How to Use the Customer Journey to Generate Leads
How do you generate leads? Your prospects are on what we call the customer journey as they ultimately make a purchase decision. Are you guiding them along the way with your lead-generation program? If you’re not aware of the customer journey, it’s an effective tool for making your lead generation more relevant and effective. And if you’re not using it, you should.
What is your customers’ journey?
It starts with the moment someone first becomes aware of the need or desire for the product or service you offer. It ends with them making the final purchase decision. What happens in between is the customer journey. What that is, and how long it takes, depends on the product/service category. It might include identifying a problem, researching solutions, and selecting a vendor. It might take a few weeks, a few months, or even just a few minutes. Try to understand what your customers’ journey is. What are the steps they take along the way? What are the challenges they need to overcome? Spending time understanding this will ultimately generate leads.
What are the questions they have?
Once you understand your customers’ journey, you can begin to understand the information they need at any given point. Put yourself in their shoes. Do some research, if you can. Make a list of all the questions your customers have as they gather information to help them make their decisions. Your sales team should be a good source of this information. These questions will prove useful in the next step.
Devise a simple strategy
Once you know what they questions your customers have at each point in their journey, you can create a simple strategy for answering them. The goal is to become a source of information throughout the entire journey. Keep in mind the different stages of the journey. The kind of information customers need during the early stages will be different than the information they need later. So will the channels where they find it. In the early stages of the customer journey, customers may not even realize they have a need, and they won’t be actively seeking out solutions. So you have to find a way to get their attention. Later in the journey, customers will be actively researching, and you need to be there, too.
Keep customers in your pipeline
Ultimately, your goal is to stay in front of customers throughout their journey. You want to be one of the only, if not the only vendor they consider to solve their problems and meet their needs. This means being smart about your calls to action. It might be tempting in your content to push for a sale right away, but that’s not always the best thing to do. When customers have a long decision process, they don’t want to be hit with a sales pitch when they’re just gathering information. So resist the urge to do that. Instead, make your calls to action more appropriate to the stage where customers are in their journey. If they’re just learning about a potential need, guide them to content where they can learn more. If they’re researching solutions, tell them a little about what they can do themselves.