Your sales cycle is the make or break of every new opportunity. And ensuring you have the right touchpoints in place vastly increases your chances of a positive outcome.
Its certainly the case that your reputation and preceding activity have a significant influence on your ability to close.
In fact, Spotio reported that…
“50-90% of the (customer) journey is complete before a buyer interacts with a sales rep”.Spotio
This figure may seem alarmingly high, but it should only make mastering your sales cycle even more important.
After all, you’ve already invested so much time and resource into getting your potential customers this far. You don’t want to lose them at the final hurdle.
The Purpose Of Customer Touchpoints
Within the sales process itself, each business does, and should, operate in a unique, bespoke manner.
Plugging in a workflow that works for another company doesn’t guarantee the same results for your own operation.
That being said, there are cornerstone communications of a comprehensive customer journey. And ultimately, they exist to keep the customer adequately informed.
But going beyond the essential, each sales cycle customer touchpoint has incredible potential for differentiation and value add.
It provides an opportunity for you to stand out and distinguish yourself as the best option out there.
“Understanding your customers’ current situations, and what drives them toward loyalty or defection, is the first step in delivering a superior customer experience.”Experience Investigators
Whether to seek feedback, provide additional value or simply notify of their order status, the power of the touchpoint is not to be underestimated.
Customer Touchpoints During The Sales Cycle
During the sales cycle itself, there are any number of touchpoints you can provide.
Whilst it’s important not to drown your prospect and overdo communications to the point of irritation, there are a wealth of options for you to employ.
Here are five universal sales cycle customer touchpoints…
Starting with the obvious, the most direct point of contact available to you is face to face interactions.
Customer conversations, such as those that take place in your stores, have an immediate impact on the purchase decision.
Supplemented by phone calls and online chat features, few touchpoints can influence a customer quite like speaking directly with your team.
Online or as a hard copy, catalogues bring your product offering to life.
An enticing listing, supplemented by engaging visuals gives the customer everything they need to know before making a purchase.
You can also remove friction for your sales team by adding a call to action (CTA) on the page.
Neglect your website at your peril.
For many businesses, ecommerce is the most effective way to acquire customers and close deals efficiently and effectively.
The rise of VR and AR technology means customers no longer need to see your physical product before deciding it’s the right choice for their home.
Because websites can be accessed globally, an small enterprise in one location can provide products and services to a customer they never could’ve reached previously.
Before, during and after the sale, customers can call upon product reviews and testimonials to instantly influence their decision making process.
“72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.”Big Commerce
Testimonials are one of the most important things you can put on your website, landing page, sales emails or any other kind of communication.
They give your customers both confidence and peace of mind. They prove you can walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.
Asking For The Business
The final, and most revenue critical touchpoint.
This is where your sales team makes their case for why the customer needs your product.
Getting this right is essential, but ultimately made all the easier provided every other touchpoint has been valuable, insightful and demonstrated your commitment to achieving the customer’s, not your, goals.
Sales Cycle Customer Touchpoints To Automate
Going beyond customer driven touchpoints, you can truly craft a memorable customer experience by utilising the power of automation.
Automating updates on an order status helps keep customers informed. Thank you messages encourage prospects to continue through the process. Sharing value add resources and help guides fosters excitement for the purchase they are making.
Vital communications that won’t take any time away from your customer facing teams… what’s not to like?
By using dynamic content based on customer information, you can still create a personalised experience and allow your staff to engage with an even greater pool of prospects.
For your sales process, consider adding the following automated touchpoints to your bespoke, best practice process:
A simple save the date can go a long way for minimising no shows and providing all the required details for the upcoming meeting.
24 hours out, remind the customer of their upcoming appointment alongside an agenda to help build excitement around their dream project.
Post Appointment Thankyou Messages
Saying thank you can go a long way. Not only does it show you care, but it helps demonstrate that each client matters to you and your organisation.
Is an order currently being designed? Are parts being manufactured? What about an expected delivery date?
Keeping customers in the loop enhances customer experience and minimises time spent by your service teams handling minor queries, freeing them up to more quickly reach those customers who are truly in need of help.
Installation guides, FAQ documents or design inspiration guides can act as unexpected value adds showcasing to the prospect that you are thinking ahead from their perspective.
A proactive approach to support will always be more effective than sitting on the back front awaiting client complaints.
Payment Reminders & Invoice Generation
Remove the need for time wasting invoice chasing. Setting up reminders and prompts ensures you get paid on time and that customers are fully informed as to what is financially expected of them, and when it is due.
How Many Touchpoints Does It Take To Close A Sale?
The million pound question… sadly there is no singular answer.
In truth, each opportunity is different. But by creating a solid sales cycle customer touchpoint framework you can account for 99% of opportunities that come your way.
“Identifying the appropriate amount of touchpoints with customers and prospects (and the means to initiate these touchpoints) within your sales funnel is pivotal in order to optimise your selling strategy.”Nimble
Don’t worry if some opportunities take longer than others. On average, it takes approximately five to seven touchpoints to close a sale.
So rather than focussing on quantity, turn your attention to quality.
Every touchpoint is a new opportunity to help gain the trust of your prospects and lead them to the point of decision-making.
The more valuable they find each experience, the more likely they are to view you as someone they can trust with their best interests in mind.
So long as each communication enhances your customer experience, you’re only increasing your chances of securing the conversion.
Ready to explore how Anthill can revolutionise your customer experience? Schedule a demo today.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
August 24th, 2021-