Taking a potential customer and converting them to a loyal advocate for life is the goal of most organizations. While I have covered customer loyalty and advocacy in previous blogs, I recently was asked for suggestions on how to move a potential customer down the sales funnel to make that oh-so-important first sale.
Here are a few tips on how to shorten the sales cycle…
A typical sales funnel may look like this:
As your prospect moves through the sales cycle, your goals will change as they meet each stage in the decision process:
- Awareness – Perhaps your product or service is well known. Maybe it is not. In either case, the goal is to make sure your service/product is top-of-mind when they eventually have a need
- Consideration – Engage with those who are now aware your service/product exists
- Preference – Educate those who are now committed to making a purchase but haven’t decided where yet
- Purchase – Make the sale!
I recommend you think of moving your prospect through the sales funnel as a series of small conversions. Each conversion leads to the next and will eventually result in a sale. To be successful, it will be critical to define what each stage looks like for your particular company, develop a step-by-step plan to communicate with the prospect for each stage, and to track and analyze the results along the way.
I have written blogs on each of the following topics if you care to do further reading. However, I am going to assume we are all in agreement these are some of the more successful ways to generate awareness and drive traffic to your website:
Once your prospects are aware of your service/products, it is time to engage them. To do this, you will need to get their email address so you can communicate directly with them. Not so simple, you say? Here are some great tips on how to use “lead magnets” to build your database with opt-in subscribers:
Keep in mind, the prospect is not only volunteering their contact information, but they are also volunteering what interests them, based on what offer they responded to when prompted. It is important to keep their interest in mind when reaching out, so to not be considered spam and provide the best chance to engage them.
Tips to consider when engaging your prospects: Continue reading