Sales and marketing funnel

The goal of every marketing and sales team is to guide their target audience through each stage of this funnel. But how does one go from one stage to the next? And what’s the right push at each step?

Online customer journey

Every part of the customer journey requires the use of multiple tools and channels, like the ones above. Most importantly, all the stages following awareness constitute some form of direct engagement—the focus of this blog. But before we dive into engagement for conversion and retention, let’s also briefly look at the steps leading to it.

Awareness

How do you get started? First, you need to get your brand out there. Let everyone know that you’ve got the solution to a problem or need. In some cases, you may have to tell them about the need itself or even create it (yeah, brands do that all the time). There’s a multitude of channels you can use to convey your offerings to your market and to create brand recall.

You can read about some of them in depth here:

15 untapped sources to drive quality traffic to your website
12 companies who drove insane organic traffic to their website

 Consideration

So you’ve created awareness and have a good amount of traffic on your site, but how do you tap into it? Your visitors need to start considering your product/service as a solution to some problem or need they have. But for them to consider your offering, you need to really stand out in their memory or show up while they’re searching for a solution. At this point you can start engaging with them, to show them what makes you better than your competitors. This step is all about turning your visitors into leads. Here’s an in-depth guide on how you can do just that:

16 insanely effective lead magnet ideas to convert visitors to leads 

 Conversion and retention (loyalty)

Now you have a regular in-flow of leads who are genuinely interested in your product. One small, well-timed push is all that you need to convert them into customers. Your leads are considering your product, weighing whether they’ll really benefit from it, and whether it’ll be worth their investment. They have these questions and many more. Maybe they’re wondering if your product has a particular feature, how easy it is to use, or if they could find a cheaper option. So what should you do now? You need to clear up these questions right when they’re mulling over them, therefore, directly influencing their decision. There’s two steps to doing this:

  1. Identify their point of decision making.
  2. Pitch in to clear up their questions and convince them.

To identify when purchase decisions are being made, you need to map your visitor journey and activity on your website. You should ideally initiate a conversation with your visitors via live chat at this point. This pivotal moment will change based on visitor profiles and traffic from different campaigns and sources, but the key is to personalize your engagement specifically for each of your visitor personas. 

All of this is made possible with Zoho SalesIQ, our prospect and customer engagement platform. Here’s an outline of the basic features of Zoho SalesIQ:

Live chat for sales and retention

You can try this all-in-one website engagement platform for engaging prospects, right from their first visit, to converting them, to supporting them as long-term, happy customers. Zoho SalesIQ even includes lead-scoring and automation features for highly targeted engagement, with insightful data that helps you personalize your interactions with your visitors.

Needless to say, now that you have them, you need to nurture your customers to keep them happy and loyal. This can be achieved through great support and by making sure they feel cared for. Negative word of mouth spreads twice as fast as positive ones, so good support is crucial in preventing these undesirable wildfires.

Live chat is your best option here, being the quickest, simplest, most accessible medium of support, with the highest satisfaction rates.

Zoho SalesIQ can be used for marketing, sales, and support, making it a versatile tool for this kind of direct prospect and client engagement.

Read more on how to convert and retain customers using this customer engagement tool:

A Guide to Using Live Chat to Grow Your Business

Advocacy

And that brings us to our last stage—advocacy. Happy customers are natural brand advocates, and you can always ask them to spread the message, refer your business to friends, or give a shout-out on social media. Recommendations from people who aren’t directly associated with your brand have much more influence, so to ensure they remain your advocates, you need to continue to nurture your brand’s relationship with them. Customers at this stage have the highest lifetime values, and generate the maximum ROI from your marketing efforts.

Read more on developing and nurturing customer advocates here:

16 Ways to Turn Customers into Brand Advocates

How To Build A Community of Brand Advocates

We hope you found this post helpful, and if you have any comments or questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! 

Happy selling!

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  1. Ryan Biddulph

    Happy customers spread the word for you beautifully Priya. Fab tips!

    Ryan

    • Priya

      Absolutely agreed!
      And thanks much Ryan 🙂