How to attract customers who are ready to buy (on a tiny budget, in autopilot mode)
Scaling sales becomes easy when you design a selling system that is aligned to the way customers buy. Most sales & marketing practised in SMBs, and even large organisations ignore this simple truth. This article explores how to create a system (ACRTB- Attracting Customers Ready To Buy) which scales sales based on the way customers search just before the purchase. Skim through this article, and at the end, you can see a free 30 mins video with case examples, which gives you an idea of the cost and implementation details.
‘How do I increase leads and sales without spending or even adding sales people’
‘I want to shorten my sales cycle and accelerate revenue generation.’
‘I have a great product-market fit. If I get demos, I can convert. My problem is at the lead stage, and I don’t have big budgets for ad campaigns.’
‘The returns from traditional advertising are at an all-time low. What do I do.’
Typical questions I hear from SMB CEOs & Founders. But I feel it is not just an SMB problem but an industry-wide problem. Every business wants to identify customers ready to buy, create a pull system to avoid the advertising expense and ultimately position their business as the best for the customer.
Don’t sell but help customers buy
One of the realities of modern selling is that you cannot sell to anyone. The internet puts so much information in front of people that nearly 70% of the audience have some idea of what they want to buy even before they start speaking to you. In such an environment, sales & marketing have to take on the role of helping the customer buy. There are two mental states in consumer purchase- Cold & Hot. In both stages, customers behave differently, and importantly, they are seeking different answers. SMB organisations that don’t have large budgets should create an automated system that attracts the bottom of funnel customers ready to buy or are in a hot state. When they are hot, the answers they seek or are searching becomes a magnet to pull them closer to your business.
Spray & pray Vs. Precision targeting hot, ready to buy customers
Have you ever typed in search terms like?
‘Price of ________’ ,
In all probability, your answer will be a ‘yes’. As you would have realised, the closer you get to purchase, the more you seek answers. Now honestly, tell me whether any of the website or marketing material you put out comprehensively addresses any of these questions?
No? No worries, you are not alone. The majority of marketing and sales communication does not address these customer questions. But remember, if you are not actively addressing these questions, customers will go to the company that provides the answers or go to influencers who will rig it up based on some of the deal they sign with brands.
Couple this reality with another two data points. YouTube is the second largest search engine and Cisco’s prediction that 70% of IP traffic will be video by 2021. You get the drift. What if you had content (videos and text) explaining all the queries that hot, ready-to-purchase customers are seeking. This content turns into a magnet to attract the hot ready to buy customers.
(Rationale for developing video content which aids rapid trust-building)
Another data point from HubSpot Research points out that consumers prefer lower-quality, “authentic” video over high-quality video that seems inauthentic and contrived. Simply put, viewers prefer raw authenticity over slick production quality.
Developing a right-fit scalable selling system
Let’s look at the conventional selling system and how customers buy, so you understand the big gap. Now you might be thinking: ‘after all, my industry is different. The answers to that is, customers go through the same process, no matter which industry, only the parameters for evaluation and selection change. Think of the last time you searched for the review of a hospital or saw a video of ‘five things to consider before buying a new washing machine.’ Or consider someone like me who wanted to replace the kitchen chimney and went around searching on the Net for suction problems of kitchen chimneys. This same search sequence happens for B2B industries like chemicals, HIVAC, medical equipment, IT services, building material, etc.
High-leverage nodes that trigger buying decisions
Through the buying stages, customers place extra emphasis on a particular type of information that creates the purchase. Let’s look at it from the top of the funnel vs bottom of the funnel perspective. Or rather what should be out in public vs what should be owned on the website.
Searches at the top of the funnel or in public channels tend to look like this:
2. Problems of ___
5. How to choose___
6. Comparisons Vs. competition
7. Alternatives to____
8. Factors to consider____
Searches at mid-to-bottom of the funnel or on the website generally take the following form:
1. How to choose?
2. Is it the right fit for me and the situation I am in?
3. What comes and does not come with the product?
4. What is the process for buying?
5. How long does it take to deliver?
6. How soon should I start expecting results?
7. What is the price?
8. How was the experience for other buyers?
9. How does the installation happen?
10. What if something goes wrong?
Don’t you think that these are fundamental customer apprehensions that need to be answered for the purchase to happen? Or, put it in another way, would you buy any product without getting the answers to some of the questions above? Rather than wait for the customer to reach out, you can make it easy for the customer and salesperson by putting out all the information. By so doing, you help the customer navigate the buying funnel in a way they like, and the salesperson gets a qualified lead who is ready to buy.
We all know that the more transparent you are, the more trust you generate. How many companies talk about price openly? You might be thinking, but the price/fee depends on the customer need, and there is no standard cost. But you can break down cost and give the customers an idea of all the factors to arrive at a price. Alternatively, you could provide cost bands based on specific parameters.
Matching hot customer queries to content
Search engines are optimised to help people seeking answers and not just brands with deep pockets that pay Google the most money. The more you answer customers questions, the more Google will show it to hot customers. So, businesses should create content which talks about customer pain points, how to solve them, alternatives, comparisons, best in class, options, product selection, pricing, customer journey (pre-and post-impact), frequently asked questions. Or be prepared to lose out.
Implementation considerations ACRTB (Attracting Customers Ready To Buy) for your business
Creating systems that run on autopilot, collecting leads and send traffic to your website- Before you start on the ACRTB program, you need to have a website and basic automation system in place which can capture leads. This system can be low-cost options like Convert kit, Mail chimp, Biggin, Pipedrive or even medium to high-end systems like Hub Spot, Zoho CRM or Salesforce
Brand assets / visual signatures/ aminations- Before you produce the content, which can be video and text, you need to create a visual signature style for easy recognition. If you are on a budget and don’t want to spend money, you should look at Canva for visual signature or even RocketStock for video element templates and then customise it.
Use text and video content to build trust and scale on a tight budget. To implement ACRTB in your organisation, you need to create content that can be text or even video. Video is ideally preferred as it builds instant trust. Once the video is created, you can convert it into a blog post, articles, podcast, social post, infographic, and a host of other items which becomes attractive for search engines. Now you might be thinking that making videos will cost a bomb. Not really. These are low-cost but impactful videos where the importance is on the content and not so much on production values.
Insource / Outsource/ Agency or Sales Content Specialist. If you are a small organisation, you should ideally get this done through an expert. But suppose you are a medium-to-large organisation that will need a lot of video content. In that case, you should explore the possibility of engaging a good consultant to build the system, train employees, and slowly migrate the same internally over time. In such situations, the financial gains and the control you can have over your content and sales system are massive compared to the monthly recurring fee you end paying an agency that never understands the nitty-gritty of your industry or the sales & buying process.
If you would like to see examples of how other organisations have executed this across various stages of the buying funnel, the cost for implementing and engagement models, you can access this free 30 mins video.
If you would like a free 30 minutes consult on how to implement ACRTB- Attracting Customers Ready To Buy for your organization, pls use this link — https://calendly.com/subashfranklin-stratsprint/30min
Want to see a 30 mins video of how to ‘Do More Sales With Less’ — Click this link — https://stratsprint.ck.page/56353ec10e
Further reading on the application of ‘Selling 6’ to different industries including B2B and SaaS sales