In simple terms, your online business development process consists of getting found, educating and nurturing your prospects through the decision making process, conversion and post sales activities.
The buying process has fundamentally changed; both business buyers (B2B) and consumers (B2C) are going online to find what you sell.
If you are not on page one of search engine results, or visible on appropriate social media sites, then prospects are not finding you.
To them you don’t exist.
Every time this happens, it’s a missed opportunity. Getting found online, and generating qualified inbound leads, is “job one”.
Educate and Nurture
Although driving inbound leads is the critical first step, simply generating a lead does not necessarily equate to a sale.
Once a prospect finds you online, your selling efforts have just begun. Your online presence must create a favourable impression and give prospects confidence that you are a viable choice.
To gain this confidence, you must commit to educating prospects about how to make an informed decision and develop your online tools and content accordingly.
Making a sale normally involves more than one interaction with a prospect. Therefore, you must convert a prospect, or “get them to yes” at each interaction point. This can be effectively done by using offers (calls to action) to move them to a well-defined next step.
Online tools are ideally suited as offers because they are always available and are easy for prospects to access on their own terms. Examples of online offers are webinars, white papers, electronic coupons, contests, videos, contests, and e-books.
Post Sales Support
Most businesses do not pay enough attention to a very valuable asset; their customer base.
However, it is difficult to maintain consistent contact with customers just through human interaction – there are only so many hours in the day. Online mechanisms such as e-surveys and emails can effectively fill the void.
So when it comes to online marketing, the first step is to acknowledge that it is critical to your long-term success. Once you commit to online marketing, apply these powerful tools and technologies to optimize each phase of your end to end business development process.
Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. He helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing and executing winning online marketing strategies. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at [email protected].com