Sales ready customers
When does marketing end and sales begin
Marketing is the art and science of showing people who have a problem that you have the best solution to that problem.
Sales on the other hand, is the art of closing the deal, taking the order and banking the money.
The tension between marketing and sales departments boils down to one issue. When is a lead “sales-ready”? When is a potential customer sufficently qualified through the marketing process to be handed over to sales.
Because remember that sales people are expensive and their time is valuable. Really too valuable to be coaching a prospect through the early stages of the buying process.
What is the Buyer Journey and why should you care
The outcome we all seek is to sell to customer who has already convinced themselves that we have the solution to their problem. It is also pretty good if they have the following:
- An identified need
- Authority to buy
- Approved budget
- A fixed timeline for purchase
This is where spending time analysing how your typical customer prepares themselves to buy a product like yours. This analysis is called the “Buyers Journey”.
Here are some questions you might ask yourself about your typical high-value customer:
- How much research do they do to find products or services that will solve their problems
- Is more than one person involved in the decision
- Who is the actual decision maker
- Can the person purchase on impulse or will there be a formal buying process
- What information does the customer require to be sure you can provide the best solution at the best price
- Is the customer price sensitive.
How Digital Streams can help you find sales ready customers
Current research shows most customers are 60% of the way through the Buyer’s Journey BEFORE they want to actively engage in a sales discussion.
Most of the buyer’s journey happens online by looking at the various competitive offerings that may solve the customer’s problem.
Buyers will already be well informed and have a good grasp on features and benefits of the various solutions. They will understand the value offered by products and services at various price points.
Up until this stage, they have been “Marketing Ready” but not “Sales Ready”.
Ideally your website, blog posts, product descriptions and case studies have provided the buyer with all they information they needed online . . . without the need for a consultant’s time.
A good website has also been tracking this customer’s journey. You will have already engaged them in automated marketing emails to help them understand and appreciate your product and service.
All this with little or no human intervention – so it has been a very cost effective journey from your point of view.
When the buyer is ready to buy and reaches out to you for sales information – they know a lot about your company and you should know a great deal about them so the actual sales process can be timely, efficient and cost effective for both parties.