Prolonged purchase cycles can cause some major headaches for a sales & marketing team. Not only does a marketer in that type of environment need to delight their prospects and customers, they need to do so on a continual basis. Often times, a prolonged purchase cycle involves a high degree of relationship building with a prospect. And once the sale has been made that relationship doesn’t end. The relationship between you and your customer is ongoing and oftentimes results in future sales.
Many marketers struggle with how to maintain their marketing efforts when facing a prolonged purchase cycle but luckily Inbound Marketing can relieve many of their headaches.
Stay In The Forefront Of Your Prospects’ Minds
Inbound Marketing gives your brand an active presence online and that’s exactly what you need to remain top-of-mind. Many of your prospects have been debating what product supplier or service provider to go with and probably conduct most of their research online. When your brand has a social media presence and especially a robust blog with frequent content updates you’ll stand head and shoulders above the competition. That’s because your customers want to get a sense that you’ll be there throughout the whole purchase process and provide superior support. Your Inbound Marketing efforts will clearly demonstrate that your business is active and moving forward. Don’t let your business’ online presence appear stagnant since that’s a surefire way to turn prospects away.
Speaking of active, the more content you get out there the higher you’ll rank in search. That’s going to keep your business popping up first for searches and that’s where you want to be since over half of users (add link for link text “over half of users” for my blog on value of ranking 1st) click the first link on a search engine results page. The more great content you put out there, the more you keep your brand alive in the eyes of a prospect.
Be Effective And Measure Results
How many times have you put out a print ad or exhibited at a tradeshow and were left wondering what kind of impact you had? Do you know what prospects are looking at on your website and who’s behind the keyboard on the other end? It’s an awful feeling but it’s all too common. Using Inbound Marketing tactics along with an Inbound Marketing platform such as HubSpot, you’ll have tools to see exactly what kind of impact your efforts are having and who those efforts are having an impact on.
Inbound Marketing makes your website work for you much more than before. Now you can actually track right down to the individual user what types of interactions they’ve made on your site and when they’ve done so. This will allow you to personalize your marketing efforts to individual prospects and enhance the relationship building that is vital to a prolonged purchase cycle.
A prospect will most likely visit your site and interact with it multiple times throughout a purchase cycle. The intervals may be weeks or even months, but being able to track how and when that prospect has interacted with your content is key. This allows you to know when your sales team should pick up the phone and call that prospect. This won’t be a cold call either; your team will have a good idea what the pain points are for the person on the other end of the phone even before they answer. Your team will also be able to see exactly where this prospect is located and what their business does, enabling your team to know how the prospect will want to utilize your product/service.
Nurture And Teach Your Prospects
Undoubtedly, your prospects are extremely knowledgeable about what you sell. However, you as the seller have a unique perspective on the product/service that you offer. Providing knowledgeable content in the form of downloadable eBooks, tip sheets and blog posts will qualify that knowledge to your prospects. Your website needs to be an extension of your sales team. Just think how much your sales department will love to get prospects that are more familiar with your product/service. Not only that, but your prospects will know some of the advantages that you offer and what they mean.
Nurturing your prospects is vital to a prolonged purchase cycle. If a particular purchase cycle could last 2-5 years then you want to continually provide content in order to further qualify your brand and answer questions that your prospects have. You’ll see improved ROI, not to mention additional leads when you start nurturing your prospects with relevant emails and additional content offers with Inbound Marketing. Your sales team will undoubtedly be thankful for getting warm leads and keeping your current customers happy throughout the entire purchase cycle. Plus, making your website work for you is key since you probably invested considerable time and budget into making it. Now’s the time to make it your hardest working salesperson.