The real reason companies don’t convert more prospects is simple: they’re just not synchronised with their customers’ needs. Make sure you're different.
If you want to generate more leads, convert more prospects and ultimately grow your business, then you need to make sure you follow these three rules:
- Make yourself available when customers are ready to buy.
- Speak to prospects in their language.
- Add value at every stage of your prospect’s buying journey.
1) You’re not available when customers are ready to buy
24-hour culture is reshaping consumer habits. Traditionally, you may have always been a 9-5 business but that doesn't mean your modern customer still has 9-5 buying habits. Instant access to information means the average consumer can now spend thousands with the click of a mouse while still in their jam-stained pyjamas, and long before any of your sales team have even hit their first snooze button.
Yes, you might be a SaaS B2B provider targeting financial regulatory businesses predominantly plying their trade during normal office hours, but that doesn’t mean the decision making Director isn’t sharking around your pricing page at 9 am on a Sunday morning while waiting for her daughter to finish ice-skating.
But does that mean you need to double up on a sales night shift? Or that your current sales team need to start sleeping in the office? No, of course not. But it does mean you need to rethink how your customers can reach you at times to suit them.
A quick fix for this issue is to simply deploy a Chatbot from the likes of Drift on your website. A Chatbot is a great way to ensure interested customers can access your information at a time to suit them. Think about it, your sales team walk into the office on a Monday morning to find your website Chatbot has already booked two hot sales meetings from buying-ready decision-makers straight into their calendars! By nurturing interested parties trying to access information out of hours, not only are you now gathering hot leads when you should be closed, but you’re not losing sales to rivals who may have already adopted this technology.
2) You’re not speaking with prospects in their language
Know your audience. Just because your sixty year old CEO might think social media is a fad, that don’t mean the same goes for your customer. Likewise, you might think it's funny sharing Facebook videos of HR Manager Janice dangling from a tree during your last team building exercise at a Welsh outdoor pursuit centre, but if your core customer is a sober fifty-year-old Executive who only frequents LinkedIn twice a week, then you’re wasting valuable time and resources by fishing in the wrong pond.
But that doesn’t mean you should shotgun your company message across as many platforms as possible. Instead, take time to analyse and experiment which communication channels bring you the most success. If you’re not getting any response from Facebook, no matter what content you post, then you’re best off walking away. Try running some test campaigns, a similar message across multiple channels (using the voice, tone and language of your buyer’s persona), to see which get the most engagement. That way you can concentrate your efforts and target the right audience more often.
3) You’re not adding value at every stage of your buyers journey
You’re probably already familiar with the three-stage ‘buying journey’ all prospects go through before making a purchase. After first becoming AWARE of a specific problem, all prospects then move to CONSIDER their options before DECIDING on what solution to buy. This buying journey is the same if your customer is purchasing ice creams, sports cars or HR software.
At each stage your customer has very specific needs your marketing strategy needs to meet. Push too hard too soon and you risk losing the sale. But leave it too late and the prospect could decide to go with your competition. It’s a tricky balancing act, but one easily addressed.
If you want your company to stand out and be different then you need to remember potential customers don’t want to be ‘Prospected, Explored and Converted’ as they progress through your sales process; they want to be ‘Educated, Supported and Guided’ as they move through their buying journey. It’s time to put your client first.
Take a close look at your current content and ask yourself ‘am I pitching too soon?' The answer is likely yes. But don’t worry, the solution is simple: just intersperse your current content with informative and educational pieces designed to complement each stage of your prospects' buying journey.
By better informing your customers about their problem, without making them feel like they're being sold to, you can easily build long-term consumer trust and an unrivalled reputation that you're the dependable thought leaders of your industry. Trust us. Just try putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask ‘what information would I most like to know if I had their problem?’
Want companies to buy your accounting software? Why not publish a short blog on how technology is changing the way businesses manage their money. Trying to encourage gym users to take up your new wearable fitness tech? Then tweet an informative third-party fitness article to all your followers. In short, give something for nothing.
How will this help you sell more? First, we’ve already discussed how it builds your brand by creating long-term consumer trust. Second, if you compliment the above by inviting prospects to check out more of your informative content elsewhere, then you can further influence how you could be the answer to their problem. Then, if they’re still interested, you can use a tool such as Vidyard to showcase a short video of how effective an existing customer with the exact same problem found your product.
The result? You’ve attracted your prospects attention just as they became AWARE of their problem. You educated them as they CONSIDERED their options, and you assured them when they were DECIDED to buy. Easy!
Begin making changes
Of course, none of the above is a magic bullet and no amount of clever marketing can make up for a shoddy product or poor service. But starting tomorrow, if you make yourself available at times to suit your customers, start speaking in their language through their preferred channels, and you add value to every stage of their buying journey with engaging content, then you’re guaranteed to grow your business at a healthy rate.