The sales funnel has long been an important tool in every marketer’s repertoire. Used as a way to gauge where a prospect is on their path to making a purchase, the sales funnel influences what types of content to distribute to a prospect, how to engage with them, and when to make a live touch. Hubspot has redefined the sales funnel and coined it as “The Buyer’s Journey”. Rather than breaking this up into the traditional top, middle and bottom of the funnel, the buyer’s journey is divided into the awareness, consideration and decision stages. Each stage has unique identifiers and approaches to draw your prospects toward making a purchase. Lead nurturing has become an essential part of marketing. With nurtured leads providing higher conversion rates, it’s important to guide prospects through each step of their purchasing decision. Many prospects place a big emphasis on the relationships they build along their journey to making a purchase. When using a multi-channel marketing approach, there are a myriad of ways to communicate with potential customers. We’ve outlined below how to identify which stage a prospect is in and how to most effectively market to them.
The awareness stage correlates with top of the funnel prospects who have realized they have a problem or opportunity. During this stage, a buyer has identified and prioritized a pain point they would like to repair. Educational content will be your greatest asset when approaching a prospect in the awareness stage. Blogs posts and e-books should be your focus when trying to draw in those early in the buying process. These can be distributed through your company’s website and then promoted through your social channels. Once you’ve shared this content through your company’s social pages, you’ll want to take it a step further by inserting links to these pieces into relevant conversations within individual employee’s social groups. This will ensure your posts aren’t coming across as spam. Your online reputation is an important asset and should be monitored carefully. Once a target has clicked or commented on one of your pieces, it may be time for a live touch. Approaching them with the intention to educate rather than to sell will help you to build the rapport you need to eventually convert them into a lead. Continue any discussions that have begun within your group conversations through the public feed before inviting them to connect. Once you’ve made a connection with them and introduced yourself, it will be beneficial to both sides to send them another piece of educational content. Offering them something of value, such as an e-book, without a sales heavy approach will help to build trust with your potential client.
During the consideration stage, a prospect has committed to seeking out a solution to their pain point. Heavy research will be involved on the types of solutions available to them. At this point, you will want to begin to develop and distribute content that showcases the services your company offers while still remaining educational. These pieces should help you and your prospect determine whether or not your company is a good fit for their needs. With on-boarding customers often being a lengthy and expensive operation, identifying whether or not someone will benefit from your service early will increase the ROI of your marketing campaign and boost your company’s reputation. A good fit will also likely provide repeat business. Customer retention is, at times, an underrated and misunderstood barometer of how well your company is identifying its ideal target market. The consideration stage will be a time of in-depth conversation. Communicating to a prospect the reasons the solutions you offer will benefit them should be your primary focus. Higher level teleprospecting efforts can also be used to open up the lines of communication and get further insight on the needs of your target. This will help you to provide them content that aligns with their pain points.
Now that a prospect has decided on what type of solution to use, they enter the decision stage where they will be choosing a company to facilitate and implement their resolution. At this time, you will want to feed your prospect case studies that show off your prior success stories. You’ll also want to work with them on creating a competitive analysis that will show how your solutions have impacted their rivals. Providing them with clear expectations and details on how your company can help them meet revenue goals now becomes paramount. During the decision stage, you will want to gather specific information such as how much new business they want to bring in, their marketing budget, cost per lead expectations, and a well developed lead qualification definition. Often times a prospect in the decision stage just needs a little nudge to make a purchase. It’s important that you show the value of your service and cement a trust with your client to give them the confidence to choose your company.
Winn Technology Group offers comprehensive inbound marketing, teleprospecting and lead nurturing services to drive your lead generation campaigns. Click below to download our free e-book “30 Great Lead Generation Tips And Tricks”.