Map your way to success


Many businesses spend a lot of their time and budget on marketing activity to drive leads and make sales.

But few of them make the most of the leads they get. Most tend to react to a need to increase sales by increasing marketing activity. It is much more cost effective to look at how you convert a lead to a sale and make improvements in that process.

I’ve found that the best way is to create a map showing all the process steps that convert an enquiry into a sale. It’s a detailed version of a customer journey map setting out what you need to do (and when) to make the sale. Once you’ve got that, it is easy to see why and when you lose a sale. Then you can make any changes necessary to improve your conversion rate.

I’ve used this process many times. At one large corporate it resulted in a 30% increase in sales from the same number of enquiries. An SME saw a 100% improvement in their conversion rate. All by making quick, small changes.

So, how do you start?

First, put yourself in the customer’s shoes:

What are their likely needs – why would they want your product or service? This could be to help resolve a problem or to achieve something (or both!)

What’s going to be important to them – what concerns will they have? – it could be cost, or having confidence it is the right solution for them. It could be asking if they can trust you, what other issues might it cause? This could be a long list by the way….

Second, detail every process you have step by step

Third, look at each item on your list. Ask if your current processes answer that need or concern. If they do, is it in the right way for the customer and in the right timescales? (you need to be honest with yourself here!).

Fourth, review any step in the process that you are not 100% sure addresses the customer need or concern. What do you need to change to make sure they do?

Here’s a simple example:

XYZ Co sell white goods – fridges and freezers. Sales are through their website.

My freezer breaks down, and I need a replacement. I see one on their website and click on the product description. What are my needs and concerns?

My list would be:

  1. I need a freezer in the next 24 hours otherwise I lose the food in the existing one.
  2. I need one the same size as my existing one to make sure it fits in my kitchen
  3. I want one that is at least as energy efficient as the one I have
  4. I want to pay as little as possible
  5. I’ m worried about this breaking down in the future
  6. I’m not great at DIY so I need simple instructions for installing it

So how does XYZ Co meet my needs and concerns?:

  1. They offer guaranteed 24 hour delivery and the site shows it is currently in stock
  2. They have clear size information on the site
  3. They detail the energy efficiency and I can compare it against other models
  4. They offer a price guarantee that they will match all major suppliers
  5. They offer an extended guarantee
  6. They can install it for a small extra charge, and have 24 hour telephone support if needed.

They have anticipated and met all my needs and possible concerns, and are likely to get my business!


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