When Your Customers Are Ready to Buy… Will They Find You?
As sales managers, marketers and business owners, we’re always chasing new leads—especially leads that are ready to buy. But, if you’re only showing up when a customer is ready to buy, you’re losing ground quickly to competitors.
“B2B buyer behavior has been changing dramatically over the last few years as buyers become more sophisticated, finding new ways to gather information online and via social media. 90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you.”
Our shopping patterns have evolved dramatically in the last decade due to online developments. Social Media has transformed the way we solicit and give referrals, amplifying the power of customer evangelism. We take search for granted because of its ubiquity in our lives and expect to “google” anything before we buy it. More recently, video has become omnipresent thanks to the proliferation of high speed connections which allow us to become instant experts on any new topic we happen upon in less time than ever before.
We have a habit of researching every purchase. Some with a simple tweet looking for validation and others with hours of searching and self-education. This new habit combined with the ease of online publishing gives us marketers perhaps the most significant opportunity of this data-rich era. This is an untapped gold mine of potential that has yet to be utilized.
As your prospects research problems and their dreams, you have the ability to show up in their lives with just the right answer or piece of information that they need to move forward. With new technologies, you can begin a relationship with these strangers and possibly turn many of them into customers. Your solutions further build trust towards your brand, enticing them to return again, and encouraging them to spread the word via their social media profiles.
An explosion of Marketing Automation software vendors have emerged in the market to help companies take advantage of this opportunity.
In “Using Marketing Automation with SEO,” I covered the idea of regularly writing and adding content that solves your customers problems to your website. These articles act as bait, attracting potential buyers that are currently researching the problems you can help them solve.
Expand your use of SEO keyword targets beyond your products and services to focus on the problems and answers your customers are searching for. This will bring you a stream of potential customers very early in the process long before they begin contacting competitors.
Once you have these early potential customers, you can use marketing automation and lead nurturing to grow them into a steady stream of ready-to-buy leads for your sales team.
If you rely on lead generation for to grow your company, make sure to check out our new executive report: Three Critical Trends Impacting Lead Generation in 2015.