The sales cycle - every organization has one, whether they actively think about it or not. It is the process that turns prospects into long term clients. A good sales organization is process and metric driven. They know how many leads get quoted, how many quotes get bound and how long clients stay with the firm.
The digital version of the sales cycle is not that much different than the traditional version - your prospects and clients go through the same decision making process. However, the digital version uses a new tool set and is capable of being scaled much more quickly and cost effectively.
The sales cycle is described in many ways, but it boils down to:
What’s the customer thinking?
Prospects are generally in one of three steps in the decision making process - thinking, looking and buying.
They first identify a need for insurance, for example: their child turns 16, they’re moving residences, or they’ve had a poor experience with their current provider. Secondly, they seek out ways to satisfy that need. People rely on a number of tools for this, including google search, social media, review sites and recommendations. Being in the conversation at this point is paramount. Prospects will not buy from you if you do not appear in their search, or appear to rank poorly against your competition. The third and final stage is purchasing. Matching the consumers’ expectations for price, quality & trust is vital at this stage, to ensure a completed purchase.
What’s their motivation?
Insurance prospects have a number of triggers - they could be looking for the cheapest insurance, they could be looking for advice, they could be looking to offload the insurance decision-making process entirely. It’s important to have an online presence that matches the prospect’s needs while exceeding their expectations.
One of the advantages of digital marketing is that you can create multiple entry points to your firm. For example, your digital tools can encompass an online quoter, relevant blog articles and a social media presence, among other tools. Your marketing can then direct consumers to the path most relevant to them, while funneling all those disparate prospects to your sales team.
Prospects have different needs and are in different stages of their buying journey. A successful digital marketing implementation identifies the appropriate stage and provides prospects with relevant tools and guidance for that stage, all while tracking and funneling the prospect into your sales team.