A closed opportunity occurs when a potential customer has already encountered a product or service and has yet to either purchase or reject it. Additionally, it is when a customer has shown some level of interest in the product or service, but a sale has not yet been made.
There are two unique aspects to understanding Closed Opportunities. Firstly, the most important element during the processes of sales and marketing is customer experience. Understanding customer experience and the customer journey is key to truly understanding and engaging with customers, and determining whether a customer is at a ‘closed opportunity’ stage. Secondly, the aim of all sales and marketing is to increase customer lifetime value. This often requires an in-depth understanding of your customers, what stages of the customer journey they’re at, and taking the right kind of action to move them closer to becoming a customer.
The customer experience
Customer experience is centred around the customer journey and creating a customer-centric experience. Within sales and marketing, customer experience can be broken down into four distinct stages of interaction.
These are Awareness, Engagement, Conversion, and Retention.
The Awareness stage can be defined as when the customer first becomes aware of or learns about the product or service. Engagement is when the customer has had a meaningful interaction with the product or service, maybe they’ve visited the website to learn more or read the product details. Conversion is often the goal of the sales and marketing team, where the customer purchases the product or service. Retention is the last stage, often referred to as customer loyalty or advocacy where the customer continues to purchase or champion the product or service.
Closed Opportunities are often identified within the customer journey as the customer reaches the Conversion or Retention stages. A closed opportunity is when a potential customer has already encountered a product or service and has yet to either purchase or reject it. Additionally, it is when a customer has shown some level of interest in the product or service, but a sale has not yet been made.
On identifying a closed opportunity, a sales and marketing team should focus on the customer’s journey, understanding and focusing on the customer experience throughout the process. By forming an in-depth understanding of the customer and their journey, sales and marketing teams can personalise and tailor their marketing efforts, as this increases the chance of making the sale and moving the customer along their journey.
Creating meaningful customer experiences
Creating a meaningful customer experience is key when engaging with Closed Opportunities. The aim is to provide the customer with useful products, services and communication. This includes making sure customers are provided with accurate and informative information, as well as showing empathy towards customers and their needs.
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Sales and marketing efforts should also be focused on creating trust. Some key elements of creating trust include transparency and consistent communication. Additionally, by focusing on meeting customer needs and expectations, as well as providing helpful information and resources, customers can be provided with a positive and trusting experience.
Once a customer presents a closed opportunity, it’s time for the sales and marketing team to reach out. Reaching out to customers who have encountered the product or service, but have yet to take the next step of purchasing or rejecting it, is an essential part of the customer journey in terms of sales and marketing.
The goal is to make sure the customer feels supported and encouraged to take the next step, so it’s important to get the balance right between being persistent and being understanding of the customer’s needs.
When reaching out, it’s also important to make sure you remain in tune with the customer’s journey, understanding their journey and the mediums they use, making sure your approach is tailored and appropriate.
Optimising the communication process
Ideally, the communication process should be centred around working in unison to lead the customer gently and accurately towards a purchase, while maintaining an understanding of the customer’s individual needs.
The main goal here is to provide customers with the feeling of being included and valued, rather than bombarded and pressed for a purchase. To do this, it’s important to keep communication relevant, asking only necessary questions and proving helpful content, rather than long-form sales pitches.
It is also important to provide the customer with a sense of control, allowing the customer to make their own decisions, rather than push them in a certain direction.
Finally, make sure to use clear and concise language that the customer can understand and offers the opportunity for them to ask questions.