Understanding Your Business' Buying Cycle and Making the Most of It

by Crestmark 9. June 2014 11:50

Making sales is part of running your day-to-day business – it’s what brings in revenue and keeps the business moving forward. We all hope that customers come to us ready to buy, but in reality, there’s a lot more to it than that.

 buying cycle

The traditional buying cycle is broken down into three segments that your customers move through in the process of making a purchase. By understanding your business' buying cycle, you can take the right steps and make the most of it.

Awareness

The first step in the buying cycle is when potential customers discover that they have a need for your product. They're not ready to buy, but they are aware of their need and your potential to fill that need. You can find these potential customers through marketing efforts and by increasing awareness of your brand. Introduce yourself. Capture their attention without pushing for a sale. The use of email newsletters, blogs, and direct mail alerts about upcoming sales are examples of the soft, but necessary, approach during this fragile part of the buying cycle.

Consideration

During this second phase of the buying process, your potential customers are seeking information. They're considering a purchase and want to be educated about your company and your products. The availability of information is critical in this stage. Prospects are likely to read customer reviews, visit your website for product descriptions and make comparisons of their options. Their sense of urgency has elevated beyond curiosity, and this stage is often triggered by an event that sparks an increased interest. For example, they may have run out of an item or have an upcoming project where use of your product could make or break their success.

Identify the various triggers that prompt people to buy your products and make it known that you can provide solutions to these problems. Build website and newsletter content around these issues. Make testimonials from previous customers available and accessible for those in the second step of the buying cycle. Quench their thirst for information, and continue to build their trust.

Making a Purchase

When someone is ready to buy, you need to be ready to sell. Customers want attention in this third and final phase. If they already have a contact for your company, it's important that this person is available or that your customer can somehow initiate the sale right away. Providing around-the-clock automated ordering or live support is another option to help your customers make their purchases when they're ready. Information about forms of payment and how to contact your company should be visible on all of your marketing materials and on your website to capture the lead and close the sale.

Identifying and understanding how your customers fit into the buying cycle can help your business gain qualified leads and increase your sales. So take a look at your business – what can you do to improve your customers experience in each of these stages? The proper planning and implementation here can be a huge step forward for any business.

 

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Business

Crestmark Featured in 'The Secured Lender' Magazine

by Crestmark 2. June 2014 12:39

Asset-based lending and staffing agencies make good business partners. It's something that we've known at Crestmark for quite some time. The Commercial Finance Association's "The Secured Lender" magazine recently featured Crestmark's West Division President, Pat Haney, and East Division President, Steve Tomasello, in an in-depth look at how and why staffing agencies and asset-based lending companies are a good fit for each other. 

In short, the article "Perfect Partners" explains how asset-based lending companies like Crestmark are able to understand, work with and scale to the long-term needs of clients like staffing agencies that are in a position to grow quickly. While their financial outlooks are promising, staffing agencies have needs that can't be met by traditional lenders and standard bank loans. 

crestmark in secured lender

"Staffing's only going to grow. It's the second-largest segment in our portfolio, and we only see that continuing in the future," Tomasello explained in the article.

In select industries, companies are hiring workers, but only on a temporary basis at the moment. That means they need the flexibility of staffing agencies that can handle the recruiting and screening process until this growth becomes more permanent. Staffing agencies don't always meet the requirements of traditional lenders, making asset-based lenders ideal partners for meeting the rapidly rising costs of financing payroll, insurance, taxes and other related expenses.  

"Strong cash flow is imperative for the staffing industry," said Haney. "Without it, they may get so far behind on tax payments that they go out of business."

Both the staffing agency and the lender need to understand how the other company works, especially when it comes to the lag time between when the employee is paid by the agency and when the agency is paid by its client company.

As with all successful relationships, communication, patience and flexibility are key factors in making the partnership beneficial to both the lender and the borrower.

Want to see the full article in "The Secured Lender" magazine? Read "Perfect Partners" here.

 

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Asset Based Loans


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