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Last updated on May 18, 2023

leads to sales

Facebook and Google advertising is a complete waste of money…

Unless those advertisements cause leads to convert into a paying customer.

Business owners and CEOs only care about two things:

  1. Decreasing costs
  2. Increasing revenue

And rightly so…

Therefore, for your marketing activities to have business value, everything must link back to one of those two initiatives. 

All businesses want to generate new leads. You want to get more sales. It’s great to have a loyal customer base too. The question is how do you do it in a predictable way

A simple way to understand this is through the Customer Value Journey (CVJ) – the process of moving a complete stranger to a raving fan. 

What makes the CVJ stand out from the typical sales funnel is it gives you a step-by-step framework for attracting, converting and retaining your best customers.

The Customer Journey

The idea here is to make the process as seamless as possible. You don’t want to annoy your prospect by asking for the sale too soon or getting “friend-zoned” by them by waiting so long and end up not getting the sale either. 

So here’s the thing, no one finishes this journey alone. If you’ve ever done sales before, you know what I mean. The whole sales process is like climbing a mountain. 

Sure, you know where the peak is, but there are tons of obstacles (objections) along the way. There’s also going to be many distractions (competitors’ products) that will come in between you and the sale.

YOU have to be their guide and give them a map (strategy) to reach the top. Left to themselves, customers will get lost along the way, stall out, or forget they ever started on a path with your brand.


Stage 1: Make Them Aware

The first step is obvious. You need people to know you even exist. 

For them to know about you, create content to inform, educate or entertain them. That can happen through advertising, blog posts, podcasts, social media, word-of-mouth, events. 

Word of caution: Your prospect just got to know about you, so it’s still too premature to try to sell them anything. Most businesses make this mistake and end up losing the customer forever. Don’t make this rookie same mistake

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Retargeting lists
  • Website traffic
  • Social media audience
  • Organic sessions


Stage 2: Get Them Engaged

To engage your customer, you have to know what they want. So you’ll want to refer back to the “Sources of Information” section of your Customer Avatar for some reference. 

The way we interact with customers online is just like any ordinary conversation with a friend in real life. You want them to be emotionally involved and connected with you so that you can deepen your relationship. 

In Step 1, your content was aimed at getting people to KNOW you. 

As they engage more with you through valuable content on your pages, they begin to LIKE you more as a brand. 

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Pages per visit
  • Time on site
  • Click-through-rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Social interactions (comments & shares on social media)


Stage 3: Invite Them to Subscribe

Many businesses undermine this step and skip it. And that’s when the prospect realises that you just want their money. And everything you built up has now gone to waste. 

Don’t do that. Just follow the process. It will be worth it.

So after giving enough value in advance, it’s finally time for you to ask them for a little commitment. 

Since they have enjoyed their experience with your brand, they likely TRUST you enough to give you their personal information.

Basically, you give them something they want, they give you permission to email, message or follow up with them.

We call this a Lead Magnet. Think demo, report, checklist, audit, guidebook. 

The value should be extremely high, but you still give it for free, just to tell your prospect “hey, I really care about you, I want to help you and I can solve your problem.

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Leads generated
  • Email list
  • Social media followers
  • Cost per Lead


Stage 4: Turn Them Into a Customer

If the offers you presented before have high enough value, your prospect will be eager to want more from you. And they’ll be thinking “Wow, I’ve already gotten so much from them for free, imagine if I just gave them $1.”

So this is where you come in with an Entry Point Offer (EPO) – a high value, low-risk offer that gives them a taste of your speciality. 

The purpose of the EPO is not to make a profit. Not yet. But at least, cover the cost of marketing and advertising. 

“What??!! So much effort and time, and I still don’t get to make money yet?”

Hold your horses…

You just need to transition them smoothly from a subscriber to a customer. Don’t rush into things and force them to spend so much so early!

It’s as if you were dating someone and you recently became boyfriend/girlfriend. Crazy to ask for marriage and kids, don’t you think? Same thing for business.

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Immediate customer value
  • Retargetting ad performance
  • Conversion rate
  • Units sold
  • Cost per transaction


Stage 5: Excite Them About Your Brand

Ok, your customer just spent money with you. It’s been scientifically proven that buying things makes us high and excited because of a dopamine rush. We want to build on this exact excitement.

You could send them a “welcome to the cool club” mail … start-up guide …bonus features that will delight them… quick wins… any content that could make your new customers happy.

If you don’t take advantage of this stage, they start to feel buyers remorse. The longer you wait, the more distant they get. By your next interaction, all they’ll be looking out for are reasons to prove that it was a wrong decision to spend money with you.

Once that happens, it’s too late.

That’s why it’s critical that you get this Excite stage right and give your customer a memorable experience.

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Growth in community groups
  • Email open rate
  • Churn rate


Stage 6: Make Them a Multi-Buyer

This is also known as the ASCEND stage. You ascent your customer up the ladder to spend more (bigger ticket items) and spend more often (higher frequency). 

It’s this stage that you really start generating profits, unlike the Convert stage in Step 4. Because as your customer goes down this Customer Value Journey, as they are getting such a great experience with you, they’ll just want to buy again and again. 

Ascension offers can be upsells, add ons, other “done for you” solutions.

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Upsell take-up rate
  • Average customer value
  • Frequency of purchase
  • Follow up email opens/clicks


Stage 7: Ask Them to Spread the Message

Customer trust in businesses is fading. Instead, customers are turning to their family and friends for recommendations; shunning away from online marketing and advertising. 

Let’s just say you’ve bought a new home and you’re looking for a good convection oven. Chances are you won’t go online and buy from the first brand that says they are the best. You’ll probably ask someone in your circle who owns a home for their opinion. 

Then you’ll check out the reviews section and compare the ratings before finally heading to the store. 

Ok now that you know how important a brand advocate is, here are some of the best times you can ask them to help you out:

  • After they experience or demonstrate success with your product or service
  • When they re-purchase or re-order
  • After they tag your brand in a post on social media
  • If they are spending time on your website browsing other products or services

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Net promoter score
  • Reviews
  • Social mentions

Don’t be shy to ask your customers for a favour. When they’ve had such great experiences with you, they’ll be more than happy to spread the love and be your brand advocate!


Stage 8: Get Them to Promote You

In the Advocate stage, your customers have just been passively sharing about you, like an “oh by the way…” type of conversation.

But you want avid fans who are raving about your products, services and their experiences with you. 

Real fans tell stories, share your offers and talk to others actively about you because they truly believe in you and they want others to get the same value too. 

Promoters like them are hard to come by and you should treat them well. They are YOUR salespeople who’re willing to help you get more sales and you didn’t even pay them. 

That’s an asset!

To encourage more active promotion, you could have an affiliate or commission relationship—or just send them free gifts for sending some new customers your way. The point is, it’s a win-win for both of you.

Marketing metrics to track:

  • Revenue generated
  • Number of affiliates


Helping Your Customers On the Journey

Effective marketing is all about moving the customer down the journey.

It doesn’t matter how fast a customer goes through the journey. What matters is that they don’t skip a step. 

If there’s a plan at every stage of the CVJ, you won’t need to worry about the hyped-up tactics…

Or your competitor rolling out a series of “spray and pray” campaigns that are missing the system with a strategy behind it (that you have).

To get started building your strategy, work on your Customer Avatar to be clear on who you are selling to, so you can have your best customers as your best promoters.