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How Many Touchpoints Before a Sale? Revealing the Magic Number for Success

Find out exactly how many touchpoints before a sale are needed to secure success. Dive into our latest blog for key strategies and expert insights on optimizing your sales approach
Written by
Harsh P
Published on
June 25, 2024

Introduction to Sales Touchpoints

Introduction to Sales Touchpoints

What is a Sales Touchpoint

Sales touchpoints refer to the various interactions that occur between a company and a potential customer throughout the buying journey. Each touchpoint—from initial contact through marketing messages, in-person meetings, or online interactions—plays a critical role in influencing a buyer’s decision-making process.

This can include anything from a simple email or phone call to more involved interactions like product demos or customer support from your sales team.

Sales Touchpoints are important for building relationships, understanding customer needs, and ultimately, driving conversions. Effective management of these touchpoints ensures that the potential customers receive consistent and relevant information, which helps in building trust and credibility.

Sales Touchpoint Stages

Recent studies underscore the significance of optimized sales touchpoints in their sales process. For instance:

  • Companies that successfully manage sales touchpoints increase their sales efficiency by up to 25%.
  • Research indicates that it takes an average of 8 touchpoints to make a sale, highlighting the need for a well-structured touchpoint strategy.
  • A report found that enhancing sales touchpoints can lead to a 10% increase in customer retention rates.

How Many Touches Does it Take to Make a Sale

How Many Touches Does it Take to Make a Sale

Determining the number of touches required to close a sale can vary widely depending on several factors including the industry, product complexity, and the sales process in place.

Generally, navigating through these interactions strategically is key to converting leads into sales effectively.

Key Factors Influencing the Number of Sales Touches:

  • Industry and Product Type: High-value products often require more touches due to the greater investment and decision-making involved.
  • Target Audience: Different demographics may require different types and frequencies of communication.

Here are some insights supported by data to illustrate the importance and effectiveness of multiple touchpoints:

  • Research suggests that it typically takes between 7 to 13 touches for most B2B sales cycles. This range can help businesses in planning their engagement strategies.
  • Data from sales studies indicates that reducing unnecessary touchpoints can shorten the sales cycle by up to 20%, while maintaining the necessary contacts can enhance the deal's quality and likelihood of closure.
  • Surveys show that companies leveraging social media effectively experience a 45% increase in sales effectiveness. Furthermore, businesses that integrate their social media interactions in their marketing tactics with traditional sales touchpoints see a customer retention rate improvement of approximately 7%.

Typical Touchpoints Involved:

  • Marketing Messages: These are initial contacts made through various channels like emails, social media posts, advertising, and direct mail. They aim to capture attention and generate interest.
  • Sales Calls and Emails: Direct communication via phone or email allows for personalized engagement and is crucial for moving leads through the sales funnel.
  • Online Reviews and Social Proof: Potential customers often look at reviews and testimonials before deciding to buy. Ensuring your product has positive online feedback is a key touchpoint.
  • In-Person Meetings: Whether it’s sales demos, consultations, or networking events, face-to-face interactions can greatly influence buying decisions.
  • Website and Blog Post: Your online presence, including your website and blog, serves as a 24/7 touchpoint that provides valuable information and helps in establishing your brand’s authority.
  • Final Stage Demonstrations: Demonstrating the product or service effectively at this touchpoint can be the deciding factor in making a sale.
  • Follow Ups: Post-interaction follow-ups through emails or calls help keep your brand top-of-mind and clarify any doubts that may prevent a sale.

Impact of Effective Touchpoint Management:

  • Conversion Rates: Efficiently managed touchpoints can increase conversion rates significantly. Companies that optimize their touchpoint strategies often see a boost in conversions by up to 20%.
  • Customer Retention: Continuous engagement even after a sale can lead to higher retention rates. Effective post-purchase follow-ups can improve customer retention by 5-10%.

How to Build Touch Points Around Your Buyer's Journey in Your Sales Process

How to Build Touch Points Around Your Buyer's Journey in Your Sales Process

Building touch points around your buyer's journey is crucial for creating a seamless and engaging customer experience.

1. Understand the Buyer's Journey

Awareness Stage:

  • Objective: Potential customers realize they have a problem or need.
  • Touch Points: Blog posts, social media content, SEO, PPC ads, educational videos, webinars.
  • Action: Create content that addresses common problems and solutions in your industry. Use SEO to ensure your content is easily discoverable. Run targeted ads to attract interest.

Consideration Stage:

  • Objective: Potential customers evaluate their options.
  • Touch Points: Comparison guides, case studies, product demos, email newsletters, detailed blog posts, retargeting ads.
  • Action: Offer in-depth content that compares your solutions with competitors. Provide case studies showcasing successful outcomes. Implement retargeting ads to keep your brand top-of-mind.

Decision Stage:

  • Objective: Potential customers decide on a solution.
  • Touch Points: Free trials, consultations, customer testimonials, pricing pages, purchase offers, sales emails.
  • Action: Offer free trials or consultations to eliminate barriers to purchase. Highlight customer testimonials and reviews to build trust. Ensure your pricing page is clear and compelling.

2. Map Out Your Touch Points

Create a detailed map of your buyer’s journey. Identify key moments where potential customers interact with your brand. These touch points should include:

  • Digital Touch Points: Website visits, social media interactions, email opens, online ads, webinars, and downloadable content.
  • Physical Touch Points: In-store visits, event attendance, direct mail, and product sampling.
  • Human Touch Points: Customer service interactions, sales calls, and live chats.

3. Personalize the Experience

  • Use Data: Leverage CRM data to understand individual customer behaviors and preferences. This data helps in crafting personalized messages and offers.
  • Segment Audience: Divide your audience based on demographics, purchase history, and behavior. Tailor your touch points for each segment.

4. Ensure Consistency Across Channels of Your Marketing Messages

  • Unified Messaging: Maintain a consistent brand voice and message across all touch points. Inconsistencies can confuse and deter potential customers.
  • Integrated Systems: Use integrated marketing platforms to manage and track interactions across channels. This integration helps in providing a cohesive experience.
  • Cross-Channel Strategies: Develop strategies that ensure touch points on different channels complement each other. For instance, a social media ad should align with email campaigns.

5. Optimize Touch Points Continuously

  • Collect Feedback: Regularly gather customer feedback through surveys, reviews, and direct interactions. Use this feedback to refine your touch points.
  • Analyze Data: Use analytics tools to track the performance of each touch point. Look at metrics such as engagement rates, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction.
  • A/B Testing: Continuously test different versions of your touch points to see what works best. This could include variations in email subject lines, ad copies, or website CTAs.

6. Foster Post-Purchase Engagement By Your Sales Team

  • Onboarding: Provide a seamless onboarding process with guides, tutorials, and customer support to help new customers get the most out of your product.
  • Customer Support: Offer exceptional customer service through multiple channels such as live chat, phone support, and email.
  • Loyalty Programs: Develop loyalty programs to reward repeat customers and encourage referrals.
  • Regular Communication: Keep customers engaged with regular updates, newsletters, and exclusive offers.

7. Measure Success and ROI

  • Set Clear KPIs: Define key performance indicators for each touch point, such as conversion rates, customer satisfaction scores, and ROI.
  • Track Progress: Use analytics tools to monitor these KPIs and track the effectiveness of your touch points.
  • Adjust Strategies: Based on the data, adjust your strategies to improve weak touch points and capitalize on strong ones.

Examples of Successful Sales and Marketing Touchpoint Strategies

Examples of Successful Sales and Marketing Touchpoint Strategies

1. Amazon: Personalized Shopping Experience

Strategy: Amazon excels in personalizing the shopping experience at every touchpoint.

Touch Points:

  • Website and App: Personalized recommendations based on browsing and purchase history.
  • Email Marketing: Customized emails suggesting products similar to previous purchases or abandoned cart items.
  • Push Notifications: Alerts about deals on items viewed or similar to those in a user’s wish list.
  • Customer Reviews: Encouraging customers to read online reviews and leave their feedback, enhancing trust and influencing future purchases.

Success Metrics:

  • High conversion rates from personalized recommendations.
  • Increased average order value due to cross-selling and up-selling.
  • Enhanced customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

2. Starbucks: Omni-Channel Engagement

Strategy: Starbucks integrates online and offline touchpoints to create a seamless customer journey.

Touch Points:

  • Mobile App: Enables ordering, payment, and rewards tracking.
  • In-Store Experience: Personalized service using customer data from the app.
  • Email Marketing: Sends personalized offers and updates based on customer preferences.
  • Social Media: Engages with customers through interactive content and responds promptly to queries.

Success Metrics:

  • Increased mobile app adoption and usage.
  • Higher customer retention through personalized rewards.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and engagement on social media.

3. Coca-Cola: Emotional Branding and Engagement

Strategy: Coca-Cola uses emotional branding and interactive campaigns to connect with customers.

Touch Points:

  • Advertising: Consistent emotional messaging across TV, digital, and print ads.
  • Social Media: Engaging campaigns like the “Share a Coke” initiative, encouraging users to share personalized bottles on social platforms.
  • Events and Sponsorships: Presence at major events and sponsorships, reinforcing brand visibility.
  • Retail Promotions: In-store displays and promotions aligning with advertising campaigns.

Success Metrics:

  • Increased brand awareness and emotional connection.
  • Higher social media engagement and user-generated content.
  • Boost in sales during promotional campaigns.

4. Apple: Seamless Ecosystem and Customer Support

Strategy: Apple creates a seamless ecosystem and exceptional customer support at all the touchpoints.

Touch Points:

  • Retail Stores: Interactive and informative in-store experience with knowledgeable staff.
  • Online Store: Smooth and intuitive online shopping experience.
  • Customer Support: Comprehensive support through Genius Bar, online chat, and phone support.
  • Product Ecosystem: Integration across devices, enhancing user convenience and loyalty.

Success Metrics:

  • High customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
  • Significant sales driven by a seamless ecosystem.
  • Positive customer feedback on support services.

5. Nike: Digital Transformation and Community Building

Strategy: Nike leverages digital channels and community engagement to enhance the customer journey.

Touch Points:

  • Nike App: Personalized product recommendations, fitness tracking, and exclusive content.
  • Social Media: Interactive campaigns and engagement with the fitness community.
  • Email Marketing: Targeted emails based on user activity and preferences.
  • Events and Collaborations: Hosting and sponsoring sports events, collaborations with athletes and influencers.

Success Metrics:

  • Increased app downloads and active users.
  • Higher engagement rates on social media platforms.
  • Growth in sales from targeted email campaigns.
  • Stronger brand community and loyalty.

6. HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Educational Content

Strategy: HubSpot utilizes inbound marketing and educational content to nurture leads and customers, ensuring the marketing team and business development are on the same page.

Touch Points:

  • Blog and Resources: Providing valuable content to attract and educate potential customers.
  • Email Campaigns: Nurturing leads with targeted content and offers.
  • Webinars and Ebooks: Offering in-depth knowledge and tools to help prospects solve their challenges.
  • Customer Support: Comprehensive support through live chat, forums, and a dedicated customer success team.

Success Metrics:

  • High lead generation and conversion rates from inbound marketing.
  • Increased customer retention and satisfaction.
  • Strong brand authority and thought leadership in the business to business industry.

How to Reduce Your Touchpoints Through Digitization

How to Reduce Your Touchpoints Through Digitization

Reducing touchpoints through digitization can streamline the customer journey, making it more efficient and satisfying for your customers. Here’s how to effectively achieve this:

1. Implement a Comprehensive CRM System

Centralize Customer Data:

  • Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to collect and store all customer data in one place. This eliminates the need for multiple touchpoints by providing a unified view of each customer’s interactions and preferences.
  • Example: Salesforce, HubSpot.

2. Utilize Automated Marketing Tools

Automate Communication:

  • Deploy automated email marketing, chatbots, and SMS systems to handle routine customer inquiries and communications. This reduces the need for manual touchpoints and ensures timely responses.
  • Example: Mailchimp, Intercom.

Personalized Campaigns:

  • Automated tools can personalize marketing campaigns based on customer behavior and preferences, ensuring relevant communication without additional touchpoints.
  • Example: Marketo, ActiveCampaign.

3. Offer Self-Service Options

Customer Portals:

  • Create self-service portals where customers can access their account information, track orders, and manage services independently. This minimizes the need for direct contact with customer support.
  • Example: Zendesk, Freshdesk.

Knowledge Base:

  • Develop a comprehensive online knowledge base with FAQs, tutorials, and troubleshooting guides. This empowers customers to find answers on their own.
  • Example: Helpjuice, Confluence.

4. Integrate E-commerce Platforms

Seamless Transactions:

  • Use integrated e-commerce platforms to streamline the buying process, from product discovery to purchase and post-purchase support. Ensure the platform is user-friendly and mobile-optimized.
  • Example: Shopify, WooCommerce.

Digital Payment Solutions:

  • Incorporate various digital payment methods to simplify transactions and reduce the need for physical touchpoints.
  • Example: PayPal, Stripe.

5. Leverage AI and Machine Learning

Predictive Analytics:

  • Use AI and machine learning to analyze customer data and predict future behavior. This allows you to proactively address customer needs and reduce unnecessary touchpoints.
  • Example: IBM Watson, Google AI.

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants:

  • Implement AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to handle customer queries, guide users through processes, and provide instant support.
  • Example: Drift, Chatfuel.

6. Enhance Mobile Experience

Mobile Apps:

  • Develop a robust mobile app that offers all essential services and support features. Ensure the app is intuitive and provides a seamless experience.
  • Example: Amazon, Starbucks.

Push Notifications:

  • Use push notifications to keep customers informed and engaged without the need for multiple touchpoints. Customize notifications based on user preferences.
  • Example: OneSignal, Firebase Cloud Messaging.

7. Streamline Customer Feedback

Digital Surveys:

  • Use digital surveys and feedback forms to gather customer insights. This reduces the need for follow-up calls or emails.
  • Example: SurveyMonkey, Typeform.

Social Media Listening:

  • Monitor social media channels to gather customer feedback and respond to concerns in real-time, reducing the need for direct touchpoints.
  • Example: Hootsuite, Sprout Social.

8. Optimize Digital Onboarding

Interactive Tutorials:

  • Provide interactive tutorials and onboarding videos to help new customers get started with your product or service without needing extensive support.
  • Example: WalkMe, Appcues.

In-App Guidance:

  • Implement in-app guidance to assist users as they navigate through your app or platform, minimizing the need for external touchpoints.
  • Example: Userlane, Pendo.

9. Implement a Unified Communication Platform

All-in-One Communication:

  • Use a unified communication platform to integrate emails, chats, social media messages, and calls into a single interface. This ensures all interactions are tracked and managed efficiently, reducing repetitive touchpoints.
  • Example: Microsoft Teams, Slack.

Concluding Thoughts

In summary, the exact number of touchpoints before a sale can vary widely, influenced by factors like your industry, sales process, and the complexity of the buying decision. What remains constant, however, is the critical role that each touchpoint plays in guiding a potential customer through the buying process. Sales teams need to strategically manage these interactions to effectively lead customers to a buying decision.

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