In the days of direct mail and cold calling, sales people had the upper hand. They controlled the buying cycle and they knew just what to say to lead a cold prospect through the education of a product or service and turn them into a paying customer.
But that was yesterday’s setup. Today’s buying cycle doesn’t look anything like that. In fact, it’s been flipped completely inside out. Sales people are at the mercy of the buyer because buyers now have full control – and they want to be sold to on their terms.
What’s this fancy, new buying cycle look like?
People hate to be cold called. They ignore direct mail and throw it immediately in the garbage. Instead, when they want to buy something, they turn on their computer and fire up their web browser. Why? Because search engines are the new “top of the sales funnel”.
Think back to the last time you decided to make a purchase. It could have been health insurance or a new pair of rain boots. Whatever it was, you took a first step. And that step – whether you were sitting at home or at your desk at work or on your smartphone – was to pull up Google and type it into the search bar. After a click, you had your choice of products.
Let’s say that you clicked on the second listing, went to a company’s website, and liked what you saw. This is where the company starts pulling you into their sales cycle, but you still have the upperhand.
I don’t understand. Are salespeople obsolete?
No, of course not. Sales is still a mandatory skill for any business. There’s just a switch now from a strong focus on client acquisition and lead nurturing to closing the sale. All of which is actually a good thing. This means that instead of having your sales team (or you) spending 80% of their time finding new leads (the most difficult part of the sales cycle) and spending hours in meetings and in phone calls discussing the product, they get qualified leads handed over to them who are primed and ready to buy. It’s more cost-effective for the business, and more productive for the sales team.
So, what makes a customer decide to buy your product when they find you online?
What makes anyone complete a sale? Over the phone, in person – it’s always information. Content.
The content on your ads, on your website, and in your emails need to be what your potential customer wants to hear. Good content keeps leads around and interested. Great content makes them a buyer.
Want to find out how you can bring in more leads through content marketing? Fill out our lead form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.