Take control of the buyer’s journey
All your (potential) customers follow a buyer’s journey, from awareness to sales. Making it as efficient as possible will guarantee success and great results. However, there is another side to managing the buyer’s journey that you may not be aware of.
Whether you use a funnel or a cartwheel to visualize the buyer’s journey, the path your (potential) customers take is always similar. From awareness over attraction and decision to the final sale.
Unavoidably, you will lose people at each of the stages, which is why the buyer’s journey sometimes is referred to as a ‘leaky funnel’. To avoid as much loss as possible, you need to fully optimize the funnel to assure every potential client reaches the end of the buyer’s journey.
Improve your funnel … but don’t go overboard
Unfortunately, there is not a clear-cut answer on how to improve your company’s funnel. It really depends on the issues you encounter along the way, such as:
- Why are so few people aware of my brand?
- How come they are not attracted to my offer(s)?
- Is my pricing competitive enough to be taken into consideration?
- Are the processes between marketing and sales aligned well enough to turn MQL (marketing qualified leads) into SQL (sales qualified leads)?
- Do I have enough clients? Or do I have too many compared to the capacity my company has to offer?
It is that last question that is most often overlooked. Striving for business results may make you lose track of what you can actually achieve. Which is dangerous. After all, if you do not deliver on your promise, you will not only lose your client, word-of-mouth might even damage your reputation as a reliable company …
Managing the barriers matters
To avoid this, it is necessary to build in barriers in your company’s funnel.
Say, for example, you have a full-time job but also do a bit of wedding photography on the side to earn some extra money. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a hundred customers to fill in your every weekend? But what if you get overbooked? Do you have an alternative or will you need to let people down on this unique day?
Or you sell cars and you know full well that test drives are probably the most convincing tool to get people to buy a car. Does that mean anybody that comes over the floor gets a chance to drive the car? If you allow this, it might result in more people visiting your shop to test-drive a new car (that they might possibly not even be able to afford), instead of people who are intent on buying a new car – aka your potential customers.
These are just two examples of why you need to carefully reflect how you will optimize your funnel. After all, there is a big difference between doing the right things and doing things right.
Optimize your funnel correctly
That is why it is important to be aware that there are two optimizing strategies
More is more: optimize volumes
This strategy is set to get as many people as possible at the start of the funnel. After all, the more people are aware of your brand, the more will be attracted and possibly become a customer.
Less is more: optimize conversions
Getting more attention is great, but what if you notice that the buyer’s journey stops somewhere in the middle of the funnel and people just stop the process? Maybe your whole marketing flow is good but the handover to the sales team is not optimized and leads get lost in the process? Maybe you have done everything right until the end of the flow, but your competitive strength is not strong enough compared to your competition?
If you see people leaving the funnel for no apparent reason, it is time to zoom in on each step of the process to discover which areas need to be improved. In other words, you will need to focus on every stage individually as well as its transition into the next one.
If you could use some help reviewing each step of the process and compute the conversion rate at each step, download our free funnel canvas template.
Or get in touch with Minds&More if you need any extra help optimizing your buyer’s journey.
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