If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
– Bob Dylan

Times Are A Changin’

Bob Dylan wasn’t known as an intellectual and quite frankly, when he sang, he was somewhat hard to understand. However, he did make a very valid point. If you don’t start swimming, you’ll sink like a stone because the times are changing. You may not like Bob Dylan but it’s hard to disagree with him especially when you consider how quickly everyday technology changes and evolves.

Like most companies my business needs to generate leads, so we can convert them into new sales. New Sales are the lifeline for all of our businesses. The first step in any sales process is connecting with your potential customer or capturing the customer’s attention at the exact moment when they’re interested in purchasing. This is the constant factor in acquiring new leads or new sales, you must connect with potential buyer while they are in the “buying” cycle, not after the fact when they’ve already made their decision. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced, ever-changing, technology dependent culture, how we communicate with each other is constantly changing. Not only changing but evolving with the advent of each new social media trend. Today we communicate and correspond completely different than we did 5 years ago. How do you as a business owner adapt to a consistently moving target?

Important Stats

For example:
1. According to a new study from Pew Research, 8 out of 10 Americans are now shopping online and NOT picking up the phone to call your 800 number. That’s 79% of U.S. consumers who shop on the web or their phones, up from just 22 % back in 2000. Over 51% have also bought something from their mobile phone and 15 % purchased after clicking through on a link shared on social media. That’s right our target market is buying from and through, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

2. Do you Blog yet? According to HubSpot, B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads that those that do not. Think about that in terms of potential customers. If there are a 100,000 people out there searching for the service that your business provides, 67,000 of those folks are probably going to end up doing business with a company that they found through a blog. 67,000 leads!

3. If you think your website is doing the job, think again. Paymill provided these compelling facts:

  • • 52% of shoppers will abandon your website and will not return because of the overall aesthetics.
  • • 73% of customers are more likely to purchase if they can watch a video.
  • • 65% of global customers are not willing to wait more than three seconds for a website to load.
  • • 61% of online shoppers decided not to buy a product because a trust seal was missing.
  • • Offering live chat can increase conversions of B2B customers by at least 20%

What is…

Perhaps this article will motivate you to invest more in your online marketing efforts but, what if your organization cannot connect with individuals coming to your website or social media? The problem remains, how do you connect with your prospective customer? How do you connect with the customer when they’re ready to purchase? The answer is an “Omni Channel” solution.

At its core, an Omni-channel solution is defined as a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. Think of your website, your Facebook/Twitter profile, and your CRM all working simultaneously and cohesively together to update one seamlessly integrated database. To clarify, all omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel. This is a key point, and one to remember; you can have amazing mobile marketing, engaging social media campaigns, and a well-designed website, but if they don’t work together, it’s not omni-channel. Instead, it is a multi-channel solution, and that is what most businesses invest in today.

Why You Should Care

An omni-channel approach, on the other hand, accounts for each platform, each media, and each device a customer will use to interact with your company. That knowledge and data is then used to deliver an integrated customer experience. For instance, someone shopping online for life insurance visits your website from their desktop computer at work. Later that day, the same person returns, but this time using their tablet, and engages in an online chat with a representative. An omni-channel experience will identify each online experience, the pages or products of interest, and document online conversation. All of this is then added to the CRM to help sales have an intelligent conversation with the potential customer.

However, the omni-channel experience doesn’t stop there. An omni-channel experience will manage the entire lifecycle of a policyholder. From the initial sales stage, to policy placement, and then to ongoing customer service and support. Mark Breading explained in 2014, “an omnichannel approach considers the entire stream of interactions that the customer is likely to have with the insurer. Mapping out these interactions throughout the lifecycle of a policy and considering the customer’s multiple products is vital. Understanding customer preferences enables insurers to design a channel environment that provides all the options, while keeping channel switching transparent for the customer. The customer never has to repeat or re-enter information, never has to wait too long for a response, and always interacts with a person or system that understands the relationship and the context of the customer’s request.”

The Hidden Call To Action

Companies using an omni-channel solution align their messaging, goals, objectives, and brand across each channel and device. These companies use technology to their advantage to allow their employees to be more efficient and effective. Take time to review your processes and if necessary, make the time to make changes. Let’s not be hindered by technology, let’s use technology to our advantage to make time work for us. In other words, listen to the word from our 60s icon, Bob Dylan, because “the times they are a-changing”.