8 Tips to Drive Conversions with a Customer-Focused Approach
The marketplace has evolved into quite a customer-centric one. With personalized marketing and social media at the forefront, customers are now used to being catered to, and they expect it across the board, both in the B2C and B2B worlds.
This expectation is reflected in failed lead nurturing. According to MarketSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. And lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.
So let’s consider this customer-centric mindset that’s now the norm. Could it be that lead nurturing fails because it’s focused on the sale and not the customer? It’s definitely a factor, if not a leading cause.
Here’s a suggestion: Try becoming more customer-focused in your sales process. Maybe set a benchmark, noting your conversion rate, and then revamp your lead nurturing processes using the eight tips below. Revisit your conversion rate in a few months, and see what impact a customer-centric approach can have. From then on, keep on revising and refining, getting ever more focused on customers—and therefore conversions.
Tip 1: Develop real insights about what customers need
It’s not about what you’re selling it’s about what people are buying. Seek to develop real insight into the problem your target market is facing and sell your product as the solution by designing a pitch around that. Identify your customers’ wants and needs as they define them. You need to understand them, how they make decisions and what they value. Understanding the psychology of sales is essential to improving selling skills, and empathy is a powerful trait for any salesperson.
Tip 2: Understand your customers’ buying decision process
Once you really know what your customers are buying, ask yourself what steps the customer must follow for this particular buying process. 84% use digital tools before and during trips to a store, according to CMO.com. Due to the diversity of products available, most customers will research a product before deciding to buy. Capitalize on this opportunity to think about the purchase from the customers’ perspective and anticipate how you can be there to help.
Tip 3: Know where customers are in the buying process
Not every customer is at the same point at the same time. Some are just starting their research. Some are ready to decide. Manage your pipeline based on where the customer is in the buying process, rather than where you are in the selling process. Get a better handle on the real status of the sales opportunity by ascertaining what actions the customer has taken, what action they should take next and in what timeframe. As a result, 70% of people who have had a positive experience will refer that company to friends and family.
Tip 4: Know which channels to use
Once you know what they want and where they are in the pipeline, use the right channels to reach them. Analytics experts Implisit have recently released an infographic revealing the most effective channels for converting leads into customers. You can see that customer (or employee) referrals, social media, and websites have above average conversion rates at 3.63%, 1.55% and 1.47% respectively. That doesn’t mean your sales efforts should be exclusively in these areas. Your best channels might differ. It does mean, however, that you need to figure this out. If you’ve been relying on direct mail and banner ads, for example, it might be your target market is better reached via Twitter. Find out.
Tip 5: Talk their talk
Use terms your customer will understand to define the steps of your sales process, to help keep your sales people thinking customer-first. But also use customer-friendly terms in all of your sales and marketing collateral, from your scripts to your website. It’s hard to come across as caring about the customer when the very language they see is off-putting!
Tip 6: Find and sell your solution’s value
Many companies overlap in what they can provide to prospects. Focus on driving home specifically what you can do for the customer that is different from what the competition is offering. This value must be unique, important to the customer, and not easily copied. If you don’t have something the competition doesn’t, why should they listen to you?
Tip 7: Use contrasts in customer stories
Stories are powerful tools, but they must be done correctly, in a customer-centric way. Try using before and after stories to show the contrast between using your product vs. not using it. Value can be found between pain and gain. To make your stories even more compelling, link data to emotion. It is often assumed that purchasing decisions are mostly driven by rational and analytical thought. However, according to a report surveying over 720 business leaders, emotional factors are key catalysts. 61% of executives agree that when making decisions, human insights must precede hard analytics. Talk about how customers’ lives became happier, easier, more productive or more fun after using your product. And what better way to be customer-centric than to tell customer stories?
Tip 8: Use a CRM system
Throughout all of this, you need to have an eye on sales activities, especially as you take a more customer-centric approach. Use a CRM system or an all-in-one app to save time and increase sales productivity while also gaining insight. Adapting technology this way will also help to streamline and simplify the sales process. Salesforce.com produced this infographic outlining how selling power is lost through inefficiency that could otherwise be spent increasing customer trust and company profitability.
Perhaps a list of eight tips is a little daunting. Even if you only do a few of these, you’ll likely see improvements in your lead nurturing. Most importantly, understand them and their needs and lead them through the sales process. In that way, you’ll become a trusted adviser and they’ll likely meet you partway, so it’s not all about them all of the time, but about what you’re selling too.