The buyer's journey is a model of a typical buyer’s experience as they move from lead to patient. Understanding this journey and focusing on the specific needs at each stage will allow you to convert more leads.
- Successful marketing automation delivers information according to stages in the buyer’s journey.
- Stage 1: Awareness. Leads are not sales ready and need information without CTA.
- Stage 2: Consideration. Not sales-ready and require detailed information on solutions.
- Stage 3: Decision. Sales ready. Respond to CTAs. Primary goal is phone contact or meeting.
- Stage 4: Post Purchase: Customer service to achieve satisfaction. Respond to CTA for referrals when satisfied.
- Using the buyer’s journey with marketing automation can increase conversions by up to 50%.
Customer-centric marketing is concerned with the customer or lead’s experience navigating through the process of becoming your patient. This experience is called the buyer’s journey and spans the time from when a lead is first aware of their need for your service right through until they are a satisfied customer, ready and willing to promote your business to others. Marketing automation systems like Influx MD use automated workflows to assist your team to engage with leads at significant times during their buyer’s journey.
This article is the starting point for anyone wanting to automate the buyer’s journey and unlock the potential of marketing automation to increase lead conversions by as much as 50% and reduce conversion costs by 33%*.
The Buyers Journey and the Sales Cycle
If you have experience in sales and selling, you have no doubt heard of the sales cycle. The sales cycle defines the tasks involved in generating more sales revenue for an organization. It is concerned with the financial goals of an organization and what must be done to achieve these goals. Having a structured sales cycle increases sales success within a medical practice.
However, it is common for members of a medical team to feel uncomfortable in a sales role. By shifting the focus from selling services to helping patients buy them, Influx allows your medical team to work within their comfort zone of helping people achieve their health goals
Priorities of the Buyer and Your Team During the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is usually considered to be three stages; Awareness, consideration, and decision. We also add the post-purchase phase because of its importance for nurturing testimonials and referrals.
Stage 1: Awareness
Leads in the awareness stage are the least likely to be sales ready, so they require nurturing. Their immediate value is low, but there is a 50% chance that they will be sales-ready within 12 to 18 months of their initial contact. Because of their latent value to your practice, placing awareness stage leads into a structured nurturing program is the priority.
Lead Focus: Is there a solution to my problem? Am I alone in this?
Agent Focus: Answering questions with short, focused answers that defines the extent of the issue and why it is a problem for the lead. Ensure the lead realizes that while they are unique, their problem is not. Many other people have successfully overcome the same challenges.
Communication Focus: Use Influx’s automations and email chains to promote short content such as tips, infographics, and short blog posts. The purpose of content during the awareness phase is information and education without detail. There should be no sales copy included in this content. Showcase medical expertise through multiple easy to digest pieces.
Stage 2: Consideration
Early consideration stage leads are not yet sales-ready but can become so very quickly. During this stage, the lead is aware of solutions and is actively investigating possibilities.
Lead Focus: What are the solutions? What are the pros and cons of each solution? How do I learn more about solutions? Does this solve my problem? Is the benefit worth the cost? Is this a priority for me right now?
Agent Focus: It is time to help the lead make an appropriate choice based on the information provided. If there are several choices, review pros and cons for each. Concentrate on sharing the details about solutions with leads through group seminars and in person one on one information sessions. It is important to remain focused on sharing information and not selling a program.
Communication Focus: Use testimonials that highlight the experience other people had with different solutions. Consider downloadable content that shows your industry experience while providing value to the lead. With this collateral, the emphasis is providing as much value to the lead as possible. Authenticity is the catchword for all collateral you create for this stage.
Stage 3: Decision
The decision stage lead is sales-ready and has the highest immediate value to your practice. These leads warrant all the time you can spend with them.
Lead Focus: Am I ready to buy? How do I pay? Why should I choose this medical practice? Help me buy.
Agent Focus: Now is the time to demonstrate why your medical practice is the best choice to solve the lead’s problem. It is also the time for a face-to-face meeting. During this stage, you will ask for the sale. Focus your attention on making the sign-up process as easy as possible. Emphasize your willingness to guide the lead through any challenges and make sure you follow through.
Communication Focus: Use testimonials of satisfied patients and highlight results that others have experienced. Keep a selection of your best before and after photographs and stories and use influx MD Email Marketing to share them with leads each time you contact them by email.
Stage 4: Post-purchase
It’s time to deliver on your promises and create a patient experience that they will want to share with others. Ensuring that your patients feel cared for after the sale is important for generating positive reviews and referrals.
Lead Focus: Did I make the right choice? Should I share my experience? Do I have friends or family that may benefit from this?
Agent Focus: Help your lead avoid any buyer’s remorse. Maintain close contact. Your role now is to help and support your patient and deliver on every promise you made before the sale. Make your lead feel important and appreciated.
Communication Focus: Once leads become patients, the most effective content is delivered through an email newsletter. Consider providing premium content accessible only to patients through the Influx patient portal (Clinic Link). Reinforce the wisdom of the selection made with the continued use of testimonials.
Timing is Everything.
Thoroughly understanding your buyers' journey allows you to deliver the right level of agent involvement at the right time and supplement with automated content when it will do the most good. When you match the information requirements of your leads at specific points with your messaging, content, and agent interaction, you will find it easier to move more leads through the sales funnel and convert them to patients.