Understand the buyer’s journey and develop more high quality leads
Consumers of any product are on a journey toward purchasing that moves from a stage of awareness to final decision making. One of the challenges for tech companies and marketers is to identify where prospects are in their journey and provide relevant information at each stage of it, enabling prospects to make the best decision for their particular situation.
The three stages of the buyer’s journey are Awareness, Consideration and Decision.
- In the Awareness stage, prospects typically experience symptoms and begin to research their symptoms to better understand the nature of their problem.
- In the Consideration stage, they research alternatives and identify the problem with a name.
- The Decision stage is a time for selection. Prospects decide on a solution strategy and consider specific vendors. If you make it this far, you’re on the ‘long list’ and it’s time to contact your Sales department.
Convince potential customers that you are the leader in your field
It’s not enough to recognize where prospects are in their journey to becoming a customer. Your goal is to move prospects along the path frombeing aware of their need, to educating them so they can make an intelligent decision, and then help them decide how to proceed. Take this opportunity to proactively influence their research. You can accomplish this by developing relevant content for each stage of the journey. Appropriate content targeted to buyers at each stage results in improved marketing results and increased sales opportunities.
In their haste to make sales, companies often overlook the importance of these steps in the buyer’s journey. Here’s why it’s important not to overlook this critical subtlety.
Nurture leads with targeted content
Prospects have a pretty good idea of how they are going to proceed by the time they contact you. Providing them with the right information at the right time is the most effective way to become a resource, raise your credibility, build trust, surface objections and move prospects towards a decision.
Companies too often gravitate to ‘making the sale.’ But if you keep the focus on the buyer and stay connected throughout the various buying stages, you increase the chance of creating a long-lasting relationship. Attempts to shorten the cycle, or leapfrog to Trust, will only lower your appeal and often result in higher unsubscribe rates.
A simple example of buyer’s awareness
This past Spring brought a glut of pollen from flowers and trees. If you have allergies, you could tell the air was thick with pollen as soon as you woke up in the morning. Your head was stuffy and your eyes were teary most of the time and you couldn’t keep enough tissues on your desk. Welcome to Awareness. You have become aware that you have a need.
Enter the Consideration stage, where you go through your options: The emergency room would take you without an appointment but you will sit for hours before a doctor treats your symptoms. You could call your own doctor but she never prescribes medicine without seeing you first – and she won’t have an opening for days. That leaves the pharmacy, where you can look at an over-the-counter medication that will provide at least a limitedsolution.
Understanding what customers want
If the pharmacist knows his customers’ characteristics and needs, he will be ready to give you information that will help move you along your journey. He realizes that when you walk into his store you have already made decisions that eliminated some options and moved you closer to buying from him. If he can bring you the appropriate message at the appropriate time, he will close a sale.
You scan the shelf of allergy medicines and although each box provides information, you still have questions and you seek more guidance. The pharmacist asks questions to determine whether you need relief during the day or only when you get home. What medications have you taken in the past? Would a 4-hour or 12-hour dose be more appropriate? Will you need help sleeping tonight? You are in the Decision stage.
You leave the pharmacy with the medication that will best address your specific needs – and you are very likely to return next time you suffer from a minor medical malady.
Develop a plan to connect and provide relevant content to potential customers
Every business person, just like our pharmacist, must identify who their potential buyers are and – just as importantly — where they are in the buying process. Only then can you connect with them and educate them in the most meaningful way. Remember, buyers can enter at any point of the journey. The onus is on you to determine where they are and what content will move them along to the next stage.
The buyers journey is complex. To help you understand how to best reach your own potential customers, and which type of content is best for each stage in the Buyer’s Journey, contact Crest for a free 30-minute consultation that will help you determine your own messaging.
What are you doing to to provide more high quality leads at your company? We’d love to know what’s working for you. Share it in the comments section below.
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To learn more about Crest, go to www.crestconsultingllc.com or contact me anytime.
At Crest, we help companies
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists