Sales, sales and more sales. Obviously this is pretty important for any company, as there is, probably, the main income. But in order to get more sales, companies need to organize themself. There are tons of post and articules talking about importance of step up them on strategy, and in order to understand where is our customer’s origen or source. ¿What is our primary source of customers? ¿Where does our sales come from? It is very important the loyalty programs and be focus on the customer retention phase, due on customer experience. Although in order to continue growing need more new customers and sales.
New customers could come from diverse of different sources. Obviously, we should include digital channel into our strategy and landscape (it should be fully integrated, not only part of our plans) Digital transformation is a trendy word nowadays, but it should really be part of our strategy, mission and vision.
Each source is very different, and has its own characteristics, pros and cons. So we have to clearly understand the full picture. As there a lot of them, here you have some of them
– Trades, events, seminar: They are one of the more traditional and popular ones, almost in the B2B markets. we could meet, or introduce, our customer face to face. There is some information exchange between customer and company, but usually, deals use to required a second deeper session to fine tune and be close.
– WebForm, landing page or microsite: We could get some leads or potential customers. It required a strict and previous phase of qualification. In this forms, it is important set up some validation rules in order to get the more clear and accurate info.
– Social media and communities: More and more companies are allocating more resource in this pitch. It is a very powerful tool, than allow you not only contact with the customer. But also, know what kind of customer it is. Social Media help us to have a deeper customer segmentation, and also help us to have a behaviour and patron in order to have future conversations.
– External data bases: There is another option that is buy an external data base (several formulas and contracts are possible). There are several providers with different characteristics and info. There are a lot of kind of info and data, but the key is set expectations and define what we want to do with this info. In almost all the cases, this info need to be treat and process. Not only in the format, but also with a deep qualification and validation process.
– Referral: Not all leads or potential customers use to have same weight. If a customer is referring to us a prospect, it should have a different scoring, as the purchase phase could be faster and more probable.
This could be as short briefing and good starting point. But, How are we going to process this info (lead, prospect, potencial customers? In all sales management system (usually CRM platforms) business opportunities or projects has a clear stage definition. It means, some states there are going to go through, helping us to understand maturity and probability to success (customer finally buy our product or service). This provide the company a transparent and clear picture of the “pipeline” or “Funnel”, and managers could figura out expectations and business volumen of sales in a certain timeframe
Should we do similar approach in the lead management process? Indeed, we should. We need to have a accurate process in place, where filter those one that are not interesting for our company, or those one with clear posibilities to become a former customer.In fact, they will be part of our own funnel or pipeline (we build it up with all leads, independently if there come from digital or “tradicional” channel) Each company would have their own methodology and phases, but the more common ones are:
– Demand Generation, awareness and branding: We will show our product or service portfolio in these initial phases. Obviouly we should be focus in our target, and filter what kind of customer are key for us and the company. This will be the core for future steps or phases. Motto should be offer to the customer solutions for their problems using our portfolio.
– Qualification: (talking about results of previous phase). This is the moment to qualify all available info. This is a key point, as we are building the customer base to work with. We should adjust filter criteria, info to gather and verification process. The more accurate we would be, the better results we will get (i.e. Conversion rate).
– Purchase: this is a critial step, as our efforts could be award and return of investment will go up. On the other hand, if this step execution fails, customer experience satisfaction will drop off and will impact not only in sales and corporate result but also in branding.
– Loyalty and retention: All previous steps and work we did would be reflected in this step. Customers will continue working with us if they feel good with customer experience. This is the best KPI we could have, as if a customer repet, probably it will refer some friend or family (more potential customer for us)
It was not mentioned as phase or step, as I really do not think it is. I really think this is a continues work across all phases that allow higher quality and better results. I am talking about reporting, KPI´s setting and result measurement. All these metrics have to be set up first of all and need to be align with business strategy goals. They need to be review and probably adjust or modify. But the key is have them in place, with employees knowledge about them as they will measure our success