Many of your prospective clients are not ready to buy when they first meet you. They are in the research and education phase of their buying process. If you are focused on selling, your process typically revolves heavily around closing what you perceive to be a ready client. The lens becomes narrowly focused on who is ready. These are the minority. The majority might be ready in 90 days and beyond. Or, they may be shopping you among other competitors.
Following Up Via Marketing Automation
It’s amazing that firms will pay a person to follow up a salary plus benefits often totaling thousands of dollars per year not including the management responsibilities. The majority of this person’s time is spent following up. And how does the typical follow up occur? It is typically by calls and interruptions. Buyers have become quite adept today at blocking out strangers, interruptions and things they are not ready for. Caller ID, spam filtering, do not mail, etc. are in place because of sales processes that miss the mark. They are selling rather than nurturing with value. It creates mistrust and brand damage.
A New Sales Process With Less Cost
So what if you re-engineered your sales process recognizing the dramatic change in how people buy today? Here’s how it could look:
More Efficient Sales Time Spent Closing
Have fewer sales meetings that focus only on the last leg of the sale – conversion. This is what an effective sales process is about. Everything makes the close a formality. Set your firm up for success by economizing your selling time rather than filling it with a pipeline of large improbability. Thus, you will be talking to those that are ready to move forward with your value proposition. You would be in a closing discussion more often than a nurturing discussion.
Allow your marketing automation system to nurture and make ready those who are unready today. Within a marketing automation system, you can set up various campaigns, Lead Flows, metrics and action triggers to help a buyer become more ready. This system has far less cost than hours spent in sales or hiring sales staff and is much more effective because it brings value, is consistent and creates transparency to a buyer’s readiness.
You can design your automation processes to work with specific buyer profiles you have identified and nurture them in a custom and intimate way.
If you fail to nurture, are inconsistent or create interruption, you will lose the larger potential from a continuous closing pipeline.
The world has changed. Change with it by recognizing that nurturing is critical when you are not allowed to interrupt today. Your value, messaging and timing better be focused in order to win a customer who has many options.