Sometimes I spend a few minutes in the HubSpot Agencies Facebook Group and noticed an agency owner asking about quick wins. The other owners posted the standard collection of advice like add a chat bot, look to improve conversions across the site and start a pay per click campaign. All good ideas.
But the best idea we’ve seen in 16 years of running an agency responsible for generating results for our clients is to rearchitect the back end of the buyer journey offers.
What does that mean? Let me answer it in this article.
Just so we’re clear, this article won’t have any references to the funnel. We’ve smashed the funnel late last year, that model is archaic and doesn’t reflect how people buy today. As an exanmple, bottom of the funnel is referred to as end of the buyer journey.
The Cyclonic Buyer Journey
If you’re looking for an explanation around how we think about the buyer journey, check out this pillar page on the Square 2 site that focuses on educating people on the new buyer journey, the Cyclonic Buyer Journey.
Instead of top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel, we use Early stage buyer journey offers, middle stage buyer journey offers and end of the buyer journey.
Awareness and Education are early buyer journey stages. Consideration and Evaluation are middle of the buyer journey stages. Rationalization and Decision Making are clearly late stage or end of the buyer journey stages. If you want to read more about this, click here.
Just like the funnel, you’ll have different types of content for each of these different stages. Most agencies are pretty good with the early and middle stages. Content like whitepapers, eBooks, and infographics for the early stages. Content like webinars, events, and surveys for the middle stages but when it comes to the end of the buyer journey most agencies are at a loss.
End of The Buyer Journey Offers
If you look at all your current clients, you’ll quickly see the back end of the buyer journey offers are very light weight. Contact Us, Speak with A Rep, Request A Quote, Ask For A Proposal, and even the newly popular Schedule A Meeting or Call with Us. These all suck. They’re sales calls in disguise and as disguises go, not even very good ones.
Prospects in a buyer journey DON’T want to speak to reps, so sales interactions pretending to be offers are NOT fooling anyone—this is why most websites generate very few sales ready leads.
If you want to generate some quick wins, instead of asking a prospect if they want to speak to a sales rep, try adding value.
Here are some real examples of end of the buyer journey offers that produce sales ready leads from real clients at Square 2.
- Schedule a 30 Minute Mini-Safety Audit
- Request a "Background Check" Check Up
- Send Us A Picture Of Your Concrete Polished Floor and We'll Give You 5 Ways To Improve Its Look
- Request A Quick Sketch for Your Next Design Project
- Schedule a 30 Minute Assessment of Your Existing HR Efforts
- Get 3 New Ideas In 30 Minutes To Save Money With Your Payroll Company
Take a close look at these offer ideas. Each one delivers value for the prospect. Each one allows the prospect to take away something they can use to make their business better. Research shows that 90% or more of the visitors to your client’s websites are NOT ready to buy.
But 10% are ready and if you have enough website visitor traffic adding these value-oriented, end of the buyer journey offers can turn visitors into sales ready leads in days, not weeks or months.
What Does Implementation of These Offers Look Like?
One of the reasons we like this type of quick wins is because this is more about the idea than the actual services work required by the agency. You don’t have to write a whitepaper or eBook to deliver any of the ideas above.
Here’s what you do need to do.
First, you’ll have to get sign off from the company that they like the idea and feel their sales reps can deliver the offer. Take the mini-safety audit from above. Can their reps ask the right questions required to create the mini-audit and provide some safety recommendations as a result of that min-audit?
Generally, the answer is yes, of course the reps can do that, they know their industry and their products or services very well.
Next, you’ll need the CTA and the landing page. These can be quick to create.
Finally, and most importantly you’ll need to train the sales reps and align marketing with sales to make sure the experience for the prospect is what you’ve designed. Shorthand? The reps can’t put on the hard sell. They have to deliver the value first and then work on qualification to see if there is an opportunity or not.
The thinking behind this type of offer is that anyone who is open to engaging with a sales rep, for whatever reason, is more likely to be farther along in their buyer journey and mroe sales ready than someone who is just doing research.
Keep in mind that you might need a handful of these offers. They still have to be deployed in context to the pages you’re placing them on the website. For example, you shouldn’t place end of the buyer journey offers on early buyer journey awareness pages and you should make sure all your offers are specific to the industry and role.
This is why content strategy, website strategy and a deep understanding of the buyer journey by persona is critical before you start either content creation or website build projects. Remember, strategy before tactics.
If you’re building websites or creating content without a clear understanding of the prospect’s buyer journey, the questions they ask and the issues they’re concerned about it’s a fast track to a program that under performs.
I promise you that in two to three months your client will be asking why they’re not getting any leads.
Who’s Right For This Type Of Approach?
Not everyone is perfect for this late stage, end of the buyer journey offer strategy. If the client is getting under 1,000 visits a month OR if the client is getting the wrong visitors to their site, this approach is only going to produce marginal results.
Clients with over 1,000 visitors a month to their site should expect between 10 and 30 leads a month and between one and three end of the buyer journey, sales ready leads. The better your offers the higher your numbers. The more offers the higher the numbers. I’ve seen as many as 5% of visitors convert on strong offers and up to 50% of them move into the sales opportunity category.
That is significant for companies with big ticket items.
Clients with limited budgets also qualify for this type of approach because we can do everything to get them set up with one of these creative end of the buyer journey offers for just $2,500 and when it produces sales ready leads—that’s big ROI for any client.
With this new information in your bag of tricks, it’s still critical that you set realistic expectations with your clients. Make sure they understand the math and it's still incumbent on the sales team to nurture and close those leads.
Make sure you have this challenging conversation with every client.
Start Today Tip – Like everything we do, you’ll have to test this idea with either the agency or a client. Let’s get started. Pick a client. Present the idea. It's low investment and if you’re actively managing the engagement, you should be able to simply allocate 25 points to their February program deliverables and get started. Brainstorm three or four offers for end of the buyer journey and start testing. Which one produces the most leads? Which one produces the best leads? Which one produces the leads that close the fastest? Which one produces the leads that generate the most revenue? You might have to cycle three or four through the client website over 60 days to complete the test. I guarantee if you do this right, you’ll increase the sales ready leads your clients. Good luck!
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