Navigating the Modern Sales Process: Touch Points – How and How Many?

In today’s fierce marketplace, excelling in the modern sales process is vital for businesses aspiring for growth. A key aspect of this process involves identifying and utilizing touchpoints to curate a smooth customer journey. So, what are these touchpoints, and how many should one incorporate into the sales plan? Let’s dive into ‘touchpoints’ and examine their needs in the sales process.

What is a Touchpoint?

Touchpoints symbolize any interaction or encounter occurring between your company and its clients or potential customers, spanning both online and offline channels. These consist of website visits, social media exchanges, emails, phone conversations, live chats, in-person conferences, and any other mode of communication.

The primary goal of touchpoints is to engage potential clients, inform them about your offerings, and prompt them to make purchases. In today’s digital age, touchpoints have significantly evolved to encompass numerous channels and platforms where clients can connect with your brand.

How Many Touchpoints Does One Need?

The ideal number of touchpoints differs based on business size, industry sector, target demographic, and overarching marketing strategy. However, research (generic) indicates that it generally takes 7-13 touchpoints for a prospect to transition into a customer.

To refine your sales procedure, it is essential to embrace a multi-channel strategy that caters to diverse customer inclinations. Implementing a blend of online and offline tactics—including email marketing campaigns, social media engagement, content marketing initiatives, in-person events, webinars, and telephone calls—ensures maximum impact.

Having spent over two decades in the sales industry, I vividly recall being told during my first-ever sales initiation that an average of 5-8 contact points are needed to close a deal. By 2012, this number had risen to 8-12. In today’s tourism sector, one must consider at least 15-20 touchpoints before the sale can be initiated. This increase is attributable to heightened competition, multiple channels and decreased attention spans. 

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Here are some tips for effectively utilizing touchpoints in the B2B tourism sector:

1. Know your target audience: The first step in completing a sales process is to know your target market. Knowing them, just their company name and the destinations they sell is not enough. You need to know their communication preference, the likelihood of adding new products, and how they would like the engagement to look like. Learning this early in the sales process helps create a bond quickly.

2. Maintain consistency across all platforms: Your brand should have a consistent voice and style throughout all touch points. Refer to your brand guide and share it with team members responsible for creating your brand’s messages. Consistency helps establish trust and familiarity with prospects.

3. Customize your approach: Adapting your message to address individual customer preferences and demands can significantly enhance engagement and lead to higher conversion rates.

4. Embrace technological advancements: In today’s digital age, using technology to manage touch points along the B2B customer journey is crucial. Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to keep track of client interactions and essential metrics like conversion rates and response times. Implement email marketing tools for specialized campaigns or deploy chatbots on your site for immediate support.

5. Monitor and analyze: Keep a close eye on the performance of different touch points by measuring essential metrics like engagement, click-through rates, conversion rates, and client feedback. Use this information to optimize your sales process.

6. Follow up consistently: Proactive follow-ups after meetings, sales pitches, or conferences build long-term connections and sustain customer interest. Reach out via email or phone to further discussions on possible partnerships or address any concerns they may have. Regularly checking in with partners, sharing updated materials, and asking for feedback shows your dedication to their success.

Effective sales process navigation requires a well-rounded combination of touchpoints to connect with potential clients. By carefully integrating various channels into your sales funnel consistently and targeting the right audience, you’ll be well-prepared to guide potential clients through their buying journey and ultimately convert them into loyal customers.