18 Lead Conversion Terms You Need to Know

While getting a visit to your website or a contact from a prospect is great, those visits and contacts don’t mean much if you don’t use lead conversion best practices to turn them into new customers.

So what is lead conversion, anyway? It’s everything a business needs to do to turn prospects into leads and leads into customers. Check out this glossary of 18 important lead conversion terms every small business needs to know.

1. Lead Source: This is the source that directed a lead to contact your business and may include any offline or online marketing effort such as print advertising, radio/TV advertising, SEO, search advertising, social media, and local directories. It’s important to track the sources of all your leads so you can track the real ROI of each of your marketing efforts.

2. Click: When it comes to lead conversion, a click refers to when a consumer clicks on a link to your website from an online source, such as organic search result, online advertising like a text ad or display ad, social media profile or post, directory listing, etc. A click does not necessarily represent a contact or a lead, but it’s the first step in tracking your marketing effectiveness. Knowing how many clicks each marketing source receives is just one indicator of how well it’s performing. It’s also critical to measure how many contacts, leads, and customers you received from online sources.

3. Visit: After the click and a person lands on your website, you’ve received a visit. Similar to clicks, visits are an important place to start with tracking, but they don’t tell you the whole picture about the success of your marketing. Why? Because a visit is not yet a customer. So, make sure your website is optimized to get you contacts like calls, emails, web forms, and even live chats to ensure more visitors become contacts.

4. Contact: This is a person who has contacted your business either through a phone call, email, or web form, but has not yet been qualified as a lead.

5. Lead Tracking: This means tracking detailed information about all of your leads, such as lead source, name, contact information, call details such as date, time, and call recording, and other important data, either manually or with technology like ReachEdgeTM lead conversion software. Lead tracking provides critical information that can help you to follow up with your leads effectively and fuels ROI metrics to help you finally know what’s working.

6. Call Tracking: Call tracking uses a unique phone number assigned to each online and offline marketing and advertising source to track phone calls and the sources that drive them. For online sources, this phone number is dynamically placed on your website so you can see which source drove phone calls from prospects who visit your site. ReachEdge call tracking captures details like the time of the call, the duration, and peak call times and days.

7. Call Recording: This feature records calls coming in to your business and is a function of call tracking. It provides you the ability to listen to recorded calls, which can help you assess how well your staff interacts with contacts when they call your business, enables you to hear what products and services people are interested in, and helps you to determine if the caller qualifies as a sales lead so you can follow up with them.

8. Lead List: A lead list compiles all the important information you have collected about your contacts and leads through lead tracking, such as name, phone number, email address, date and time of contact, lead source, whether they’re an active or a long-term lead, and interests. Lead lists help you to stay organized so you can follow up with your leads and share important information with your entire team.

9. Lead Engagement: When it comes to the lead conversion process, this term encompasses the various actions you take with a prospect or lead: calling them back after their first contact with you, classifying them as a lead when applicable, and sending lead nurturing emails to them. It also references whether or not your staff follows up and engages with a prospect or lead. Engagement with leads is a critical part of the lead conversion process, and poor lead engagement can result in losing a lead to a competitor who is more engaged and timely in their response.

10. Lead: You identify a prospect as a lead after they have contacted your business and you’ve determined that they have shown interest in purchasing a relevant product or service from a business like yours. Identifying leads is an important step of the lead conversion process, because it helps ensure you are directing your time, efforts, and resources toward those who are most likely to become customers.

11. Lead Classification: This is the process of identifying whether or not a contact is a good lead for your business based on factors like their needs, budget, timeline, and location. You can also classify whether the person is an active lead or long-term lead based on the buying cycle for your business type. This can help you better prioritize which leads need more immediate, personal follow up.

12. Active Lead: A lead who has demonstrated intent to purchase and is in an advanced stage of the sales cycle is an active lead. You want your sales efforts to focus on these leads immediately. Active leads are typically engaging multiple businesses with inquiries such as asking for a quote and checking times and availability. So, ensure that you and your staff give your active leads the attention they need to stay interested in your business by following up personally with them by phone or email. This attention can help your leads move closer to becoming customers.

13. Long-term Lead: This is the consumer who isn’t ready to buy right away. They may be at the beginning of the sales cycle and just starting to research their options. They might take weeks or even months before making a purchasing decision. Your industry will often dictate if they’re a long-term lead. For example, consumers looking to remodel a kitchen, rent a new apartment, or buy a new car might want to compare prices, visit different showrooms and rental properties, test drive different model cars, etc. The best way to determine a consumer’s purchasing timeline is to simply ask them. It’s important that you continue to keep in touch with your long-term leads through touch-point phone calls and lead nurturing emails so you stay top of mind with them.

14. Lead Management: Lead management is the process, systems, and guidelines put in place in order to ensure that your business is properly handling new leads and converting them into customers. It includes processes to keep track of all your leads and stay in front of them throughout the buying cycle. Lead management involves everything from recording lead information from the moment they first contact you, classifying your contacts as leads, maintaining a list of top leads and their contact information, following up with your leads via phone and lead nurturing emails, and tracking whether they converted into a customer.

15. Follow Up: This is the process of getting back in touch with a contact or lead after their initial contact. In the lead conversion process, it’s important to leverage both follow up phone calls and lead nurturing emails. Quickly following up with new contacts and active leads and nurturing long-term leads can help you convert them into customers.

16. Lead Nurturing: This process, which is often automated, involves sending new leads a series of emails that contain various types of content to keep them interested in your business. For instance, you can send emails containing special promotions and offers, like “Buy One, Get One Free” coupons or educational content, like explaining the latest trends in your industry and how can they bring value to your prospect. The goal of lead nurturing is to stay top of mind so your leads eventually choose your business instead of someone else.

17. Conversion: This is when a lead becomes a paying customer. This is the goal of the lead conversion process. A true conversion happens once you have successfully generated revenue from your marketing, not just when you’ve gotten someone to call your business, email you, or fill out a web form.

18. ROI: The acronym for “Return on Investment,” there are many ways to calculate ROI, depending on what you are measuring. In terms of lead conversion, ROI is the measure of how much value you are driving back to your business from each of your marketing sources compared to the amount you invested in each, so you can see which ones are having the biggest impact on the bottom line.

These lead conversion terms are important for every business to understand, because they help define the processes, systems, metrics, and principles needed to get more customers from your lead base and see more value from your marketing.

Want to learn more about lead conversion? Get the free ebook, “Get More Customers with Lead Conversion Software.” In it, you’ll discover how ReachEdge helps you convert more leads into customers so you get more ROI from your marketing.

Amy Neeley

Amy enjoys helping small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) navigate the online marketing world with tips, trends, and best practices they can use. She has written for Fortune 100 companies, non-profits, and SMBs, and her articles have been featured on sites like Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, MarketingProfs.com, and other industry publications. Amy can often be found walking her dogs, Lola and Marlo, and keeping up with the news via Twitter.

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