Nobody likes to lose. When you create a strategy to convert more prospective customers into actual sales, it’s frustrating when your results fall short. But as marketers, we also know that when a strategy doesn’t work, it’s an opportunity to learn, pivot and get better results.
Well, let’s be real. We all know it’s easier said than done, so we’re here to offer some guidance on powerful strategies that help convert more prospective customers into sales — so you can achieve the results you want.
Being at the Right Place at the Right Time Is Key in Converting Customers
Wouldn’t it be nice if all customers followed the same path to purchase? Of course, that would be far too easy! We know they’re much more likely to zig and zag than follow a neat, linear path. And that means that marketers have to get really good at meeting them where they’re at.
The trick to accomplishing this is cross-channel marketing.
Cross-channel marketing allows you to leverage many different platforms to market products and services across the sales funnel. Offers are customized based on the prospect’s stage in the journey across all channels.
Now, just to be clear, this is different from multichannel marketing, where you use many different channels to reach prospective customers — and these channels don’t share information. Cross-channel marketing shares data, so the content a person views is based on previous engagement activity, whether that engagement happened on your website or a social media platform. This consistent experience leads to more potential customers converting, and that’s because they feel understood.
And speaking of results, 87% of customers say they want brands to give them more consistent experiences. With multichannel marketing, content is often locked in silos creating fragmented experiences. But with cross-channel marketing, you can provide an experience that keeps pace with prospective clients along their journey.
An easy way to implement cross-channel marketing is using marketing automation. Instead of manually analyzing and selecting the best content based on prior customer interaction, automation can automatically send the most relevant content to the right customer at the right time based on their prior interactions and behaviors.
Align Your Strategies to Your Customer Personas
Customers want to feel known. Sure, you can meet them where they’re at; that’s an excellent start. But even before that, you need to figure out how you will speak to them emphatically about their problems — and that’s where personas come into play.
Consider creating personas for each group of prospective customers, diving deep into how they will benefit from doing business with you. Then identify different outreach methods and messaging frameworks that highlight the products and features your prospects will likely find most appealing.
Using this information, you can use tools such as marketing automation to get really good at nurturing and, ultimately, closing more deals. For example, you can segment your audience into groups based on the personas you created and enter them into targeted automated nurture campaigns. Once your prospects are assigned to a campaign, they’ll automatically start receiving information, content and recommendations to match their interests, increasing their enthusiasm and confidence in your brand, products and services along the way.
Strategically Map Content to Drive Higher Engagement
We’ve talked a lot about delivering the right content, but we haven’t really mentioned what that entails on the back end. Identifying and developing quality content takes time and effort. Unfortunately, many marketers fail to realize that they need to develop specific pieces before using them for a campaign or other marketing effort, such as customer prospecting.
In this scenario, many marketers often have to change course or wait until a specific piece is created and approved before presenting it to their target audience. In both situations, marketers are vulnerable to losing their leads to a competitor that is ready to deliver the right content to their prospect at the right time.
Developing a robust content library that accounts for multiple product, service and feature lines at every stage of the sales funnel can help you prepare to strike while the iron is hot, i.e. once the decision-making process actually begins.
When creating content, consider each of your customer personas and their stage in the sales funnel, and create a variety of assets that address their pain points and interests and that will help them make a final decision. If you already have some content ready to go, you can be proactive by working with your team to identify any content gaps that need to be filled. Over time, work to address these needs so you’re always prepared with the right content to engage your prospects.
Leverage Your Data and Insights To Optimize Efforts
If you’re constantly launching new campaigns but not seeing your engagement rates rise, you’re likely not using your data and insights to optimize your efforts. Continually review data to identify trends at the root of the efforts that have succeeded and those that have fallen flat. You can then use this data to optimize your marketing strategy further as you move forward. We recommend applying A/B testing to improve results.
Testing which subject lines, CTAs and content pieces perform better than others allows you to enhance your marketing to yield better results every single time. And guess what? The more engaged your audience is at every stage of the sales funnel, the higher your chances will be of converting prospects into loyal customers once they reach the finish line. This is especially true when you leverage proven tactics such as storytelling.
Use Storytelling To Convert More Prospective Clients
Converting prospects into customers involves more than just requiring your sales and marketing teams to adjust their efforts. It also takes more than the right content, the right ads and the right messaging. Your future customers want to know that your company has their best interests in mind, and they want that fact to be affirmed by your current customers.
In other words, it’s important that everybody in your network understands your goals and your prospective customers’ needs — and can speak well on your behalf. A good way to show that to your customers is through success stories and customer referrals.
Identify a few extremely satisfied customers and ask them whether they’d like to be interviewed about the success they’ve experienced using your product or service. Use these interviews to extract quotes you can use as testimonials and write success stories for your website. There might be prospects who will have more detailed questions, so having a few customers your salespeople can contact for a reference call is also a good idea.
These result-driven strategies will do wonders for your engagement and help you get on the right path toward achieving your goal of converting more prospects into customers. Will they require upfront work? Absolutely. But the time investment is well worth the effort once conversion rates begin to multiply.
Do you want to master every twist and turn in prospective customers’ buying journey?
Want to create stronger marketing plans and conversion strategies so potential customers engage with, connect with and trust your brand? If so, check out the guide we’ve written that will help you optimize the customer life cycle at every stage of the buying journey, from awareness to acquisition and beyond.