As the third phase of the multicultural marketing funnel, the Decision Stage is when you and the consumer get down to brass tax and close the deal. Without it, all your hard work on nurturing the lead is fruitless. However it also the stage in the multicultural marketing funnel, where the lead is passed from the marketing team to sales.
As a huge fan of Summer Olympic Track and Field, there are few events I look forward to more than the 4x100 relay. While its true, it gives you an opportunity to see more of your favorite athletes on the track simultaneously, its the most unpredictable race. The favorites often don't win because of the anxiety and attention to detail surrounding the baton hand-off from one runner to the next. Each Olympics some of the fastest runners in the world are defeated by dark horse competitors, all because they simply execute the hand-off better.
Much like a relay, the decision stage can be fraught with risk and anxiety. We must continue the lead down the buyer's journey to a close without losing momentum or value in the relationship. Much like being gifted with world-class speed, having a great product or service isn't the only variable in a successful decision stage strategy. A well defined and executed process is critical. Here are four tools to help you develop an amazing Decision Stage strategy in the Multicultural Marketing Funnel.
The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is an essential tool in your marketing efforts and thus integrates with every stage in the multicultural marketing funnel. However, unlike previous stages where it helped you develop the lead, in the decision stage, the CRM allows you or your sales team to see the leads full profile and activity at a glance. This is vital because, if used effectively in the previous stages, it should provide you with all the information that you'll need to devise a strategy on how to convert that lead into a customer. For larger organizations, the CRM ensures that baton is handed off to sales in a way that allows them to hit that anchor leg of the relay with confidence and at full speed. While buyer personas help marketing to make certain assumptions about who their best customer is, the CRM should give us an actual profile of the lead we're looking to close complete with demographic and geographic information and insights based on the buying behavior they've displayed. Use these for developing informed communication with the consumer that is personal and intentional.
Early on in the multicultural marketing funnel, leads are often little more than an IP address on a website. As we develop a relationship with them through nurturing interactions, we should be mining information that helps us not only better understand their unique challenges but also communicate more personally when they're most likely to make a purchase. This is all based on the intelligence collected. For retailers, this might be providing a customized web or store experience that mirrors the products or services they've shown interest in the past. Amazon has popularized this by allowing its customers to see not only what they've purchased and reorder but also what they've browsed in the past.
When we're deal focused, we often don't solve the customer's challenge which, as we've discussed, are often unique amongst multicultural consumers. While you might have closed the sale, did you solve the consumer's challenge? More often than not, we actually undersell.
We see this a lot around the holiday season because when we're shopping for others, we don't know if the gifts we buy actually provide value to their recipient. Gift receipts become vitally important and return far more abundant. Closing the sale not only means selling the product but making sure they have all the tools to enjoy it optimally. Do they need batteries to run the product, should the insurance be bundled with another plan to provide the best value, should you provide recipes or tips on how to best cook your grass-fed steaks or discounts on wines that pair with them to best bring out the flavors. Traditionally, this is seen as "upselling" but when your customer checks out, you want them to do so with confidence so when they write a review or come back for more, they remember that you took care of them and solved their paid.
Being a top sales earner doesn't mean you're good at sales. It often means that you have found a process that works with a particular customer base that is interested in the product or service you're selling. These sales professionals aren't great fits for the Multicultural Marketing funnel as they rarely find success outside out of that organization or marketplace, struggle with providing post-sale service to the customer and often fail to develop relationships that cultivate future sales.
Multicultural consumers demand that they are heard and that their unique challenges are acknowledged. Trust and loyalty are the rewards for meeting their demands. But how do you invest all these resources in a lead when the chances of them closing are so small. Utilizing the 80/20 rule will assist in narrowing your focus and allow you to better predict multicultural consumer buying behavior. The rule assumes that 80% of revenue comes from 20 percent of the leads in your pipeline, and 80 percent of the pipeline comes from 20% of your marketing efforts. This is a helpful rule when budgeting your marketing as well.
The decision stage of the multicultural marketing funnel is analogous to the anchor leg of finals of the Olympic 4x100 meter race. But in order to cross the finish line and win the gold medal, you have to be sure not to fumble the baton. Understanding an using the tools effectively will not only help you close the deal but delight the consumer into being and evangelist and coming back for more.