Driving new leads to your site requires dedicated effort. Once people land on your page, they start the buyer’s journey. Various touch points along the way must resonate with the user, or you risk losing them to a competitor.
More information is created on a daily basis. The internet bombards us with videos, articles, infographics and images. Now more than ever, people want high-value details.
In a survey of B2B buyers, Gartner found 90% of those who made a purchase did so because they felt the information they encountered was stellar. Each step along the sales funnel must align with someone’s needs and answer the pertinent questions they have.
If you want to make your sales process better align with the customer’s journey, follow these tips to ensure you’re hitting all the high notes in the proper order.
1. Funnel Qualified Leads
Not everyone who lands on your website is a match for your product or service. Although the averages vary based on how well you targeted your audience, perhaps half will qualify as people truly interested in your inventory.
Utilize your headlines to explain what you sell. Tap into descriptive, concrete language addressing the purpose of the item and specific details, such as color or size.
Don’t worry if you get a few bounces. At the beginning of the sales process, you only want people who might actually buy your product. Why waste your or their time if they don’t qualify as a legitimate lead?
Push people through your sales process by asking questions or offering options aligning with their situation. Consider insurance companies that ask if you’re married or single and how many children you have. Each question leads the user to solutions specific to their needs.
2. Lay Out the Journey
Most people love an itinerary. Once you’ve explained what you do, it’s time to showcase the phases customers go through to complete the purchase. You can do this in several ways.
Your customers are much more likely to follow you if they know where they’re headed. People don’t want endless sales pages. Tell them how long the sales process takes and outline the steps in order.
You should also look for unnecessary steps and see what you can combine or delete. Keep the buyer’s journey as simple as possible, and you’re much more likely to convert them into a customer.
You can use bullet points, lay out a series of steps or utilize video to explain the process.
RefiJet highlights three stages of the buyer’s journey on its landing page. In each phase, the brand uses an illustration to show what the user will do. RefiJet also uses a subheading with a number that includes a short description explaining the specifics.
The user knows what to expect and about how long it will take to go through the steps. Note the call to action (CTA) directly under the diagram laying out the buyer’s journey. The customer can jump right into the process without delay.
3. Know the Other Options
Don’t assume your site visitors will land on your page and immediately make a decision. Most people start in the problem recognition phase, where they realize they need a solution to an issue. The next phase is information gathering.
They visit various websites conducting research. You want yours to be unique enough to stand out from the competition. If at all possible, add some type of value proposition and collect consumer emails so you can follow up and keep your name at the forefront of their minds.
Take a look at your competitors’ sales funnel pages. What are they doing particularly well? How can you match their efforts while still keeping to your own personality and values?
You can even add a chart comparing their services and prices to yours. You know better than anyone why your brand is the better option. Explain the reasoning to those visiting your site.
A chart gives them a comparison without them leaving your page. Anytime you can keep traffic on your site rather than bouncing to another, you gain a powerful edge.
4. Help Them Evaluate
Once people collect all the available information about a product, they evaluate whether it meets their needs and if they can afford it. During the evaluation stage, you should include reviews, customer testimonials and case studies.
Your job during this period is to help people see how your product makes their lives better. Is the process easy or complicated? What happens if they face an issue?
In addition to trust factors, include infographics and data images to highlight the benefits of choosing you. Be cautious on this level, though. While you want to provide ample room for users to make smart decisions, you don’t want to overwhelm them.
Think about the objections they might raise when deciding whether or not to buy from you. Answer each of those concerns. There’s no need to share you have free shipping if your target audience doesn’t care about that.
5. Offer a Final Decision Push
Once the user evaluates all the information, they are in the decision phase. Companies often lose the sale at this point in the journey. The consumer raises additional objections when faced with the thought of parting with their money.
Getting users over the final hurdle before they take action requires a bit of finesse. Many people worry about whether the company stands behind the product or how much tax and shipping will cost.
Alleviate the concerns, and you gain a sale. For example, you can offer a 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. Another idea is to install a live chat feature on your site to show you’re committed to excellent customer service and can answer any questions users might have.
Free shipping also can add the extra push to get people to buy. If someone starts to leave the site, activate a pop-up offering a percentage off or some other perk if they buy today. It’s much easier to keep a current customer happy than land a new one, so push for the first sale and then go above and beyond to keep their business.
Copper is a project and customer relationship management software in one. It funnels site visitors rapidly to a sign-up page. Rather than go through extensive pricing, Copper knows if it can convince people to take a leap of faith, it may gain a fan for life.
The decision stage page features a few customer reviews answering any of those final concerns. Note how one explains the software is easy to use. Another says it stands above other tools.
It then offers a free 14-day trial and a CTA button to get the user to buy. Everything on the page is a final push toward the action portion of the customer’s journey.
6. Convince Them They Made the Right Choice
Once a lead converts into a customer, your work isn’t done. The buyer evaluates whether or not the purchase was a smart one and worth the investment. Your follow-up systems must ensure they believe it was, so they’ll buy from you again or continue the subscription.
If you offer a free software trial, it becomes even more vital for you to have support in place to help them learn the ins and outs quickly. What type of help do you offer?
You can automate a lot of the follow-up by sending out emails with details for troubleshooting. Think about the most common issues people contact support over in the early days of using your product. Can you write content resolving the issue?
For example, one light-sanitizing wand requires the button to be held down for three seconds before it turns on. Thousands of customers wrote to complain their wands wouldn’t work. The company got the complaint so often it created a video showing how to turn the device on.
So people didn’t feel alone, it shared it was a common mistake and apologized the instructions weren’t clear. When someone wrote an email to complain, the company just sent them the video and asked if they could try holding the button down and let it know if it still wouldn’t turn on.
What you do after the sale may be even more important than what you did leading up to it. Your actions determine if people recommend you to others or buy from you again.
Build Strong Relationships
Your customers’ journey and sales process create happy customers. You have an opportunity to show them they made the right decision by choosing you. Thankfully, there are many effective ways you can do this.
Work on each phase of the sales funnel, testing and tweaking until you reach the perfect combination. Your ideal scenario is highly qualified leads who buy from you and send referrals your way. Once you achieve positive recommendations from your customers, your business will flourish.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.