4 critical components in converting contacts into customers

This is a guest post by iQuoteXpress.

They’re everywhere in your Zoho CRM database: the whitepaper downloaders, the webinar registrants, the pricing page viewers, the “contact us” form filler-outers.

Sometimes, the reason a contact never becomes a customer is out of your hands: maybe they already made a decision and were just looking to compare a second opinion, maybe there was a change in leadership and/or budgets, or maybe their entire enterprise crashed and burned.

Other times, the reason these contacts don’t become your customers is likely—to be blunt—on you and the way you and your team follow up.

If you want to refine your contact conversion process (and really, who doesn't), consider using a configurable price-quote solution like iQuoteXpress (IQX) to improve your sales proposal follow-up and help turn contacts into customers.

Here are four critical components in converting CRM leads into customers:

  1. Timeliness: Send proposals faster and stay on top of replies
  2. Targeting: Assemble a proposal with products and pricing that match markets and budgets
  3. Branding: Present a professional, memorable brand to build customer confidence
  4. Consistency: Be reliable and consistent throughout your customer interactions to build stronger customer relationships

Take a look at our quick tips for each of the sales steps to improve your sales closing processes.

#1  Don't wait 

There's a reason the common phrase is “right on time.” Not being on time is, well, wrong.

A CPQ solution like IQX helps every rep in your organization reply to more RFPs in less time. With almost every tool they need preconfigured and every proposal template pre-loaded, your reps can simply point and click and get a proposal out in minutes rather than hours or days. 

Every RFP generates a stack of replies, and if you’re not at the top of that stack, chances are good that your response might never even get read.

#2  Hit the bullseye  

Got problems with sales rep A quoting a different price than sales rep B? Realizing your current one-size-fits-all approach to RFP responses doesn’t always grab a customer’s attention?

A strength of CPQ in general—and IQX in particular—is simplicity in assembling an offer via a product and pricing configuration engine.

If your business is like most businesses, you have more than one product in your pipeline and even more ways to bundle and price products (based on, say, the customer’s vertical market, the size of the customer’s company, where they’re located, etc.). CPQ makes creating a product and service offering tailored to the exact needs of each prospect as easy as drag and drop.

#3  Stay on-brand and start building  

Most businesses are looking for a partner, not just a vendor. And that’s where a strong brand—demonstrated through professionally designed and written RFP responses—really helps move someone from Lead to Opportunity to Account in your Zoho CRM.

Your brand isn’t just about a logo or a color scheme or even your name on a football stadium. It’s about how you’re positioned in a given market and what differentiates your company from the competitors. A brand is about the values you hold and the value you deliver.

This doesn’t mean your reps should make your sales proposal all about your business, but it does mean that the strength of your brand should permeate each reply, that the look and feel of your sales quotes are on-brand and confidence-building. Because in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, you never want to compete on price alone.

#4  Make processes consistent

In addition to improving the speed and professionalism of every RFP response, extending your Zoho CRM capabilities with a CPQ solution also gives you and your sales team a new level of consistency in both internal processes—how and when you reply to RFPs—and external perceptions.

Internal consistency with CPQ is simple and already basically stated: with IQX as your CPQ, every rep has the same tools and templates and should be able to consistently create quotes and send replies at the same pace.

Creating a reliable external perception of your business and your brand is simply a natural outgrowth of these internal processes. By doing the same thing in the same way over an extended period of time, you invariably create a consistently positive impression throughout your market — and consistency builds customer confidence.

There are numerous reasons why a contact becomes a customer, and we can’t possibly list them all here. But we can tell you that every critical step in moving someone from Lead to Customer in your Zoho CRM is in your RFP response process, and extending your Zoho CRM with IQX makes those steps easy to take.

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