How to Use Powerful Decision Stage Content to Close Sales

How to Use Powerful Decision Stage Content to Close Sales

Picture this: your prospective customers are moments away from deciding whether or not to purchase your service. The CEO, CFO, and engineer of the business you have been prospecting are meeting together to make their final decision on which software service to purchase, but they have a few last questions they need answers to before making the decision. Your marketing and sales efforts have gotten your service this far in their buying process, but now that you want to convince them to click "buy" the most, they are alone with the entire internet—and your competitors—at their fingertips.

You've spent months prospecting, keeping the lead warm, and making endless calls to try and land this new client, and now the time is here: decision day. You wouldn't want to lose that huge time investment due to unanswered final questions. Thanks to Decision Stage content, there's a way to provide timely, valuable answers to your prospective customer's last-minute questions.

In these final moments before a purchase, your brand can use strategic content that's catered towards your bottom-of-the-funnel leads to deliver that final convincing sales pitch that gets them to say, "We've picked you, let’s sign that contract!"

Let's explore what the decision stage is, why it matters, and how to use it to close sales.

An illustration of a person standing on top of a marketing funnel

The marketing funnel explained

Before a prospective buyer becomes a customer, they go through a buyer's journey. According to HubSpot, the buyer's journey is a "buyer's path to purchase," which includes becoming aware of the problem or opportunity, considering possible solutions, and deciding to make a purchase. Although the specific steps in the buyer's journey look different for each product and customer, there are typically three distinct stages:

  • Awareness stage — a person realizes they have a problem and wants to learn more about it
  • Consideration stage — the lead learns about different solutions to their problem
  • Decision stage — the qualified lead has narrowed down their choices and will make a purchasing decision

These three stages combined are also called the marketing funnel. It's visualized as a funnel because the number of people that make it through to the bottom of the funnel is significantly lower than the number of people who start at the top. People drop off along the way as they become disqualified leads and choose not to purchase. As a brand that's trying to sell a product or service, your goal is to convert leads to the next funnel stage and drive a purchase. 

You want to turn buyers into leads and your leads into customers. According to Gartner research, only 17% of your prospective buyer's time during their journey is spent talking to prospective suppliers, so you have to find other ways to make them convert. This can be done through content.

You can use valuable, highly targeted content to convince them to convert at each stage. Provide educational content about their problem in the awareness stage, show them solutions in the consideration stage, and then win their business in the decision stage with a free trial, powerful customer testimonial, or detailed product resource guide.

The Decision Stage

Let's dive deeper into that last, critical decision-making stage.

What is the decision stage?

The decision stage is where the qualified lead decides whether to purchase your product. It's also sometimes called the purchase or conversion stage because it's where leads can be converted into customers.

The prospects in this stage already know what problem they’re facing and what the possible solutions are. They also already know about your brand and product. You've successfully gotten their attention and potentially had multiple calls with them.

Why is the decision stage important?

You've already done a lot of work to get the prospect here, but without this final conversion, they would be just another potential buyer who left the funnel along the way. 

At this final stage before purchase, this is when you have to do everything you can to close the sale. The decision stage is so important because the people who are still in your funnel at this stage know about your product and have the intent to make a purchase. You've gone through the work of filling out their RFP or RFQ, and now their deadline is here. They aren't just browsing anymore. They're ready, so you have to be ready too. 

Since your bottom-of-the-funnel leads still have a few questions about your product, like "is there a free trial?" and "does it have good reviews?", you have to give them these answers as they search for them. That's where decision stage content comes in.

What is decision stage content?

While awareness stage content educates leads about their problem and consideration stage content is about providing possible solutions, decision stage content explains exactly why your product or service is the best solution to their problem. Bottom-of-the-funnel content provides specific information that answers all remaining questions about your product. 

Unlike the other funnel stages, the decision stage is promotional. Instead of providing broad education with one small mention of your brand at the end of a blog post, decision stage content directly addresses your product. It's still valuable information (rather than an annoying sales pitch), but it's straightforward in telling leads why your product is the best.

Decision stage content is also about proving that your brand is credible and trustworthy. People aren't going to take out their credit cards for a brand they don't trust or for a product they don't fully understand. You must use compelling, strategic content to remove any last doubt.

Types of content in the decision stage

Each funnel stage employs different types of content to relay its message. The decision stage focuses on these product-specific, promotional content types:

A graphic listing the following features
  • Free trial - This popular option answers all customer questions by letting buyers actually use your product for free. It works particularly well for digital services.
  • Product demos - Either in-person, virtually, or through a video, product demos show the product in action, answering many questions at once.
  • Coupons/discounts - Everyone loves coupons! Consider providing coupons or a discount for those shoppers who have their fingers hovering over the "buy" button.
  • Product reviews - Create a specific page on your website that has real customer reviews to build credibility.
  • Free consultation, quote, or expert advice - Give buyers a taste of your service through a personalized conversation.
  • Product or vendor comparison charts - Your lead has already narrowed down their options, but why not directly compare your service with a competitor's to show them exactly—with evidence—why yours is better?
  • FAQs that are specific to your product/service - Explain the return policy, how the free trial works, what comes with the product, how to take care of it, etc., so they feel comfortable making a purchase.
  • Detailed product information - Break down the product specs and features until the lead knows exactly what they're getting.
  • Testimonials - Shoppers are 72% more likely to trust your brand if you have positive customer testimonials, according to BigCommerce.

Decision stage keywords

When you start thinking about making content, you also have to consider keywords. These are the words that your prospects are typing into Google in their search for answers. To ensure that the searcher finds your brand's answer to their question, you must create content optimized for that specific search query.

In the decision stage, the search queries are considered high-intent keywords because the searcher is nearly ready to make a purchase. For your decision stage content, add your product or brand name to high-intent keywords. For example, Webflow's keyword may be "Webflow reviews" or "website build free trial." According to WordStream, some examples of high-intent keywords include:

  • Buy
  • Reviews
  • Where to buy
  • [your product] vs. [competitor's product]
  • Free trial
  • Demo
  • Coupon codes
  • Discounts 
  • Pricing 
  • Approve
  • Accept
  • Order

Decision stage content examples

The best decision stage content dives deep into the prospect's doubts and provides convincing reasons why your product adds value to their lives. All questions are answered, the lead trusts your brand, and they follow your clear call to action to make a purchase.

Let's breakdown some good examples:

Free trial landing page: Wistia

Wistia's free trial landing page does a lot right. The hero section includes a strong value proposition and a helpful product demo video. There's also a customer testimonial from a high-profile company, links to useful resource videos, some more social proof, and a clear call to action to "Try for free." Listing more information about what's included in the free trial could've made this decision stage landing page even better.

A screenshot of Wistia's landing page

Production comparison: Asana

When a lead has narrowed down their choices between you and your competitor, don't let some random comparison review dictate their purchasing fate. Instead, make your own comparison content that demonstrates exactly why your product is better. 

Asana does this well with its "Asana vs. Trello" page. The content obviously includes some bias, but it shows why its product is better through specific examples. Every word is carefully chosen to help convince you that this is the product for you.

A screenshot of Asana's comparison page

Coupon codes: Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh excels at deploying its coupon codes. Its optimized coupon code page is filled with discounts, reviews, useful product information, and a strong call-to-action to "Get 14 Free Meals." On the homepage, there's even a fun gamified pop-up that lets users click on one of three gift boxes to "reveal" their coupon code prize.

A screenshot of Hello Fresh's homepage with listed offers

Vendor comparison: Webflow

Webflow has created a page on its site that features strong social proof examples to show why Webflow's product is better than its main competitor’s. The page includes carefully selected, compelling reviews and social media posts that specifically refer to Webflow as a better alternative to WordPress.

For example, the page features a powerful, data-driven testimonial from the Marketing Operations Manager at Rakuten that says, "We've saved thousands of dollars in the last few months since switching from WordPress to Webflow." One of the best ways to make convincing decision stage content is to prove that your product leads to better business results for your customers.

A screenshot of Webflow's testimonial

Product demo video: Zoom

Although fast-paced product videos are good for spreading brand awareness, decision stage videos should instead provide a detailed walk-through of the product in action. Zoom's demo video shows a real person using its new features. Seeing it in action helps answer any questions and shows why it's a cool product.

A screenshot of Zoom's demo video

How to create decision stage content

Content creation looks different for every marketing team and piece of content, but here's the basic structure for decision stage content:

Know your prospects

To make convincing content for your prospects, you have to understand who they are. What are they thinking about in the decision stage? What specific product information are they missing? Get inside their head through prospect interviews, surveys, or asking your sales team what questions are holding your prospects back.

Choose your main keyword

Choose a keyword like "[your product] reviews" or "[your brand] coupon codes" to target, based on what information your prospect is seeking here. Focus on one main keyword per content piece, instead of throwing them all onto one web page.

Produce content

To do this right, invest in quality content. Consider working with professional content writers, web designers, video producers, or a marketing agency to make this content as convincing and valuable as possible.

In all decision stage content, remember to include your strong product value proposition, useful information that's specific to your product, and a call to action to sign up for the free trial, schedule a free consultation, or buy the product. Write benefit-oriented, product-specific copy that helps show the lead why your product will improve their life.

Add powerful finishing touches

To succeed, decision stage content needs a few cherries on top. For example, your free trial landing page could include a powerful one-line customer testimonial that shows specifically how your product changed their lives, tripled their productivity, or cleared their skin. A testimonial, product review, names of brands who use your product, or other forms of social proof are great additions to decision stage content. 

Don't forget to include your customer service number—or better yet, a live chat feature—too!

Publish and promote content

It's time to deliver your message at the right place and time. Where to publish your content depends on what it is, but most decision stage content belongs on post-click-through landing pages, website pages (like in the resource, FAQ, or pricing section), product page, PPC ads, proposal, invoice, SOW, or personalized emails to bottom-of-the-funnel leads.

Drive traffic to these pages through user-friendly navigation on your website, internal links to these pages, calls to action, and by sharing the content with your sales team.

Test and adjust

It's always important to test, analyze, and optimize your content to make sure it's helping you achieve your goals. Consider running A/B tests on your landing page's copy, call to action, layout, image selection, and more. Determine what's making leads convert and what isn't, and then make adjustments.

Start closing sales with decision stage content

An illustration of a signed contract

Now, imagine again the C-level prospective customers who are discussing on decision day whether or not to choose your service. They're interested in your service but want to know more about it. They read through your amazing, detailed proposal. It's filled with benefit-oriented copy, detailed product info, and data-driven social proof. The prospect converts as they quickly type "we've signed the contract." That's all thanks to impressive and valuable decision stage content.

Creating convincing decision stage content is an overwhelming task, but Steel Croissant is here to help. Contact us to start converting leads into customers through powerful content.

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