The Process of Customer Acquisition to a Successful Close


The process of customer acquisition is critical to success, but often many leap first without a process in place. Without direction and strategy, the early stages of customer acquisition may be misdirected, resulting in lost time, money, and resources, as well as shaky profits. This is especially true for new businesses trying to get a foot in the door as they compete with well-established companies. The wrong customer acquisition strategy can be costly.

Understanding what drives customers, how to engage them, and how to move a customer from a lead to a successful sale requires resources, expertise, analytics, and a well-designed plan of action.

Because creating an effective customer acquisition process can be difficult and risky, it is tempting to wait for referrals. This too is a risk unless those on your team are masters.  Learn how to get more referrals here >

Here are ways to acquire new,
long-term customers with a targeted effort:

Customer Acquisition: It Starts with You

Potential customers need to be engaged and enticed before a sale can happen. Customer acquisition begins with capturing their interest. This is the first phase and precedes any direct marketing efforts.

  • Hire the right people. Your marketing team should be creative, innovative, and adaptive - the ability to remain flexible when something goes wrong during the customer acquisition process is key. Everyone in your office should understand your product and your customer acquisition process, as well as their role throughout the process.

Learn more about an innovation test and how to
and create a culture of innovation here >

  • Know your target audience. Again, before engaging customers, who are you trying to engage? By understanding the demographics of your target audience, you will be able to develop marketing strategies, rather than blindly marketing and hoping for a response.

Learn more about How to Provide Strategic Leadership
by Leveraging Customer Research here >

  • Set your budget. Customer acquisition can be an expensive process, and you should know exactly how much new customer acquisition is going to cost you before you begin the process. Starting the acquisition process before your product or brand is ready is unwise; if you offer customers an inferior product from the get-go while you are still refining it, there is a good chance you will lose these customers, and have a difficult time regaining traction.

Methods of Customer Engagement

Once you have put together an excellent communications and marketing team, your product is ready for customer acquisition, a budget is in place, and your target customer is identified, you are ready to begin with customer engagement.

Some of the best methods of customer engagement include:

  • A website and online strategy. You probably already know content is king for online marketing. While ‘content’ can refer to images, videos, blogs and social media posts, it begins with text.

What might be most important and undervalued in the customer acquisition phase is an engaging landing page. Your landing page should grab users’ attention with a strong headline, great image, easy-to-navigate layout, readable text, and simplicity. Keep options for a prospect to act limited and remove the temptation to click away.

The website as a flier might help potential customers know more about your business but a landing page is where a promise is made and you deliver on your promise.

Check out our landing page where you can receive the ebook
"The Pros and Cons of Our 5 Favorite CRM Software Systems" here >

  • Getting attention. Without attention, it is difficult to reap the benefits of a landing page. As you’re creating your website, don’t underestimate the power of SEO (search engine optimization). Consider the Internet as a ‘unlimited’ database that Google tries to organize for people to find products, services and solutions. Understanding the words and phrases potential buyers use is critical. There is a temptation to use company or industry jargon that buyers do not understand or use.

Social media is a method for others to share the best of what your company offers. While it is important to share news and updates from your website in social media, it is even more important to evaluate the ‘sharability’ of your products, services, content and story. People recognize ‘remarkable’ and are compelled to share.

This is the phase when a debate can rage.  Paid advertising, PPC, cold-sales calls, press releases, blogging and social media, networking, buying leads… they are all options to consider. Regardless, a website and online marketing that makes an impression, that confirms “remarkable” is at the core of every strategy.

  • The Call-to-Action (CTA). The call-to-action (CTA) is a moment of yes, when a potential customer can take action. This can lead to:
    • Click to call button (Or dial a number)
    • A landing page with an offer and a form
    • An email
    • A survey
    • Join
    • Try
    • Buy
    • Download
    • And more

Don’t forget to include a call-to-action. The most helpful content will fail if it doesn’t ask the customer to do something (buy a product, like them on Facebook, refer a friend, sign up for an email, etc.).

The most effective CTA will instruct a prospect precisely what they should do (i.e. “Try a Month Free Today!”), should be visible (a customer should not need to scroll in order to see a CTA), should be eye-catching, and simple. (Don’t give five options to take action, one is plenty!)

Throughout the process of developing and implementing a marketing strategy, schedule time to monitor, analyze, and adjust to what is working (or not). The team here at Resultist uses HubSpot which has analytics built in. Analytics software tools such as Google Analytics and A/B testing software will be instrumental in determining who is visiting, the source of the visit, frequency of visits, the length of time they spend visiting and what they are most interested in. These insights are the difference between ‘old school selling’ and selling in the new world of technology.

Before engaging with a prospect, this information can be the difference between a meaningful conversation and an unwanted cold call.

Closing the Deal

Getting new introductions when prospects click a call-to-action button to then join your email list is a step in the right direction. How do you transform this new contact and potential customer into a sale?

The answer is multifaceted, and relies on content that is targeted to their interests. This includes blog articles specific to your user, email campaigns, engaging follow-up conversations, introductions to others, invitations or other enticing offers.

There are several popular sales methodologies you can use:

  • Strategic Selling
  • Conceptual Selling
  • SPIN Selling
  • SNAP Selling
  • Value Selling sales methodology

Depending on the sales methodology you have chosen, at this point in the process, you will refine your message and conversation to share the benefits others have received and the value of your products and services.

Research factors that drive customers to make purchases:

  • Novelty (People are excited by something new)
  • Emotion ({People are driven by what they can emotionally connect with)
  • Rarity or Scarcity (Something unique or not in abundance)
  • Curiosity (Curiosity is one of the strongest influencers. People are motivated to take action to fill the gap between what they know and what they want to know).

Evaluate and refine your message to tell customers you have something to meet one of these human needs or interests.  You may prefer to outsource selling to an organization that specializes in sales-as-a-service. (learn more here)  

Follow Up

Once you’ve made a successful sale, following up is critical. Learn about how they like your product or service. Staying engaged and showing interest in their success after closing the deal can create a customer for life, an enthusiastic ambassador and potentially a new friend.

Free Resources - B2B Library

As you develop a new customer acquisition plan, be sure to add and bookmark our B2B library as a resource.  The B2B library offers free helpful sales and marketing tools which includes: calculators, checklists, ebooks, white papers and assessments. If you have any questions or thoughts about how I could improve the library, please contact me here.

Topics: B2B Sales Action Plan Sales Funnel Map