Here you are, sitting at your computer, reviewing a list of leads and opportunities stored within your client relationship management (CRM) system. As you scroll through the list, you might begin to wonder how these became leads and opportunities. This is an important thing to know. When thinking about the client engagement lifecycle, it’s easiest to mentally picture a series of funnels. New prospects fall into the funnel and trickle down into opportunities.
Here’s a look at how this happens:
The client engagement lifecycle begins when you bring in new prospects. You can think of this as the top of the funnel. During this stage, it’s important to identify your target markets and personas such as project managers, accountants, and executives that will be interested in your services and/or products. Content can then be created that resonates with these key people to attract them into the funnel.
The content can be varied. It could range from written blogs to videos, webinars and podcasts. Just make sure the content is relevant to your target markets and personas and helps them solve common obstacles within their industry.
Now that the funnel is open, it’s important to maintain prospect interest so they stay in the funnel. Knowing what content has sparked and sustained this interest is important so you can produce new content to continue to drive awareness. Additionally, the original content that brought them into the funnel should leave them with unanswered questions.
During this stage, familiarity with the content which first attracted the prospects will help you determine questions they might now have. Your new content should be more specific to answer these questions with fact-based information that also communicates your expertise. Email campaigns provide a great avenue to share this fresh content.
Awesome, your funnel still has prospects. Now it’s time to get them to make a conscious decision to move further. This is not to say they were not interested in your products or services before, but rather the content that you have been sharing has made them recognize you are a trusted authority and a subject matter expert.
This stage is when specific conversations need to begin, and you should convert these prospects into advocates. As a result, these advocates can arrange for meetings with other decision-makers. You can then start to create clients from prospects.
Congratulations, you now have new clients in your funnel. This is the stage where you will foster the ability to provide additional products and services to your clients.
The tricky thing here is creating content that will be important to your clients in the future. For some businesses, this is a few months down the road, and for others, a year or more. A great tool to use is a monthly or quarterly newsletter for sharing your newly created content to create new opportunities.
Sustaining the Client Engagement Lifecycle
Remember that the client engagement lifecycle is a never-ending loop. The funnel should never close, but rather redirect to other products and services you can provide. If your clients are happy with your products and services, they are more likely to make future purchases.