(Image Source: CarsMoveUs.com)
Friction is the resistance force that slows down or prevents motion of an object when moving over another. It’s the force that allows people to walk, cars to drive, and makes heat to start a fire.
Friction is also what prevents your leads from getting from the top of your sales funnel into paying customers out the bottom. The most effective way to speed up your sales cycle is to reduce the friction inside of your funnel as much as possible. You’re never going to be able to win every deal that enters your pipeline – or completely remove friction from your sales funnel—but by understanding how to lower the resistance in the funnel will dramatically make it easier to convert leads into customers.
To do so, you must first identify your customers’ or prospects buying process and what steps they take from the time they enter the top of your funnel to the deal close. This is referred to as the customer buying journey. You need to understand the entire buying process that your customer goes through; from their awareness of need, to assessing alternatives, making a decision, and then post purchase experience as a client. The entire process is an encompassing experience and you need to be present at every aspect, to not only win the deal, but to make sure your customer is able to achieve the results that brought them to you in the first place. You need to be there at every touch point guiding the lead through the funnel to reduce the friction, when you can.
This idea of being present throughout the buying journey is an ongoing strategy you need to implement throughout every sales interaction you have. The buying journey doesn’t end after a sale has occurred, rather it is just beginning! You must continue to interact with your customers during the times between their purchase and the next sales conversation you have in order to be relevant and continue to build your business relationship. Each time a customer comes out of one funnel, they immediately enter into the next one where you have the opportunity to upsell other solutions to them.
For example, let’s image you’re trying to win a deal supporting a legal practice with attorneys that are constantly out of the office.
Top of the funnel: You reach out through multiple touch points and channels to schedule a meeting with the partners at the firm and pitch your managed services offerings to them. While doing so, you ask them how much time they spend in the office and realize that the attorneys at the firm are always in and out of the courtroom and not always at their desk.
Reduce friction: You ask them what they are doing in terms of mobility and find that the firm is still bringing stacks of papers into the courtroom with notes, strategies, and cases. It is becoming hard to manage and they need a better way to operate and stay connected. They’ve thought of a few solutions to their problems, but they can’t find a perfect one for everyone in the company to stand behind. As the IT expert, you are able to help guide them to realize the benefits of adding tablets into the managed services contract to help the attorneys while they are mobile. As a LogMeIn Elevate Channel Partner, you are able to pitch the value proposition for supporting their mobile devices using LogMeIn Rescue so if there is ever a problem, you are able to solve it by giving them a quick pin code and support them remotely, on-demand.
Bottom of the funnel: You’ve solved the initial problem for your client and landed the deal, but like I mentioned before, this is just the beginning of the relationship!
Top of funnel #2: A few weeks pass, and your client realizes the tablets are great, but they are hard to keep organized because any notes they make and cases they use on the tablet are not updated on their workstation when they get back into the office. It seems like Cubby would be great solution to sell them so they could always have access to their files, cases, and notes on any of their devices and stay organized and up to date across everything they work on. Ask them to envision being able to bring their tablet into the courtroom and pull up everything related to their case on the tablet, but have it organized and synced across all of their devices. Not only that, but by using Cubby, the lawyers could share information about the case inside the cubby so everyone has all the files pertaining to the case at their fingertips. Sounds like a solution that would be a great fit here.
Reduce friction: Before your customer has time to throw an objection about security, bring it up in the conversation. Reduce the friction in the funnel by showing the value of the cloud, mobile accessibility, and telling a story about how they could use the solution, (in this case Cubby), as the perfect fit in addition to your managed services contract. Provide information about Cubby to review and help them understand the value of a cloud storage solution with the security features of Cubby and the impact it will have to their business.
Bottom of Funnel #2: If you are able to walk your customer through the customer journey and reduce the friction in the sales funnel, you will be able to upsell more products and increase your value to your customers.
When you cater your sales interactions to addressing the needs of the customer and proceed to walk them through the customer journey, you start to build trust. Once you starting adjusting your sales interactions to align with customer journey touch points, not only will your customer appreciate you, but you’ll actually feel like you’re one step ahead of the customer and can plan what happens next!
The most effective sales conversations you will have will be the ones where you show empathy and understand your customers’ pains, provide guidance on their customer journey, and identify a solution to solve their problem. Don’t just pitch them the latest and greatest thing in your portfolio. Making sure your services fit your clients’ needs are critical and addressing them along the customer buying journey is your key to reducing friction in your funnel and landing deals.
Remember, the less friction in your sales funnel, the easier the sale becomes. In the next MSP Marketing Madness Blog we will discuss some of the key sales strategies and questions you need to be asking your customers or prospects on their customer’s journey.