If you depend more on repeat business than initial sales, or if most of your sales and profits occur when customers repeat purchase from you again and again, you should be doing everything possible to motivate as many customers as you can to make their initial buying decision as quickly and easily as possible. Making it easy and irresistible for the customer to start doing business with you by adding extra incentives or by making your initial sale at breakeven or a small loss, means that you will benefit sooner rather than later from all the repeat business, the add-ons and the ancillary products and services that represent the bulk of your profits.
Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.
A highly effective step by step strategy that deals with the single most common and frustrating problem for anyone in business: the problem of gaining access to the correct audience. No other skill is as directly connected to your ability to achieve success as the skill of getting in to see the right people. This approach will help you cut through bureaucracy, identify the people you most need to see. You’ll find that you can get in front of your desired prospects–regardless of their position or level of experience–faster, more effectively, and with less expense. It represents a new way of thinking about gaining access and overcomes the problem of getting through to the right people.
To evaluate your user experience, sit down and browse your website as if you were a lead. Is everything where you would want it to be, if you were learning about your company for the first time? Is the navigation clear and easy to follow? If not, plan to make changes right away – or, if you want a second opinion, consider having some user experience testing done to determine where your website’s weaknesses are.
For example, if your company offers business-grade networking systems, you may know that it takes an average of six months for an IT administrator to research solutions, seek approval, and have a final budget granted for a purchase. You would be wasting time—and probably annoying a potential customer—if you sent a "buy now!" message at the end of their first month on the list. Instead, start them off with what they’re likely to need the most: product information. Then, move into messages about special features, or anything that might convince them that your solution is the best on the market. Finally, when you’re nearing that six month mark, offer them a way to get in touch with you. Timely emails like this are a great way to give potential customers what they need exactly when they need it.
One third-party endorsement is more powerful than a hundred presentations. Getting your customers to recommend and encourage other people they associate with to seek out your products or services is the most coveted prize in selling, besides a sale. There are hundreds of referral systems you can use; to create an unlimited supply of hot prospects; to get prospects returning your calls; to contact hard-to-reach buyers; to create a reputation that opens closed doors; to enhance customer loyalty; and to increase sales and multiply profits. Referral systems make your life easier and more professional, and bring higher profits with increased customer loyalty.
Leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events. A 2015 study found that 89% of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing, search engine, and finally events.[2] A study from 2014 found that direct traffic, search engines, and web referrals were the three most popular online channels for lead generation, accounting for 93% of leads.[3]
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