The sales funnel, or customer pipeline, is one of the foundations of business, because it is the process by which you identify, engage with and convert any leads which are generated through your marketing efforts. We’re living in an increasingly technologically-oriented and digitally-focused world, and in this environment the expectations and behaviours of consumers have undergone significant changes. The vast majority of consumers have access to at least one digital device, which they regularly use to learn about a product or service before they decide to purchase it.
It is essential that businesses learn to adapt and adjust accordingly in this changing landscape, because traditional methods of marketing and advertising are no longer enough on their own. Communications and responses have become instant and immediate, and it is crucial that your customer pipeline also functions similarly if you are to keep ahead of the competition.
By automating parts of your customer pipeline, you can ensure that you are attracting as many relevant and high-quality leads as possible. In the following article, we’ve provided a useful framework which you can use to begin automating your customer pipeline.
Create An Outline
Ultimately, customers comprise the basis of any business. Without a consistent and reliable flow of customers, you won’t have a consistent and reliable flow of revenue and the long-term expansion and growth of your business will therefore be compromised. This is why the customer pipeline is so integral to your business, and by creating a strong and detailed outline for how you want to process your customers through this pipeline you can ensure that you are generating as many leads as you can.
It’s important to create an outline which encourages lead progression. This is where the services of a lead generation agency can be of immense help, because they already have the qualifications, experiences and resources required to implement an effective strategy as quickly as possible. For example, an agency can work with the unique circumstances and requirements of your business in order to introduce tactics such as pre-created email templates, automatic subscription forms as well as pre-determined email actions which are issued depending on the lead response.
Quicken Your Response Times
You can also incorporate email drip campaigns into your strategy. Automations like this will be particularly useful during the first phases of the customer pipeline, which also happen to be the most difficult. They’ll give you a significant advantage when it comes to converting your customer’s initial interest into actual engagement with your brand. This is because when your customer’s first express their initial interest, you’ll be able to respond to them immediately and automatically before their interest begins to wane.
Through a drip campaign, you’ll also be able to continuously nurture potential leads with relevant, timely and engaging content and information pertaining to their position in the customer pipeline. Chatbots are another useful tool when it comes to lead automation. When you integrate a chatbot into your business’ main website you can completely transform the way in which you correspond with leads by interacting with them automatically. The potential lead will be communicating with a representative of your business, but without needing the constant presence of an actual member of staff.
Analyse Data Patterns
In a digital era, every action that is taken online is recorded as data. This data is an incredibly invaluable resource to your business if you know how to access it and analyse it effectively. It’s always recommended that you regularly look into the data which is generated by your marketing efforts as well as the behaviour of your leads. It’s also important that you study this customer data at each stage of the pipeline, so that you can be attentive to any developing trends and act on them rapidly.
These trends or patterns could include a number of things, whether it is sales cycle times, the email response rate, the success of various strategies and methods as well as the overall turnover and ROI (return on investment). It’s also important to keep in mind that if any measure you have taken is not working out in the way you expected it to, then don’t be afraid to pivot or change it. The data will clearly show you whether you need to adjust the strategies you have implemented thus far, and you can use it to change and tailor them until they produce the results and outcomes that you want.
Connect With Your Customers
At the end of the day, it is important that you don’t neglect a meaningful connection at the expense of efficiency and automation. As a brand, you need to forge strong and long-term relationships with your customers by constantly reminding them that their expectations, preferences, interests and happiness matters to your business. Each potential lead you interact with is not merely a statistic, but a unique individual. It is for this reason that you should avoid too many standardised forms or generic correspondences, because they can come across as impersonal.
This is a relatively straightforward issue to resolve, however. You’ll just need to ensure that when you are designing your automated emails and chatbot responses that you include a personal touch, for example by writing engaging content which will help to forge worthwhile connections. When your customers are assured that their satisfaction and interests matter to your business, then they’re more likely to continue through the full length of the sales pipeline and make a final purchase.
Enhance Your Business Strategy
With automation tactics, you can begin to harness the potential of technology and really enhance your business strategy. What’s more, by enlisting in the services of a lead generation agency, you can explore the various automation opportunities which are available to you and which ones would work best for your business, whether it is email drip campaigns, subscription forms or chatbots. Through these initiatives you can conserve your business’ valuable time, effort and resources, whilst simultaneously reaching out to and responding to customers the moment they first engage with or express interest in your brand.