Driving Conversions Throughout the Customer Lifecycle
Conversions are part of everyday life. 45% of Stephen Curry’s 3-pointers are drained. Barack Obama won 62% of the electoral vote in last year’s election. Solar cells generally convert 15% of solar energy to electricity. A blackjack dealer will bust on 42% of the hands with a 6 showing.
Why Conversions Are Important
Every business wrestles with the same challenge: how to increase revenue (or users / customers) most efficiently.
The fastest-growing businesses think about increasing revenue in a very systematic way. They too think in terms of conversions, and they believe that driving revenue is a science.
As depicted in the graph below, businesses think about how they can most efficiently increase their conversion percentage from prospects to customers and from customers to promoters / upsells. They map out each stage, determine conversion percentage, and decide what needs to happen to move a prospect from one stage to the next.
Each conversion should be considered systematically. If you want to increase revenue by X%, then think backwards about what needs to happen:
- How many more opportunities do you need to create?
- How many more qualified leads?
- How many more free trials?
- How many more webinars?
- How many more demos?
Driving Customer Acquisition
Marketing automation drives prospects and customers through the revenue funnel with various sub-conversions such as ebooks, webinars, demos, conversations with sales reps, etc. Every business is different. And many have specific content that is served up to prospects based on where they are in the sales cycle. As an example, a prospect who just learned about your company is probably not ready for a demo or pricing page. So you move prospects from one stage to the next through providing relevant content.
Marketing automation enables businesses to optimize and automate engagement with your prospects with the right message at the right time through lead nurturing. Forrester Research suggests that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. With marketing automation, businesses can:
1) Arm its sales reps with the intelligence to act accordingly (and be as effective at selling as Stephen Curry is at draining three-pointers)
2) Analyze data that is easily digestible to prove what is working (and what isn’t) to ensure repeatable success.
The Forgotten Conversion: Post-Sales
Marketing automation has largely been marketed a pre-sales enabler. Your customers have already committed their time, resources and likely money to engage with you. But what you are to see moving forward is marketing automation will become a post-sales enabler. Once a customer signs up, now your business is tasked to galvanize their interest. You may begin to focus on questions like:
- What percentage of your customers are promoters?
- What percentage of your customers are heavy users?
- What percentage of your customers have bought additional products / services / solutions?
While some companies (e.g. Apple, Amazon) and their products / services / solutions elicit strong emotional connections and consequential referrals, upsells /cross sells, and renewals, some companies may need a boost to further engage their customers. Marketing automation can do exactly that.
The underlying technology and process is very similar. After the initial sale, companies should focus on nurturing their customers to drive engagement, share success stories and highlight new product features and company updates.
How does your business think about conversions? Has Marketing Automation helped drive conversions? Pre-sales and Post-Sales? What else works well for you?