When a sales person works with a prospect in person, they make a hundred unconscious decisions during the conversation. These decisions dictate what they say to the prospect, how they present an offer, and what they do after the conversation.
- If the prospect seems keenly interested, then the sales person might push the offer a little sooner.
- If the prospect asks a lot of questions and seems confused, then the sales person might give them an educational brochure or walk them through a training course.
It's a winding path with frequent side roads and obstacles to be overcome. The sales person and prospect work together to find the best path to the ultimate solution to the prospect's problem. With luck, the destination is the same - a sale.
A well designed website will do the same thing, only the prospect must self-select what path to take. All the choices are laid out in the navigation tabs, the FAQ pages, the forms to be filled out, etc. The prospect has to go through the sales conversation mentally and you hope they choose the correct sequence that ends with a completed transaction. Poor conversion happens when a website does not offer clear paths. If the information is confusing or there are too many side roads, the visitor can get bogged down or frustrated and simply leave the site.
The If/Then statement is at the heart of marketing automation.
Whether you're selling a product in a store, on the phone, or on a website, everything boils down to "If/Then" statements. IF a certain thing happens, THEN another thing happens.
In person, you have the advantage of picking up cues from body language, tone, emotion, facial expressions and more. These cues tell you where to steer the course of the conversation. You choose the path on the spot and every IF/THEN scenario must be internalized, so you know exactly what to do in each circumstance. But you are limited by how many people you can talk to in a day, and by how long a prospect is willing to engage in conversation.
The advantage of a website is it can talk to an unlimited number of prospects at once; and if you use smart automation, you can keep the conversation going indefinitely without annoying the prospect. With an intelligent marketing automation plan in place, the prospect is subtly guided along the path you want them to take, but they are making the choices of where to go. They are self-selecting their own path, but you are providing choices which ultimately result in a sale.
But no matter how you're selling - in person, over the phone, on a website - you are always following an IF/THEN scenario. Every time you miss a scenario, or fail to guide the prospect along the path, you lose leads and potential revenue. So the secret to smart marketing is using all the tools available to maximize your success with all the IF/THEN variables that come up. Of course, that would be a nightmare if you had to guide every single prospect through the maze yourself. That's why smart automated marketing wins every time. The system takes care of all the variables, guiding each person through the maze (no matter how many people there are.) If you spend any valuable time in the sales process at all, it's only with the most highly qualified prospects.
A sophisticated marketing automation plan using Infusionsoft is the best way we've found to make sure you lay out clear automated paths through the IF/THEN maze, and get the maximum number of conversions possible from the traffic you send to your website, your store, your call center, or sales team. You probably spend a hefty chunk of your overall expenses on advertising and marketing of some form or another. It only makes sense to add as much automation as possible so none of those valuable leads fall through the cracks.