20 June 2017 Category: Blog
The transition from prospect to customer is not a short or straightforward one –particularly in B2B, it can be a long and winding road, one on which your lead can easily get lost, become discouraged or take a different route with a competitor. Once a prospect begins their journey, how can you keep them on track to doing business with you?
It is important to understand that each prospect is starting their journey from a different point – there isn’t one route to suit them all. The first thing you need to do is understand where each customer is coming from and where they need to get to, then tailor your approach accordingly. The type of interaction and the level of engagement will vary at each stage, but should always be driven by a solid understanding of the customer’s view point and take account of their communications preferences.
Whilst initial research is likely to be online, human interaction is essential, if you want to make sure your prospects reach the right destination. As we discussed in a recent article, leaving your prospect to their own devices for the majority of the purchase process is not a recipe for success. An early conversation qualifies customer needs and interests and ensures these are central to the rest of their journey, informing the content they view, the communications they receive and the unique proposition presented by your sales team. One to one human interaction not only means prioritising and engaging with the right prospects, it means you identify early where your solution is a poor fit, avoiding wasted time and resource further down the line.
Beyond the qualification stage, human interaction is also essential to building a deeper understanding of customer issues and challenges, and developing the trust and rapport that is essential to complex sales, which cannot be achieved via digital channels alone. Furthermore, the journey doesn’t end at the point that the prospect becomes a customer. Ongoing human interaction maintains the relationship after they come on board, helping develop a true partnership and keeping them on this road with you for a long time to come. What’s more, as that relationship deepens they are likely to recommend you to others, ensuring more of the right prospects engage with your brand!