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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on November 11, 2014

Service providers can easily get caught up in the "build awareness loop". Because the service provider does not understand where the prospect is on the buyer’s journey, they present the prospect with top of the sales funnel content which is designed to build awareness. If a prospect is already past this phase of the buyer’s journey, then the content is irrelevant to the prospect, sending them back to the top of the funnel. The build awareness loop begins. Imagine your prospect feeling like George Jetson as they try to navigate through your web content screaming, “stop this crazy thing.”

To effectively move buyers through the sales funnel you need first to understand where they are in the buyer's journey and then present personalized content that meets their individual needs. Tha is easier said than done, right? Well, all you have to do is CLAP:
  • Collect.
  • List
  • Author
  • Present

Collect: The process begins with collecting information about prospects that will help you to identify who they are, where they are in the buyer's journey, and what are their specific challenges. When presenting top of the funnel offers do not shy away from collecting more than just an individual's name and email address. Three crucial pieces of information that you should collect at the top of the funnel are:

  1. Persona Information
  2. Industry Information
  3. Challenge Information
  4. Lifecycle Stage

Try to stay away from using open text forms as much as possible. They will require you to review manually form submissions to determine a website visitors' persona, industry, or challenge. You can create and better experience and collect more relevant information by using custom field properties. When creating custom field properties, use of radio buttons, checkboxes, or drop-down menus makes it easier for the prospect to make selections.

List: Once you have collected the information that you need about your website visitor or lead, the next step is to segment prospects into lists based on the criteria that they have provided. HubSpot gives you the ability to create either static lists or smart lists. I would recommend that you use smart lists, creating your list based on the criteria on the form provided. Using smart lists will help automate the process and ensure that your lists stay current.

You should have a list for each persona and the associated lifecycle phase. When you add a persona into HubSpot using the persona tool, three lists are automatically created. Those lists are:

  1. All contacts
  2. Leads
  3. MQLs (market qualified leads)
  4. Customers

Author: After you have developed a list to segment by persona, their challenges and what stage they are in the sales lifecycle it is time to begin authoring content. You should create content that is relevant and useful to them, in order to move them to the next stage in the buyer's journey. You want to create content that will help them solve the challenge they face, all while advancing them through the buyers journey eventually becoming a customer. Created personalized content for the challenges they that each persona faces and write it using the persona's vocabulary.

Present: Now that you have authored personalized content for your personas, it is time to present the content to them on the right page and the right time. The HubSpot COS provides all the tools that you need to make the presentation of personalized content achievable. On both site pages and landing pages, your can leverage smart content to present the appropriate content. By using Smart Content on a site page, you can change the copy to reflect each persona's specific challenge in a way that reflects your understanding of their needs. Additional you can create personalized copy to provides direction about what the next steps they should take to address their challenge.

Companies select service providers based on confidence that the service provider cannot only deliver the results that the company is looking for, but also that the service provider understands their individual needs and challenges. Too many companies and service providers look alike. A lot of service providers offer identical products or services. They have similar product or service descriptions. They have pricing models that look alike, and other than a few branding elements, their websites, and other marketing material match each other almost identically. The best way to differentiate your company from all of the other competitors is to personalize communications with prospects. Personalization is especially crucial if you are trying to move prospects effectively through each stage of the sales funnel.


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