09 January 2016

6 steps to maximise customer acquisition

Tags:Marketing Automation, Strategy

Customer acquisition is difficult. Forrester Research estimates today’s prospects are self-directing between 66-90% of the sale, making it even more challenging to establish a connection with a potential customer.  Having the right strategy in place is critical to achieving your business goals.

1.  Identify Your Ideal Customer

    Understanding your customers helps you to sell more. Understanding your ideal customer, the one who is most valuable to your business, means that you spend less time pursuing prospects that will add little value.
    Estimating customer lifetime value involves predicting how much profit your business will generate from a given customer over the entire duration of their relationship with you.
    Customers can then be grouped into different segments according to their value. You will be able to identify segments that are highly profitable, and those that are not.  This can drive decisions about how much money should be spent on acquiring or keeping each segment.

2.  Drive Traffic Through Integrated Technology

    Once you understand who your ideal customers are, you need to drive them to your business. Customers are now directing their own research and choosing how, when, and through what channel they will contact an organisation.  Businesses need to meet this expectation by understanding where their customers are looking, and being present in each of those channels.
    More importantly, customers now expect to be able to leave a conversation with a company in one channel, and pick up exactly where they left off in another.
    Customer experience (CX) platforms, the integration of the technology for each channel, enable business to do this; improving the customer experience and as a result increasing conversion rates.

3.  Optimize Content

    Content is the core of your online experience; after all, people aren't there to look at the pretty pictures (unless, of course, you're an art gallery). Your content should be developed with the 'digital narrative' in mind, always linking back to structure that accompanies the entire customer journey. One example of this might be your website, where business outcomes can be improved just by optimising the content.
    One customer in the banking and finance sector, was able to increase product enquiries by almost 1000%.  Interestingly, the amount of time customers spent on the page dropped by almost 2/3 as they were able to find what they were looking for quickly and easily.

4.     Nurture Leads

    Lead Nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects, and providing the information and answers they need.
    Key to effective lead management is the integration of technologies such as CRM and Marketing Automation to provide consistency across touchpoints and enable a 360-degree view of the customer.
    Technology can also be used to personalise content being sent to a customer or prospect, and the content they see your company website.  In combination with data analytics, it can be used to determine the “Next Best Offer” your team can make.

5.     Improve Conversion Rates

    Conversion Rates are the percentage of prospective customers who take a specific action you want.  Conversion of a prospect to a paying customer is ultimately what we are trying to achieve.
  • Build a Customer Experience Platform:  CX Platforms are capable of providing dynamic experiences for customers with the integration of technologies such as Marketing Automation tools, CRM, CMS, and Advanced Search.
  • Optimise landing pages:  Landing pages are the place your prospect “lands” on your website. In addition to prospects, many repeat visitors or customers will come across your landing page.  Optimising landing pages for every stage of the sales cycle will help improve your conversion rates.
  • Employ Lead Scoring: Lead scoring enables you to determine a prospect’s level of interest in your solution (engagement) and combine it with your interest in them (demographics targeting). By combining both factors you are able to send better qualified leads to your sales team.

6. Empower your sales force

    Maximising the time your sales team are able to spend in front of customers and prospects, is an important part of the acquisition process.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology enables you to build, maintain, and strengthen relationships; but also tightly align business processes with your customer’s needs.
    Automation of business processes allows the sales team to spend more time in the field, and less time working on administrative tasks.
    How can CRM improve the effectiveness of my sales force?
  • It is an effective lead management tool
  • It can also be used to manage opportunities
  • CRM can be used to break down silos and provide a better customer experience.
  • It enables a 360 degree view of the customer when integrated with other technology, enabling the sales team to track customer interactions, monitor channels and preferred touch points.
  • When combined with data analytics, the sales team can be prompted to make personalised, targeted offerings to customers based on a “next best offer” scenario.

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