How to Boost the Sales Cycle Using Call Tracking – Instruction for Newbies
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. – Peter Drucker
Quite frankly lots of marketers understand what the customer journey is and are already putting out resources to keeping a track on the prospect who they want to turn into a customer and the customer who they want to become loyal advocates. But less emphasis is being laid on how to improve the sales cycle with the help of call tracking system. This post will help you to get another perspective on the stages of the customer journey and how call tracking might play a role in each stage.
Ok! So let’s start from the very beginning of the journey. Yes! Getting the customer’s attention.
The first and inevitable step of the customer journey is awareness. At this stage, your potential customer has no knowledge of your brand and your product. Therefore, he or she is yet to understand the usefulness of your product. And now it’s up to you to decide how to present yourself and create the first touchpoint with your future client. Well, the good news here is that you’ve got a lot of opportunities to make this happen. For example, your first touchpoints can be:
- Offline advertising (radio, TV or print ads);
- Word of mouth;
- Online ads: PPC, social advertising, email advertising, mobile advertising, etc.
Competent public relations activity is a key way to build a mutual beneficial relationship between the company and its potential clients. The more professional your PR managers are, the greater the probability that your potential clients will see mentions of you elsewhere or hear about you from your satisfied loyal clients and customers.
- Offline advertising.
People still listen to the radio when having breakfast or when stuck in traffic jams. They still watch TV, read newspapers and magazines. So, if your target audience use any of these information sources, why not place your ads there? A good number of them will work out.
Another question is how to track the impact of different mass media. Since Google Analytics is non-efficient here, you need another tool to consider. The best and the only solution here is call tracking. To be more precise, in this case it will be classic call tracking. Imagine that each of your offline advertising sources has its own phone number. Call tracking system collects data on phone calls from these different advertising sources and gives you an idea of their efficiency. Maybe some of them are not worth investing in at all, while some of them might require an additional boost to perform better.
- Word of mouth
When you’ve succeeded in making product evangelists through the creation and continual improvement of your products, you can be rest assured that they will go ahead and evangelize your products and your brand. Just leave it to them to tell the story that will turn prospects into customers.
- Online advertising.
The internet world opens so many opportunities for marketers, that sometimes it’s difficult to grasp the scope of all online advertising channels. Indeed, besides the most common PPC ads, there are also social ads, mobile ads, email ads, and many others. We’ll talk precisely about some of them.
PPC – With well structured and planned paid ads you can increase the prospect to customer conversion rate. Of course PPC is more expensive to implement when compared with organic SEO, but truth is every business wants to be readily projected to their target audience and a correctly done PPC campaign comes in handy especially for small businesses and companies launching for the first time. Well I will believe that you obviously already know the results of high-quality PPC advertising. Let’s dive in deeper and talk about some of its important ingredients.
- Right keywords – How will you understand which keywords generate leads, and which don’t? Well, dynamic call tracking allows to display phone numbers randomly on the website every time new users visit. This allows to match a particular user session with the source of this hit. Thus, you can see the advertising campaigns that perform best at generating calls and even the keywords used in these campaigns.
- Right time to display the ads – In some spheres the cost of keywords is tangible for the limited advertising budget. Looking for ways to save your money from advertising, think about displaying your ads at specified hours, when your customers are more likely to make a purchase. Question is, how can you determine these hours? For example, with Ringostat call distribution report. The hours when your company usually receives the largest number of calls are also the best for displaying paid ads.
- Targeted ads – Now let’s get this straight, the advertising banners you see on social networks and their brothers and sisters displaying on websites each time you visit, bearing different topics are absolutely aimed at creating demands. The clever algorithms being used here suggests that there’s a good percentage that you might be interested in some goods or services based on the information from your social profiles or your behavior on different websites. Remember the prevention about using cookies? This is mostly made for showing you the most relevant advertising. Does it work? Well, yes.
In 2009, the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) conducted a research which was released in March, 2010, measuring the effectiveness of targeted ads. Based on proprietary data given by twelve major advertising networks, the study found that in 2009, targeted ads secured an average of 2.7 times as much revenue per ad as non-targeted ads. The study also proved that targeted ads is twice more effective at converting prospects who click on the ads into buyers (6.8% conversion vs 2.8% for non-targeted ads) , and it also accounted for about 18% of advertising revenue in that year. And we have continued to see such statistics even in recent days.
But it works only in case of competent approach. Call tracking services with their reports are extremely useful here. For example:
- When creating targeted ads, think about the keywords. In order to choose the best ones, you have to analyze not only the online conversions they drive but also offline conversions. In some businesses, the part of offline conversions represented by phone calls reaches 50% or more. To consider them all, you should better use call tracking service integrated with CRM system and Google Analytics.
- The same works with advertising platforms. Call tracking tool compares the number of calls generated by targeted advertising placed on different websites and social networks. Based on this data, you’ll choose the platforms that really generate calls
- In order to determine the position of your perfect client, you can analyze clients’ profiles in your CRM or web analytics systems. Data on calls successfully complements the information about customer’s online activity. Some web analytics tools like Woopra specializes in creating clients profiles just like this one:
Ringostat call tracking has an integration with such web analytics service as Woopra.
After hearing about your product, interested prospects start searching for more information about it. So you have to provide all information in detail using the channels that will most likely reach your target audience. Some touchpoints are optimal when it comes to the consideration phase. These can be:
- Your corporate blog;
- Direct mail;
- Articles in mass media
- Retargeting ads.
- Corporate blog
Your blog should serve as the major point where prospects and customers can derive a handful of information. So what does this suggest? It’s simply saying that you should optimize your blog in a way that it provides accurate and timely information to its visitors. Just imagine buying a newly invented electronics without the user manual. You’ll definitely get lost in learning how to control it and if you finally do, it must have cost you lots of time and energy. In the same vein, your blog is more like a secondary manual to your site users providing them with detailed information on how your system or product can be of optimal value to them.
A tested and proven way of letting our information about your company to customers and prospects is having other blogs in your niche write a review about your product or service. Come up with a very cool short message and pitch bloggers that write on topics related to your company or business, requesting them to write a review and publish it on blogs that your prospects and clients will likely visit.
When a user visits your site from this blog and takes a step further to make contact by dialing the phone number displayed; call tracking helps you better understand the particular referral link he came from.
Users can visit your blog from referral links or by directly searching for information and stumbles upon your blog. In any case, you can use dynamic call tracking to understand the traffic source, online ad or keyword that lead the user to your blog. Thereby having more insight into the user journey.
- Direct mail
Find out the questions your customers and prospects are likely seeking answers to and build your email digests to provide accurate and detailed answers to these questions. This surely will keep them loyal and wanting more.
It’s important to note here that the type of email digest you send to potential customer who is still on the level of consideration will differ from the one you will send to already established loyal customers. Don’t forget to track and follow up on the performance of your email campaigns. You can do this by simply attaching a statical trackable phone number to your email newsletter and with the help of call tracking determine how many phone calls you get from an email blast.
- Articles in mass media
Your ability to cover all grounds in the process of giving your customers and prospects the opportunity to learn more about you and what you do, gives you an edge in not only selling, but selling your products and also retaining loyal customers. The mass media is a collection of media technologies ranging from broadcast media (TV, Radio), digital media (internet and mobile), outdoor media (billboards, AR advertising), print media (pamphlets, magazines, newspapers, books).
Carefully done, all these outlets can serve as profitable means of providing your customers suitable and timely information about your products and services.
- Retargeted Ads
So the simple catch here is that your customers are being targeted with online ads based on their previous internet actions. But the more important aspect of this practice is the ads being served. Are the online ads informative enough to make customers click on them? And when they click, are they being directed to where they will not have to scroll and browse all over again, just to find the information they are looking for.
Coming to this phase of the customer journey, you understand that different phases of the sales funnel requires different forms of information. Visitors interact with your brand a couple of times before they make a purchase. Some take 1-5 interactions while some will require more time to be convinced to take the purchase action. This clearly suggests that information to a guy on level one will differ from that of a guy on level 5.
Now the customer is over with consideration and is ready to make a purchase. This is where you need to address your customers individually, because everyone has different motivations that trigger them to action. Offer some guidance or specific advice about your different products or services to help solidify their decision to purchase.
For example the customer who is at the purchase stage of the customer journey can either walk into a physical store to make a purchase or make the purchase/order online. Here are few things you could do at this stage to proactively engage your customers with your products:
- Instead of allowing your prospects or customers to spend hours on your website trying to learn a new product or a new feature on your site, you could simply prompt them to request a call from your company by implementing a callback widget on your website. This puts you and the customer on the phone in about 30 seconds or less. It works pretty fast and it’s quite efficient. And you can then walk the customer through on the new product, how to use it and how it can be beneficial to what they want to use it for. Remember, each customer is unique in their decision making. And if you’re new to the term “callback widget”, this is pretty much how it looks:
This call can also be easily tracked and you’ll have the opportunity to see more statistics on the customer journey. For example: the traffic source that led him to your site, the keyword that triggered the action. And one more thing in this aspect is to design your callback widget in a way that it won’t be so difficult to find.
- You can also get your prospects to contact you with their last minute questions and concerns. It’s actual that some people chicken out at the final stage of the journey simply because they got a little bit dissuaded with something they didn’t understand perfectly about your product. Your duty is to close up all loopholes. You can set up a survey for this or you can create an online form, where they fill in their details with the questions they have. And with automated callback you can get your sales rep to give them a call in the shortest time possible, answering their questions.
Great news! The purchase is made. You have succeeded in making a conversion. But the journey really doesn’t end there. You’ll need to turn your new converts into loyal customers. You need to feed them with more mature food. Once they were babies (prospects) you fed them babies’ food, now they’ve come unto maturity. And you need to feed them the real food.
You need to retain them and a wise step to take here is to get them to sign up to communities and forums where users discuss topics related to your brand. Open them up to your company’s knowledge base. The deeper they go, the stronger they get in their stand for your brand. And of course you would definitely like to have these loyal customers become evangelists of your brand. But nobody can give what they don’t have, so basically you need to update them even further and deeper. So what do you do?
- Promos: You can coordinate a webinar for your customers and walk them through on your product and your brand. Get into a Q&A with them. At the end of the webinar offer the viewers a limited discount as an incentive. But most importantly equip them with the necessary materials and information to preach you best out there.
- Newsletters/Recent blog posts: Always keep your customers updated on the latest features, news, blog posts from your brand. You wouldn’t want them distributing outdated or inaccurate gist about your company.
- Social networks: Get them to go social with you, so they can be on the trend on what’s happening with your brand and also advocate your business to their friends on the social network.
What level of the customer journey do you think your prospects are currently on. Find out the individual stages they are on and serve them based on their level of knowledge of your company. Use call tracking to boost the customer journey and remember, what worked for Mr. Jack, might be disastrous to Mr. Peters. Customers are unique in their understanding of your product and brand. Treat them as such.