Let’s deep dive into one of the foundations in business growth: Helping the customer make the
decision. Yes, you have a great product. Yes, customers are seeing your advertisements and
are interested in buying from you? The phrase “Take all my money and give me your product”
only happens in the movies. There is still work to convert that potential customer – business
lingo “Leads” – into a purchasing customer.
Optimize your Sales Cycle
The sales cycle is the process your business takes in the period of delivering your product to the customer, it involves several stages. Stages such as lead generation, prospecting, contact, and lead qualification, nurturing leads, making offers, countering objections, and closing deals. Different companies define their sales cycles and stages differently because of numerous factors, such as industry type, target markets, customer type, among others. These differences result in the peculiarities a business encounters in closing a deal. However, having a defining your business sales cycle affords you the opportunity to:
● Easily train new sales reps.
● Provide sales representatives with a structured roadmap in closing deals.
● Structure your sales team rightly, assigning the best fit to each step.
● Stay on top of team performance
● Optimize team performance, using the KPIs here to deliver a better sales cycle month on month.
If your company has a sales cycle that lasts less than a month, then you have a short sales cycle. On the other hand, if your company’s sales cycle takes more than twelve months, you have a long sales cycle. Ultimately, the key is the goal of a salesperson should be to minimize the cycle time as much as possible without sacrificing the rapport with the prospect.
Don’t Overwhelm Customers with Options
Marketers often believe today’s consumers as web-savvy, refined individuals who pounce on whichever brand offers the best deal. Marketers believe that brand loyalty, is gradually fading, this is the reason why they inundate customers with their messaging, believing that the more interaction and information provided, the better their chances of holding on to these increasingly distracted and disloyal customers.
From the customer point of view, the increasing volume of marketing messages isn’t validating, rather it’s overwhelming. Customers feel pulled in a million different ways by marketers’ relentless efforts to engage. Research now shows that there can be too much choice; and when this occurs, customers are less likely to buy anything at all, and if they buy, they are not satisfied with their selection. A confused mind does not order. Effective communication needs to be engaging and easily understood, the customer must be able to visualize your message so they can relate to your product. Limit the options presented to the customer to three or fewer, and then help them in the decision process. A prime example is a comparison between the Google homepage and Yahoo homepage. Google is the number one visited site on the internet, yet they’re still able to limit their homepage to a single action: Would you like to search the internet? While Yahoo’s homepage isn’t. It is not search emphasized neither is it news emphasized. Everything is loaded onto one page; the result is too many options. Which do you visit the most?
Guide the Customer Through the Process
The stages of the buying process, as earlier stated, varies with business type, however peculiar your buying process is, you have to guide your customers through this process. Here are four (4) typical stages of the buying process and how to guide the customer to choose you.
● Need Recognition: A customer enters the buying process by recognizing his/her need for a particular item. They are aware of this pain point and casually begin to look for topics about their pain point. To guide the customer, at this stage, you need to write an informational post about the pain point your product solves. Blog posts, guest articles, information, etcetera are an example of material you post where customers and
everyone spends most of their time online. That is, get your solution in front of the target audience.
● Information Search: during this phase, the customer actively searches for more information about the pain point and how to solve it. The customer performs search and visits reviews sites to learn more. At this stage TOFU content is advisable, content
similar to the need recognition stage above, such as blog posts, infographics, lists, guides, etc. however at this stage you implant important keywords into your content.
● Option Evaluation: During this stage customers evaluate the options they’ve learned about to determine which is the best solution for their problem, i.e., they already have an idea about the solution they need. They just don’t know which specific solution/brand is best. The brands that present the best offer in their opinion are what they would go for. To catch consumers in this phase, you need to engage in MOFU marketing and optimize your website so customers can find your best offering easily when they visit. Create content like FAQ pages, landing pages and buying guides on your website.
● Purchase Decision: This is the stage where the customer is ready to pull the trigger, they
have chosen the brand to go with, and the offer that best suits them. All the research
they’ve made had led to one point, that is, you. How do you help them during this
phase? Clear the pathway to make the purchase, simplify the buying process, including
testimonials and reviews that reinforce their belief that they are making the best choice.
Remove bugs in the cart and checkout process, also optimize your website to target