Where do Prospects flow toward you?

Have you recently considered where your customers come from? I mean, how did they first hear of you? How did they become more interested? How did they find out more and eventually sign up?

It’s important to find the general ‘channels’ through which your prospects flow. Here we go over a few typical channels and what you can do to help grow your business.

web chat leads

What’s a Sales Channel?

First, just to be clear what a sales channel actually is;

“You can see a Sales Channel as way of bringing products to market so that they can be purchased by consumers. Basically, it’s the way that customers find you and give you money in exchange for work. “

What does that mean in real terms? It could be that you have several sales channels. Even different products probably have quite similar sales channels.

For example, image you make Small-Batch, Organic, Locally Sourced Artisan Deck Chairs. I haven’t looked much into this, but I assume that there aren’t that many companies out there, so this is an under-supplied product. People need your deck chairs!

You have lots of different ways that you can get these out to market:

  1. Shop: You could set up a shop by the beach where you either sell or rent fresh deck chairs
  2. Online: You could use a website as a portal for people to either enquire about ordering deck chairs or to buy online
  3. Retail: You could sell your deckchairs to shops for them to sell at a markup so you have a sales team that secures orders from shops
  4. Distributors: You could sell your deckchairs to distributors who buy in bulk and stock them in large warehouses to sell to businesses who need your deck chairs
  5. Sales Agents: Instead of buying them off you like distributors, you find a 3rd party company to use outbound contact to secure you new orders and you give them a % as a thank-you-very-much
  6. Referral partners: You find companies who sell related products to the same customer and you agree to give a commission on sales or just pass work each other’s way

There’s 6 examples right there that could be seen as a sales channel for your high-end deck chairs. There’s a ton of other ways but you get the idea.


Make the most out of your sales channels

Take a minute to think about what your sales channels are. Do any of the above examples I gave sound similar to what you currently do or plan to do?

“You can see a sales channel as ‘How a customer buys your product.’ Let the customer buy your product in the way that they want to buy it”

Realistically, you don’t need to do all of these different types of sales channel. Certainly not at first. One or two good, repeatable, predictable sales channels will see most companies through their entire lifetime. For example, if online sales work well as a channel for you, don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Focus on your most consistent source of sales and optimise for that.


Optimising your online sales channel

Let’s take websites as an example. Is your website a way that your customers either:

  1. Purchase from you (a source of sales); or
  2. Find out about your product and inquire (a source of leads)?

Either way, your customers flow through your website to get to you. Part or all of their purchasing decision is made on your website, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to want to click that ‘enquire’ button.

Here’s a few resources to help you with this;

4 minute guide to generating web chat leads

I talk about generating leads through your website in a few other blogs. For example, in our 4 minute guide to generating web chat leads, I talk about the importance of measuring where your traffic is coming from & starting the conversation with them.

An online customer service assistant

It’s not uncommon to ask an attendant for help when you’re in a shop, why shouldn’t it be the same online? Having that personal presence on your site is vital to generating web chat leads. I don’t know what the date is that you are reading this, but COVID-19 outbreak has meant more and more people are shopping online. As such, the personal touch really helps you to stand out in such a crowded marketplace.


Other things you might find helpful

Avon focused on one way of selling for years

Picking one sales channel doesn’t mean you’re limiting the amount of customers you can get. It just means you’re focusing on a particular way to sell it to them.

A good example would be Avon. You know Avon? Their whole success story is based on the one way of selling; Avon Representatives selling to their friends and family. They’ve now branched out so you can buy Avon in shops for but for years, that was the only way you could buy it, through a friend.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Check out this blog we did on how to measure which is the most effective channel for you. If you really want to thank me, feel free to buy me a coffee next time you see me.

Need help with web chat leads?

If you are looking for any help with optimising your online sales channel, you can count on us. We generate web chat leads on a pay per lead basis. Our 24/7 team of friendly humans will answers your visitor’s questions and pass the leads over to you. A steady stream of leads on a completely pay per lead basis. Find out more here