lead starts to seriously consider different brands that they may want to purchase from
- Purchase: when a lead converts to a sale by following through after their evaluation
- Post-Purchase: when new customers continue to interact with a brand, such as to understand their purchase or renew their policies
Other sales professionals and marketers may use slightly different terms for these phases, but in general, the meanings are the same. As you go through customer journey mapping, you may be able to better determine how to convert leads to sales. For example, prospects in the awareness phase might not respond well to a hard sell, whereas those in the evaluation phase may want to read content that explains why purchasing insurance from you is the best choice.
Analyzing Lead Conversions
Once you gain a solid understanding of your prospects, you can go through some trial-and-error to see how leads of varying quality and at different points in the funnel respond to sales and marketing tactics. As you do so, it’s important to be able to analyze what works so you can find the best ways to convert leads into sales for your specific business.
Some of the ways to analyze lead conversions include looking at the data for:
Tracking metrics like email opens and click-throughs can help you get a sense of what works for converting leads to sales. For example, if you see that emails about business budgeting tend to lead to more click-throughs to schedule appointments with you than emails about policy pricing, then that could be a sign to continue down the path of a more subtle approach.
Social Media Campaigns:
Similar to analyzing email successes, insurance agents can track social media campaigns to see what works well. Prospects in the engagement phase of the customer journey might respond more to interactions on, say, Twitter than LinkedIn, but you might find that engagement on LinkedIn ultimately leads to more deals.
Analyzing metrics for your website and landing pages can help you understand what leads to conversions. For example, you could A/B test two types of landing pages to use as CTAs for your email campaigns. One could be a simple landing page that lays out insurance pricing, and the other could include lots of detail on the benefits of commercial insurance. Then, both could leverage a tool like Wheelhouse to enable leads to quickly obtain quotes. Seeing which page leads to more quotes can help you decide how to create landing pages and alter your website going forward.
Lead Score/Customer Journey Changes:
You also may be able to get a sense of what works for converting leads to customers by tracking how lead scores change and how customers move throughout the sales funnel. For example, if a low-score lead ultimately becomes a high-score one, try to note how that occurred. You may be able to find patterns, such as if you learn that your low-score leads tend to respond well to reading your blog posts or by learning more about you when you meet at industry events.
Making Lead Conversions Easy
As you learn more about your prospects and what works well for converting leads to customers, you can continue to increase your success rate. But while adjusting your sales and marketing efforts can help, it’s also important to make it easy in the first place for prospects to become customers.
Consider two scenarios. In the first scenario, a lead visits an insurance agent’s website that says to call for pricing. Then, during the call, the agent says they’ll get back to the prospect in a few days with an estimate. In the second scenario, the prospect can get a quote directly on the website. They like what they see and submit a request to bind.
In general, with all else being equal, the second scenario will lead to more sales. Because otherwise, if customers have to wait a while and/or make an extra effort to complete a purchase, they might become frustrated, disinterested or simply find a better deal in the time that they’re waiting.
That’s why it’s so valuable to use tools like Wheelhouse. With this platform, insurance agents gain bindable quoting capabilities across marketing channels, helping to convert more leads into customers. After putting in the effort to generate leads and move them along the sales funnel, insurance agents should aim to make the actual lead conversions as easy as possible.