Every business should understand the sales cycle of their company. Every industry may be a little bit different, but the basic sales cycle should be the same. The goal of all marketing should be to generate quality leads and then move those leads into converted customers. So here are the 5 phases that enhance sales and create a stronger brand.
- Brand Awareness
- Brand Consideration
- Prospect Purchase Intent
- Client Conversion
- Client Loyalty Retention
- Phase 1 of the sales cycle is the prospective customers need to know you exist. This is an area that many companies get frustrated. They know they have a great product or service, but why aren't the phones ringing off the hook? Usually the problem is that no one knows who the company is, what they offer, why the are different and a better choice, and if they are trustworthy. This is where marketing comes in. You need to first off define who the exact customer is and why they buy. Then you develop a brand to service those customers and then get your message in front of your prospects. Obviously, each market will be different, but by taking an integrated marketing approach will be more effective. This can include a logo, identity package (business cards, letterhead & envelopes), web site, email campaigns, direct mail campaigns, trade show campaigns, advertising, etc., etc.Brand Consideration
- Phase 2 is all about helping prospects consider your brand. Sometimes the purchase decision happens instantly and other times it can take years, depending on the product or price. No matter what your sales cycle is, a strong brand and consistent marketing helps build trust and influence future buying. This is why an integrated marketing approach helps. The more they see you and the more places they see you the more they trust your company. Prospect Purchase Intent
- Phase 3 puts the ball in the prospects court. This is an important phase because this is where the prospect starts to respond to your marketing efforts. They may call for more information, sign up for an email newsletter, or submit a request for proposal. All these items happen due to your marketing offers and call to actions. Measurement is the key to marketing success so you will need to have a system in place to measure these responses. Client Conversion
- Phase 4 is the part business owners and sales people love. Landing new clients! With all the previous phases working together you are now able to convert a prospect to a paying client. Client Loyalty Retention
- Phase 5 truly is important. It is now time to develop a strong system to service your customers well, this time and every time. If you are able to meet and exceed client expectations with every interaction your clients will become brand loyal and continue doing business with your for years to come. This is very important because it is 10 times more profitable to sell to a current customer than it is to sell to a prospect.