It’s happened to even the best of us. A prospective customer comes to you and you spend quite a bit of time assembling a proposal, or creating a custom offering to fit their needs—only to then have the prospect go somewhere else. Short of being a mind reader, knowing how much time to spend on a lead is a fairly difficult process. Fortunately by having the right strategy in place, you can boost your sales while making the most of your existing resources.

Define Your Target Audience

Knowing who you’re selling to is essential for any marketing campaign. It’s not enough to just say that you’re looking to sell to people who are looking for toys or sporting goods. You need to be more specific. Who is the product for? Men, women, or children? Working adults or retired seniors? By defining your target audience, you’ll be able to tailor your messaging to fit the needs of your ideal customers. For B2B sales, you’ll also want to consider the prospect’s revenue, business size, industry, products sold/owned and geographic regions served.

Create a Sales Funnel

Most purchases don’t happen immediately. When focusing on growth, many businesses create sales funnels to ensure resources are being used efficiently. By using a funnel, businesses are able to identify which prospects are most likely to make a purchase, and which ones aren’t as profitable.

Top of the Funnel

Also known as the awareness stage, leads in this phase are just doing their general research. Focus on providing educational materials to help the customer understand the options out there. This also helps to build your credibility by establishing yourself as an industry leader. Common types of content at this stage include e-books, tip sheets, how-to guides, infographics, and blogs.

Middle of the Funnel

Known as the evaluation phase, this is where the customer is aware of the solutions and is looking into making a purchase. At this phase, buyer education is key. Highlighting what makes your brand different from the rest—feature tables, testimonials and sales materials based on audience segment are a few ways to move customers along this route.

Bottom of the Funnel

This is the phase of the buying cycle to address potential objections a customer has to purchasing your solution. Providing free trials, in-depth product demos, custom estimates, testimonials and coupons/offers are key for success at this stage.

Use the Right Lead Generation Tools

Ultimately if you want to boost your sales, you need to tailor the buying experience to each of your customers. It’s relatively easy to gather customer information via the web, yet many companies aren’t gathering feedback from offline channels such as in-store behavior or phone calls. By using Connectivity’s Customer Insights product, which hooks into your business, you can enhance your marketing efforts by gaining an understanding of the source of your phone and email leads—whether it’s your website, business listings, or other digital avenues.

Connectivity’s Automated Marketing Campaigns also enable you to take advantage of remarketing, a technique many companies use to stay relevant even after the prospect goes to a different website. You can create lookalike campaigns to target people who share a similar profile to your best customers, and improve your chances of attracting potential leads who are more likely to respond to your online marketing efforts.

By defining your target audience and using a sales funnel to guide your leads towards making a purchase, you’ll experience more success in finding the right customers who continue to turn to your company for their purchasing needs.

Photo: Orla/Shutterstock

Alex is Connectivity’s VP of Marketing and Client Services.