Leads, prospects, and customers represented in a funnel.

Integrate Purpose in the Lead Cycle

October 28, 2022
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Invoke your purpose and values through every stage of the lead lifecycle for better marketing results.

Key Takeaways:

  • The typical lead lifecycle:
  1. Interest
  2. Interaction
  3. Marketing-qualified
  4. Sales-qualified
  5. Opportunity
  6. Purchase
  • Infuse your purpose to realize marketing success

We all know that the more leads you get, the better…right? Not really. We need to turn this idea on its head. It’s not about the quantity of leads, but the quality. Fewer solid leads that align with your purpose is immeasurably more desirable than tons of leads that don’t end up going anywhere. 

A primary goal in marketing and brand experience is to create awareness, to connect with and inspire your audience. You want to build relationships. Why should the audience CARE about you and what you have to offer? Then, what solutions do you uniquely provide that attract them – why should they CONSIDER working with you? Finally, what are you doing to prove to them that working with you is the best option for their brand? Why should they CHOOSE you above others? 

This process is where real leads are born. When you focus on building purposeful relationships, leads will happen organically. 

But how much do you really know about leads, and are you doing everything you can to reach them? Do your leads and marketing strategy align with your 3 keys: purpose, value, and story? And how are your lead nurturing skills impacting your overall marketing ROI?

 

Understand the lead cycle

 
You need to get into the mind of a lead to fully understand where they’re coming from. What motivates them? What are they looking for? How do they want to make emotional connections? 

These questions are at the heart of each phase they go through when they start to trust a brand. Eventually, you want leads to get all the way to their first purchase. This is known as the lead lifecycle. Let’s walk through what the typical lead cycle looks like and how to make more emotional connections each step of the way:

Step 1: Interest

A lead will first show interest in your brand in some small way – maybe they subscribe to your email newsletter or follow your business on social media. Right away, start invoking your purpose to make stronger emotive impacts. Make it clear what your organization values so you catch the attention of people it will resonate with. Make sure people understand and connect with your purpose. Make them feel something.

Step 2: Interaction

Leads will then interact with your brand in another way, showing they might be interested in your products or services. Maybe they’ll ask for more information or download your ebook. Provide materials that resonate with what your audience values most. Show them you’re connected in your principles and tell compelling stories about what they might be going through.

Step 3: Market-qualified

When leads become market-qualified leads (MQLs), they’ve taken steps with marketing materials and are likely ready to hear from the sales team. They might follow your content more regularly by this point, or they’ve downloaded additional resources from your website. Now you know they’re starting to connect with your brand on a deeper level, so you can continue to discuss your purpose and values to hold their interest. Dig deeper to get to what matters to them.

Step 4: Sales-qualified

Sales-qualified leads (SQLs) have talked to the sales team, been through a product demo, or received a quote for services. At this point, they’re aware of what you’re all about and you can focus on interactions that drive home the benefits of your products or services. What will they get out of it that helps them meet their personal goals? 

In an ideal situation, all leads should be SQLs. When you’re taking your flipped funnel approach, applying your 3 keys, and creating emotional connections, MQLs can become almost entirely obsolete. 

Step 5: Opportunity

The period after a lead has become sales-qualified is a critical moment in the cycle. They’ve become much more familiar with the brand and have had some interactions. They’re now a solid opportunity for the business. They’re ready for all the emotional connections you’ve made to turn into believers. You’ve built a foundation of trust they can stand on.

Step 6: Purchase

Finally, your leads have gone through the entire lead lifecycle and have become paying customers. They trust your brand enough to give it a shot. Now, customer service steps in to assist as needed and continue to drive your brand’s purpose with their interactions. Purpose should always be present, and you should continue to drive home your values with communications post-purchase.

 

How integrating your purpose impacts marketing success

 
It’s clear: to keep people moving through that cycle, you need to do more than focus on getting a sale. The lead cycle is all about a meaningful connection with the customer. You need clearly defined strategies and content that speak to each stage a lead is in to help them move on to the next. It takes knowing why they’re interested in you in the first place, what they’re looking for, and what they desire most. Connect what you do with what they’re looking for on a deep level.

Focus on your 3 keys when you create your marketing strategy: purpose, value, and story. It’s no longer enough to just capture a client – they want to feel something when they’re looking for a product or service. They want brands to level with them and show empathy. Emphasize the reasons why your business exists – what problem do you solve for your ideal audience?

Dust off your storytelling skills. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes so you can craft a narrative that speaks to their primary pain points. Show them how you can ensure their customer journey has a happy ending.

When you prioritize each stage of the lead cycle it shows you’re trying to understand your audiences better, no matter where they are. When you can create more meaningful connections, you’ll be more effective at turning leads into customers who trust you. And more paying customers who were nurtured through the lead cycle means better marketing ROI. 

 

Get started with a better marketing approach

 
The elements of your business that should drive everything you do in marketing are your 3 keys: purpose, value, and story. When everyone understands what’s behind the company’s mission, all content speaks to that shared purpose. And your leads will make their way through the cycle with more connection and support, ideally becoming long-term supporters of your business.

Allow your purpose to drive profit with better marketing results. Work with the team at Advantages today to improve your strategy. Contact us now to learn more.

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