Manas Kumar, Thinking out Loud

my thoughts & visions for technology

4 Step strategy for business growth online

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4 Step Online Business StrategyIn my opinion the most significant as well as the most overlooked aspect of a business is marketing. Most people dont really get it. Most businesses understand it as advertising. Most customers perceive it as flyers in the mailbox – but guys, its a lot more than that.

Marketing is not just about winning new customers but also keeping existing customers happy. My business strategy is simple – find new ways to generate more revenue from existing customers and ye shall be profitable. Eugene Moreau, a close friend and advisor taught me the principal of Find-Win-Keep-Grow. These are the 4 most essential tasks your business could perform in order to move from success to significance.

In your business, currently, what can you do to increase your revenue per customer per year?

While you are thinking about this question let me share with you 4 essential tips to utilising your website to win and keep high value customers.

Step 1 – Simplify your website

Look at ways of driving qualified traffic through your website. Search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, social media marketing and PR are all credible ways of driving qualified traffic through your website.

Once your prospects are on your website, the most important thing is to present the answer to their “right now” problem. Time is short, margin for error is non-existent and you have a lot to talk about.The key is to simplify your pitch.

Gone are the days when flash banners, designer graphics and a whole lot of jazz was cool. Now most people that visit your website fall in the category of “been there, done that, bought the T-shirt” and have no love for “cool”. They are not surfing the net, killing time looking for something to WOW them. They are on your website because somewhere they have heard (or read) that you have the answer to their “right now” problem.

Step 2 – Engage our visitors attention

Recently some of our customers have put Live Ambassador technology to great use. Companies have used Live Ambassador as the face for their website. Websites are generally very 2 dimensional with very little interactivity for the end user. It is a known fact that if you can engage your visitor into taking some action within the first few seconds of visiting your website, you have greater chances of conversion.

Seeing that you have a lot to say about your businesses to this new prospect that has stumbled upon your website, it is imperative that you put your best foot forward. Once of the strategies you should consider is having special landing pages that talk about certain pain points (from a customers’ perspective) and provide succint, specific information to answer the “right now” problem.

Use a Live Ambassador to break the ice.

Question: Would you rather read though the full page of text or have a real human being give you a 15 second pitch about what your business can do for them?

At the end of the 15-second pitch, get the prospect to click on the Live Ambassador and get redirected to the most critical landing page on your website.

This way you have bypassed through all the potential distractions on your website and taken your prospect right to where they can find the answer they are looking for.

Step 3 – Capture Information

What good is a website visitor if you never have the opportunity to conver them into a customer. Thousands of people surf the internet but its only the ones that share their contact information with you that have the potential of becoming your customers in future.

So capturing user data is absolutely critical, not just from a follow up point of view, but also for future marketing communication.

However, with data capture comes the question of data management. Its all good that you have a form on your website that collects user information – but then what?

In my opinion you should have a form that submits directly to an online contact management system with the ability to automatically trigger a string of communication emails based on user interaction.

Consider this example: If you go on the LiveCRM website and sign up for the “request a demo” form, you are immediately added to the CRM system as a new lead; our sales manager gets an email notifying of this new prospect immediately. The Sales Manager logs in and allocates the lead to an appropriate business development manager.

The business develpoment manager then initiates a preset workflow as a result of which you get an auto responder acknowledging your request.

Now depending on whether or not you open the email and click on any links inside it, auto responders are used to send you further, relevant and more specific communication via email.

As a CEO, at any given time, I have the ability to log into LiveCRM and see how many leads were acquired from the “request a demo” form, at what stage they are in the pipeline, who is dealing with them, what interactions have been taken by both parties toward engaging in this business relationship and a whole lot more.

I hope you can see the picture here – I have just shown you how a system can be used to automate your lead capture, first contact and then salesforce automation with just a few clicks.

Step 4 – Build relationships with your customers

Now that you have won this deal, it is time for you to start building the relationship to fulfil the greater agenda – Keep this customer for life, increase revenue per customer per year and reduce customer service costs.

In my experience, the customers you lose to a competitor are mainly due to their dissatisfaction with you as a supplier. In 85% of the cases you will find that the customer simply wanted to be regularly communicated with. I heard a customer once say to me “Manas, your team never bothered ringing me and asking me how I was doing in business; how then do you say that you are interested in mu success?” – this is true. We lost this customer but learnt a valuable lesson.

Using Maxmail, you can setup and manage regular newsletter communication, conduct online surveys to gauge customer satisfaction and make critical changes to your business strategy to achieve your busniess goals – Listen. If you dont know what your customers think about you, there is no way you can keep them happy.

In closing

Finding, Winning, Keeping and Growing is a winning strategy. But for this strategy to prove itself you need supporting systems and processes in place to automate things and focus on building relationships.

In my opinion, every point in a customer interaction where the “human element” is not present should be automated leaving humans to do what they do best – build personal relationshps. This not only saves you resources, but also sets you apart in terms of consistency – machines dont forget to send out emails, humans do.

Using integrated systems not only gives you the power of knowledge about your prospects/customers, it also introduces a new level of efficiency at multiple touch points within your organisation – If everyone sees what everyone else sees, then everyknow knows everything, and can help with anything.

Remember – Your website is a valuable resource. Use it well and you will make the competition irrelevant.

NOTES: Eugene Moreau is a well known pitch strategist and business coach – checkout his blog

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Written by manaskumar

December 21, 2008 at 10:19 pm

One Response

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  1. You’re right on the money with this one. I don’t think organisations really understand the true value of marketing. Especially in an online context. In the midst of the day to day, head down bum up of doing business it is easy to forget that you are in business to give value service to people who are looking for your solution – whether that’s a product, service or whatever. In a world of socially networked consumers I Mr Gates prediction from many years ago coming into reality. You either get it right online… or you go out of business.

    Don

    December 21, 2008 at 10:48 pm


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