The key to any business is to create and nurture a strong relationship with a customer. Contrarily, dissatisfied customers are often put off by what they perceive as a purely “business” relationship with a company. A strong customer relationship will have the client likely to keep doing business with a provider over the long-term. The chances that a client recommending the company and its products to others are also greatly enhanced. It’s valid for digital marketing as well, where actual customers’ feedback attracts prospects.
The goal of any business is to focus on their ideal target customer. Their mission is to attract more customers, develop long-term relationships, and retain these profitable customers. In this process, call reluctance most often boils down to two things:
– To check this, you need to ask yourself the following:
– Do you have confidence in the product or service you are selling?
– Do you have the confidence to approach your prospects either through phone or email?
– Here, we ask:
– What am I doing?
– How do I track it?
– And what do I do next?
Many companies focus on product training, apply a sales method, execute role-play, etc. which is the first phase. This phase is essential, but it ignores the instruction of the process phase. We notice that salespeople get bogged down in the execution phase, especially on the question of, “what do I do next?”. And the answer to this question is the following:
Who (Centring the Narrative on the Individual)
The question to ask ourselves in this is: Do you know who you’re about to call and why? The company name alone does not fetch the desired result.
The salesperson should know his customer by name. The contact details of his target audience help to begin a correspondence. This information is imperative though it sounds too basic. Often the company gives a list of phone book contacts and insists salespeople get down to work.
It becomes a tedious process that creates an artificial call reluctance which in turn terminates their activity and results. One thing that customers hate the most is wasting their time on the phone. If you can’t make a connection with them, they can end the conversation in a snap.
Instead of this, the sales team needs detailed lists, with accurate contact information. It may cost a bit more upfront, but the ROI on your sales team’s time and performance will be an added advantage.
Moreover, each buyer is likely to have a different buyer’s journey. The buyer will have different needs, concerns, goals, questions, and thought processes for his/her buy.
What (Delivering Meaningful Content)
The question to ask in this context will be the following:
– What are you going to say?
– What value are you going to provide to the prospect?
A template to script a voicemail with a follow-up email saves time to work through a good prospect list.
The information to collect will include:
– What are the different topics or types of information your prospective buyers will need in each stage of his journey?
– What is the initial problem they face and the questions they are asking?
The “what” element of the buyer’s journey encompasses the topics that content should cover and the format of the content that will perform best. For instance, if your buyer is a CTO at a midsize company, suitable “consideration” stage content might be a technical PowerPoint presentation.
Likewise, middle school teachers might find a graphical comparison chart or checklist as beneficial. Thus, in this stage of the buyer’s journey, explore the topics, stage-appropriate content and the best-suited format.
Where (Pinpointing Conversion Milestones)
Where refers to the channel and not just the physical location. The questions in this context are: Are you only making calls? Are you leaving a voicemail? Are you following up with an email? A ping on a social channel?
Mapping this specific sequence is essential to maximize the value and impact of those touchpoints. It also results in a swift and efficient execution.
One of the critical criteria to buyer-persona research is to identify ‘how’ your persona learns about new things. Similarly, in the buyer’s journey research, it is vital to locate where to post, publish, or promote the content to reach the right people at the right time. For instance, does your persona look for problem-solving guidance by talking to their friends, peers, or co-workers about their experiences? Or are they looking for solutions online through social media channels like Facebook groups?
Do they frequent groups or networks, like on LinkedIn, or do they use Google or Bing to search for answers to questions? What about review sites like Yelp or others?
Therefore, the “where” element refers to where your persona is looking for answers to his questions. It becomes a sure platform to post your content or distribute it to those key influencers.
When (Targeting the Specific Lifecycle Stage)
Are you trying to reach decision-makers on the phone in the middle of the morning? When they’re all in meetings? Are you trying to call leads from the East Coast at 3:30 Pacific time? Dayparting your sales activity is essential, especially if you understand the work habits of your prospects.
The buyer’s journey has three stages characterized by the different questions, needs, and states of mind of prospective customers.
In the “awareness” stage of the journey, prospective customers have identified a problem or opportunity. But they may not yet know its cause, implications, or if it can even be solved or addressed.
They are aware of a problem and are still learning about it. These prospects aren’t ready to hear about solutions yet. Content that performs well in the awareness stage is educational and not at all solution-based.
The “consideration” stage is the second stage. Here one identifies a problem and explores potential ways to solve it.
In the third, “decision” stage, one decides a particular solution strategy and a solution provider (i.e. product or service). Content that performs well in the “consideration” stage is likely entirely irrelevant for individuals who have entered the decision stage – and vice versa.
For example, it’s only in the decision stage a product- or brand-focused content is genuinely relevant. Promoting ones’ product offerings to someone before this stage may fail as a strategy. It becomes too self-promotional and could drive away potential customers.
Identifying the stage of the personas in your buyer’s journey is essential to ensure presenting the right person with the right content at the right time.
Why (Giving Purpose to Your Customer Experience)
Think content. Think teachable moments. Think about why the prospect would want to spend time with you and would get measurable value from the conversation.
This is a high bar, higher than just avoiding a product discussion upfront. But the more you can successfully build high value in the first sales interaction, the more confidence your sales team will have in what they’re about to execute. It will reduce call reluctance, drive higher sales activity, and create better first impressions & value with your prospects.
Related to “what” and “when” is “why.” Why is this persona looking for a solution to this particular problem or opportunity to seize? What’s at stake if they don’t take advantage of the opportunity or address the issue?
Identifying the “why” of your buyer’s journey involves not only knowing what the problem is that needs to be solved but also knowing who you’re solving a problem for (i.e. your persona).
It’s that simple! Answering these five simple questions will do wonders in aligning your stakeholders.
We feel a particular frustration when losing a lead to a competitor after working hard to attract them. This frustration is a common situation and sometimes seems like there’s no right way around it.
Despite our best efforts to keep leads engaged throughout the entire buyer journey, we sometimes lose in touch with them along the way. Even worse, is that we lose the customer even after we manage to capture a prospect’s attention until the end. We somehow miss the mark when it comes down to talking business and closing the deal as a new customer.
Converting prospects into customers is achievable with the right tools and tactics. The trick is to nurture and keep customers engaged and be mindful of the approach you take towards marketing and sales. You must also understand where your prospects are on their Buyer’s Journey and how you can influence them with your intent. The prospects who are ready to convert into loyal customers should always know that their best interests are kept in mind.
In real-time, this requires guidance to improve your marketing and sales approach to drive more sales conversions. Such strategies will help to convert from prospect to customer.