Keep your distance from the pipeline
Customers don’t move through the stages of customer-hood in an orderly checkout line in today’s growing digital environment because they are too independent-minded to be catered to in a one-size-fits-all way. Instead, buyers are frequently pushed out of the showroom by dealers who are overly focused on moving them through the funnel as if it were a one-way pipeline of stages that must be completed in the designated order.
Frank V. Cespedes highlights this typical tendency among salespeople to become unduly fixated on the customers’ passage through the traditional stages of the sales funnel in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review.
In order to move a prospect from awareness to interest to desire to action, the buying process has been conceptualized over the past 50 years as a hierarchy of effects. The AIDA formula and its variations serve as the foundation—often the unintentional foundation—for client acquisition efforts in the majority of businesses. Inside-out methodology is used, assuming that customers flow sequentially through a “funnel” or “pipeline.”
Research, however, points to a different reality. Customers now consider many activity streams before making a purchase. These streams will be referred to as explore, assess, engage, and experience.
Think about getting a car. Prior to making a purchase, U.S. automobile purchasers spend roughly 13 hours online comparing cars, but only 3.5 hours at car showrooms. Yet dealers are where more than 90% of cars are purchased. However, since they can now access prices, customer reviews, and other information online, consumers’ behavior is altering. If a test drive is necessary to obtain the vehicle’s list price, more than 50% of customers will leave the dealer. A dealer’s website listing vehicle prices will drive nearly 40% of customers away, and a dealer’s automobile will drive nearly 40% of customers away.
It’s basic sales knowledge. Salespeople must help customers with these priorities as they investigate, analyze, engage with, and experience them in the order and at the pace that suits them best.
And how does a salesperson pick up on these subtleties regarding the preferences and needs of their clients? – By asking insightful questions, paying attention to the responses, presenting clients with solutions, and making sure their experience is enjoyable and fruitful all the while, Knowing sales
Cespedes continues by stating
“Conversations with consumers on an ongoing basis are another, much-disregarded source of insights to enhance the experience—what some refer to as “conversational intelligence.” Call recordings, chat transcripts, and product documentation from call centers, sales dialogues, and customer support groups are captured and analyzed using real-time natural language processing techniques by companies like CallMiner, Chorus, NICE, TalkMap, and others. Furthermore, their first-party data capture the “voice of the customer” in their own words, not those of the engineer or brand slogan. These technologies aid in staying current with key determinants of the customer experience. This input is becoming more and more useful due to tightening privacy laws and Apple’s and other companies’ restrictions on user data.
Our unique hands-on approach to conversational intelligence sets SimpSocial apart from other SimpSocial solutions, and our tried-and-true solutions can do the same for your dealership.
Learn more about how conversational intelligence from SimpSocial can help your company and your sales force avoid becoming too reliant on the pipeline.
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