Lean web advertising and the successful sales pyramid

Day 8. December 2014 posted Stanislava Vabšek
The 3rd module of the bootcamp of accelerator Start:up Geek House brought the advice that you should be present on search engines at the least – in an organic as well as non-organic way. Create unique content adapted to individual phases of the purchasing process. And use remarketing, was the advice of the digital marketing expert Andraž Štalec from company Red Orbit, while sales expert Robert Rolih from company Uspeh talked to the participants and revealed a pyramid that uses four carefully planned steps to increase the chances of successfully closing a sales meeting for up to 80 %.

What’s incredibly important for successful digital marketing is the understanding that Internet users always go through a certain process when making purchasing decisions. It starts when they think about buying a product and become aware of its existence or, better said, when the recognisability of the product is being built. This is then followed by the phase of research or fact-finding, comparing and learning things about the product – its advantages, characteristics and uses. When a consumer decides for a purchase, they wish to do so under the best conditions and price, while the provider wishes to ensure a good user experience and build brand loyalty.

We do research on the internet, but buy in physical stores

In line with these phases and different needs of the user in an individual phase, a company has to plan its marketing goals and content as well as choose suitable digital channels and key performance indicators. Andraž Štalec had presented some key statistics in order to help plan these processes. A modern Internet user uses three digital devices (computer, tablet, smartphone) on average. As much as 97 % of users use search engines for finding information, whereby they can use up to 10,600 different keywords for accessing one website and typically check 10 information sources before deciding for a purchase.
Source: Red Orbit, the whole presentation is available at: www.slideshare.net/redorbit/lean-digital-marketing 

In Slovenia, the majority of purchases still happen in physical stores. Otherwise the share of online purchases compared to physical ones still strongly depends on the industry, and currently only travels and touristic packages are what we buy over the internet to a larger extent. Of course these are the specifics of the Slovenian market, while across the world, especially in the USA, different data and characteristics are in play and each start-upper has to thoroughly research the specifics of their own target market.

Organic hits leading in income

Even though the majority of people in Slovenia decide to make their purchases in physical stores, the internet is still what encourages the purchasing process and it’s on the internet that as much as 45 % of the purchases actually begin. In this, we have to keep in mind that only 1,43 % of website visitors actually start the purchasing process, from which only 11 % really finish it. As much as 67 % of purchases include the use of more than one digital channel – from organic and non-organic search results, the direct or indirect website traffic and e-mailing, to advertising with banners and presence on the social media. In this, customers typically use as much as 3,703 different conversion paths, while a comparison of income per different digital channels shows that organic search results are still the most effective on average.
Source: Red Orbit, the whole presentation is available at: www.slideshare.net/redorbit/lean-digital-marketing 

Be present on search engines at the least and use remarketing

Therefore it can be a very big mistake to be present on only one digital channel, warns Štalec. The effectiveness of a particular channel can be increased if you intensely work on it and invest into it. However if you have to choose to be present only on one of them due to a limited budget, this should still be a search engine with organic as well as non-organic presence. If you can afford it, be amongst the first three payable hits on Google in contents that are important to you.
Another very effective solution is using remarketing, for example dynamic or e-mail remarketing, as it is an excellent tool for re-addressing or convincing those users who have already visited our website once and expressed a certain interest on it (for example looked at a product or added a product to their cart without concluding the purchase) to return to our website and make the purchase, subscribe to e-news, submit an enquiry ...
Andraž Štalec, Red Orbit, explaining the ROPO effect - “Research online, purchase offline" 

Unique content, adapted to the phase of the purchasing process

“I am noticing another common mistake when it comes to digital marketing, besides the unsuitable choice of digital channels,” cautions Štalec. The content is well-made and focused on that point when the consumer already exactly knows what they want to buy. But there is a lack of unique and useful content in the phase of building recognisability, during which the user wishes to feel connected to the product, see it and notice on the internet, as well as start to establish a certain relationship with it. It is also necessary to address the consumer in the next step when they are already comparing different solutions and want to know more about our product, which is why the content has to allow them to learn about the product’s characteristics, advantages and use.

Performance indicators adjusted to the marketing goals

Key performance indicators also have to be adjusted to individual goals. If we don’t promote the product only in the purchasing phase but also wish to support it with the right messages in the phase of building recognisability and research, then the key performance indicators can’t just be earnings, conversion level or turnover. In the phase of building recognisability, other performance indicators are crucial, such as the frequency of the visit, searching by brand, percentage of new visits or the number of mentions on the internet. On the other hand, success in the research phase is measured with the number of established contacts, commitment of users, thoroughness of search and CTR (click-through rate), additionally warns the lecturer.

The entire presentation from Andraž Štalec on the topic of the laws of lean digital marketing can be found at this link.

The pyramid of successful sales or 80 % success

Established sales expert Robert Rolih, from company Uspeh, talked to bootcamp participants about the fact that sales aren’t a matter of inspiration but rather an exact process with four key phases than can guarantee that as much as eight out of ten sales meetings are also successfully concluded.

1st phase: Trust and relationship

The first step in the so-called pyramid of successful sales focuses on building trust and establishing a relationship. The biggest mistake that the salesman can make in this phase is impatiently jumping straight to selling and presenting the product. “You should start the sales meeting with an informal conversation for which you should prepare well. Try to find as much information as possible about the company and the person you’re talking with. It’s ideal if you find some similarity with the client – for example joint interests, the fact that you both come from the same city or maybe even business partners you both work with. Good trust builders are also just the right amount of humour, compliments and mirroring, in which you adjust the tempo of your speech to that of your customer, for example if the customer is speaking more slowly and calmly or more quickly and dynamically. This phase can last from a couple of minutes to one hour – depending on how much time you have at your disposal to break the ice, emphasises Rolih.

2nd phase: Discovering needs

The second phase includes asking questions and carefully listening to what the customer needs. This way, you will discover which problems they are currently facing and appropriately adjust your presentation of the product. “I myself have always asked the client, right at the very beginning, whether I can ask them some questions to find out if the thing I am offering is really suitable for them,” advises Rolih and lists some examples of effective questions:
  • How are you currently solving problems you have with … ?
  • What is already working well for you in this area?
  • In an ideal world, how would a solution of this and that problem look like? 

3rd phase: presentation

“Only when you are in deep conversation with a client with whom you have established a relationship and built some trust should you start talking about the product and the solutions it offers. Be clear and understandable. If your solution includes complicated technical details, use layman’s terms and metaphors. Have a good elevator pitch prepared and present key use values of the product and the problems it solves in one to two minutes. If at all possible, present a real-life example of the use of your product or service, even if this means that you offer free samples to the first users that serve as a case study,” states Rolih.

4th phase: successful conclusion to a sales meeting

For successfully concluding a sales meeting, Robert Rolih suggests asking the following question: “If you agree, then the next step is to…” and stating the wanted result, such as a signing of a contract, a confirmed purchase order or whatever you wish to achieve as the conclusion to the meeting. Then fall silent and wait for the answer. If you don’t ask for it, you can’t get it, that’s written even in the Bible, says Romih with a laugh. For clients who decline, he advises you not to argue with them and contradict them. It’s best to comply with their objections and then search for the real reasons and reservations preventing the purchase. If that is the price of the product being too high, you can say – yes, I agree, our price really is higher – and then list valid arguments that excuse this price. Thus you isolate the obstacle that’s preventing the sale and keep finding successful solutions, patiently and persistently.

How useful did the participants find the advice from Andraž and Robert? See their statements...
SK50 Start:up geeek house accelerator Bootcamp Red Orbti Andraž Štalec Robert Rolih Uspeh
Communications and PR Start:up Slovenija
Izvedba: Mojdenar IT d.o.o.