5-minute read

How to Close a Sale: The Power of Marketing Automation and Touch Points

Written by
Xan Hong
Published on
February 6, 2024


When it comes to the world of sales, the journey towards closing a sale is filled with a myriad of interactions known as touch points. Essentially, touch points are encounters where prospective buyers engage with a business or a representative of the sales team. Each touch point is a vital opportunity to inspire trust, address potential concerns, and guide potential customers closer to making a purchase. Given the importance of these touch points, it becomes essential to understand how many are needed to close a sale effectively. In this article, we will probe into the number of touch points required to successfully close a sale and the significant role marketing automation can play in streamlining this process.

Touch points can occur across various mediums, both in the digital world and real-life interactions. From email follow-ups and social media engagement to in-person meetings and phone calls, each touch point serves as a crucial step in the journey towards closing a sale. The purpose of this article is to explore the number of touch points required to successfully close a sale and how marketing automation can facilitate this process. As we delve into this topic, we'll also focus on how these touch points are integral to building trust, nurturing relationships with potential customers, and ultimately, driving sales.

Understanding Sales Touch Points

Sales touch points are essentially points of customer contact throughout the customer journey. They can occur across various platforms and mediums and play a pivotal role in shaping the customer's perception of a business. From phone calls and email follow-ups to engaging prospects on social media platforms and in-person meetings, each of these touch points is an opportunity to build trust and nurture relationships with potential customers. The effectiveness of these touch points can significantly impact the likelihood of closing a sale.

For instance, consider a customer interested in purchasing a new car. The customer's journey may begin online, researching different models, reading reviews, and comparing prices. This digital interaction serves as a touch point, allowing the customer to engage with the business, gather relevant information, and narrow down their choices. Following this, the customer might visit the dealership for a test drive—an in-person touch point that lets the customer experience the product firsthand. Each of these touch points contributes to the customer's decision-making process, building trust, and moving them closer to a purchase.

However, understanding and effectively managing these touch points isn't just about the number—it's also about the quality of these interactions. Each touch point should provide valuable information, address the potential customer's needs, and move them one step closer to making a purchase. By ensuring each touch point is purposeful and customer-centered, businesses can enhance their sales process and increase the likelihood of closing a sale.

Online and Offline Touch Points

Touch points can be categorized into online and offline interactions. Online touch points occur on digital platforms.These can include website interactions , social media engagement, email communications, and even interactions on mobile apps. On the other hand, offline touch points refer to real-world interactions, such as in-person meetings, phone calls, direct mail, or even interactions at a physical store. Both online and offline touch points play crucial roles in shaping the customer journey and influencing the potential customer's decision to make a purchase.

Touch points can also be divided into controllable and non-controllable points. Controllable touch points are those that the company can manage and curate directly, such as website content, email campaigns, or social media posts. These touch points can be carefully planned and executed to align with the company's marketing strategy and goals. Non-controllable touch points, on the other hand, are those that occur independently and are influenced by external factors. These can include customer reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, or discussions about the brand on independent platforms.

For example, a customer might come across a positive review of a product on a social media platform. This non-controllable touch point can significantly influence the customer's perception of the product and their decision to purchase. While businesses cannot directly control these touch points, they can potentially influence them through excellent customer service and high-quality products. By ensuring that controllable touch points align with the positive sentiments of non-controllable touch points, businesses can create a consistent and positive customer experience, reinforcing trust, and enhancing the likelihood of closing a sale.

Factors Influencing the Number of Touch Points

The number of touch points required to close a sale can vary greatly depending on several factors. These factors can include the credibility and reputation of the business, the price of the product or service, the quality of customer service, the level of competition in the market, and the "need vs. want" factor. Each of these factors can influence the customer's decision-making process and determine how many touch points they need before they feel confident enough to make a purchase.

Credibility is a significant factor that can influence the number of touch points required to close a sale. If a business is relatively unknown or has a questionable reputation, potential customers may require more touch points to build trust and confidence in the product or service. Conversely, if a business has a well-established reputation and is known for its high-quality products or services, customers may require fewer touch points to make a purchase.

Price is another crucial factor that can influence the number of touch points. Generally, higher-priced products or services will require more touch points as customers will likely need more time to consider their options and make sure they are making the right investment. On the other hand, lower-priced products or services may require fewer touch points as customers may feel comfortable making a quicker purchase decision.

The quality of customer service can also significantly impact the number of touch points required. If a business is known for providing excellent customer service and going the extra mile to meet customer needs, potential customers may require fewer touch points to feel confident in their purchase decision. On the other hand, if a business is known for poor customer service, potential customers may require more touch points to address their concerns and ensure they will have a positive experience.

Competition in the market can also influence the number of touch points required. In a highly competitive market with many similar products or services, customers may require more touch points to compare their options and make an informed decision. However, in a niche market with few competitors, customers may require fewer touch points as there are fewer options to consider.

Lastly, the "need vs. want" factor also plays a role in determining the number of touch points needed. If a product or service meets a basic need, customers may require fewer touch points to make a purchase. However, if a product or service is more of a luxury item or a "want," customers may require more touch points to justify the expense and make sure it aligns with their desires and preferences.

It's noteworthy to mention that the average number of touch points to close a sale is about 5 to 7. However, this can vary greatly depending on the target audience, the industry, and the factors mentioned above. By understanding these factors and tailoring their touch points accordingly, businesses can optimize their sales process and increase their chances of closing a sale.

The Role of the BANT Framework

The BANT framework, which stands for Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline, is a valuable tool in the sales process that can help determine the type and frequency of touch points. Understanding a prospect's Budget can provide insights into their financial capacity and whether the product or service is within their price range. Knowing the Authority involved in the purchasing decision can help sales professionals target their efforts towards the right individuals. Understanding the prospect's Needs can help tailor touch points to address specific pain points and demonstrate the value of the product or service. Lastly, understanding the Timeline can ensure touch points are provided at the right time that aligns with the prospect's purchasing schedule.

For instance, consider a salesperson trying to sell a software solution to a company. By understanding the company's Budget, the salesperson can determine if their software solution is financially viable for the company. Knowing who has the Authority to make the purchasing decision can help the salesperson target their efforts more effectively. Understanding the company's Needs can help the salesperson tailor their touch points to demonstrate how their software solution can address these needs. Lastly, knowing the Timeline for the purchasing decision can ensure the salesperson provides the necessary touch points at the right time.

Implementing the BANT framework can help sales teams prioritize their efforts, allocate their resources more effectively, and provide the right touch points at the right time. Using this framework can help focus on qualified leads, increase the effectiveness of touch points, and ultimately, increase the chances of closing a sale.

Follow-ups and Segmentation in Sales Touch Points

One of the pivotal strategies to maximize the effectiveness of touch points is to prioritize follow-ups and segment prospects based on their potential impact on the business. Not all prospects are created equal, and by segmenting them based on their potential value, sales teams can better allocate their time and resources.

For example, a salesperson might have a list of leads of varying potential value. By segmenting these leads and prioritizing follow-ups based on their potential business impact, the salesperson can ensure that the most promising leads are not overlooked and receive the necessary attention. This helps ensure that the salesperson's time and efforts are being utilized effectively, leading to higher conversion rates and a better return on investment.

Segmentation can be based on a variety of criteria, including industry, company size, geographic location, or even past interactions with the business. By segmenting their prospects, sales teams can tailor their touch points to address the specific needs and concerns of each segment, increasing the relevance and effectiveness of these touch points.

In addition to segmentation, the timing of follow-ups is crucial. Timely follow-ups can demonstrate to the prospect that their business is valued and that the company is genuinely interested in meeting their needs. Follow-ups that are too late can give the impression of indifference and can lead to missed opportunities. By prioritizing follow-ups and ensuring they are timely, sales teams can increase the effectiveness of their touch points and boost their chances of closing a sale.

Marketing Automation and Sales Touch Points

Marketing automation plays a significant role in managing and optimizing touch points. Automation tools can help find leads, categorize information, and even optimize travel time for sales teams. By automating repetitive tasks and capturing valuable data, marketing automation can allow sales professionals to focus more on building relationships and closing deals.

For instance, marketing automation tools can help find leads by automatically capturing and categorizing information from various sources, such as website forms, social media interactions, and email inquiries. This automation eliminates the need for manual data entry and ensures that leads are captured and followed up on in a timely manner.

In addition to finding leads, automation tools can help categorize information and prioritize leads based on their interactions and responses. This allows sales people to focus their time on the most engaged prospects.


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