…GENERATE MORE REVENUE & PROFIT
THE WORD MARKETING DERIVES FROM THE PROCESS OF TAKING ONE’S BUSINESS TO MARKET. IN THE OLD DAYS, THIS MEANT PHYSICALLY GOING ALONG IN A HORSE AND CART AND DISPLAYING ONE’S PRODUCE IN A TOWN MARKET.
We use the term sales pipeline to create a visual way to understand the different stages in the sales process. We normally think of it in terms of turning suspects into prospects, and prospects into customers. But we ought to think more broadly and widely than this – not just in terms of customer acquisition, but also in terms of retention and loyalty.
Many prospective customer are likely to encounter businesses via a website in the first instance, but it does not stop there.
If they like what they see and want to find out more, they will then make contact, perhaps by calling up or via email. These interactions will also have a significant impact on the developing impression prospects have about a business. Does the person they are speaking to know what they are talking about? Are they polite and helpful? Was the email response well-written and timely? Did the prospect receive a positive impression of a credible and professional business? These are the sorts of questions that the most successful organisations tend to want to ask, because it demonstrates a commitment to gaining insight into the level of congruity between the stated vision and values of their brand and the actual the reality of the situation as it stands at any moment in time
CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUE
For many organisations, the sales pipeline process is not over once a customer has completed a sale
There may be opportunities to interest them in other products and services other than the one they have first purchased – indeed, there is always the chance to upsell or cross-sell items at initial point of purchase too. It might also be that there are opportunities to promote repeat purchase in future.
Customers might be happy to provide reviews, recommendations and referrals to encourage word of mouth marketing – the general rule of thumb is that people will provide positive feedback if asked, and negative reviews if they are not. If you ask 100 people for a review, it is not likely that you will receive 100 favourable responses. You might get five poor ones. The good news is not just that you will now have 95 positive reviews, but also that you can potentially learn from these five negative ones too –you also have the chance to sort genuine issues out that you were previously unaware of.
Whatever your business goals might be – to acquire and retain new customers, or to generate loyalty and referral – it is likely that they are involved with maximising customer lifetime value by delivering effective customer touchpoints to deliver a positive impression of your organisation’s brand.
Our approach is always to consider the efficacy and efficiency of the sales pipeline process, always recognising the fact that every client has individual needs that are unique to its own business model.