5 Levels of Digital Marketing and the Sales Process

Move Customers Through a Successful Sales Process

Online Sales

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Delivering personal service to online customers can increase sales and build your customer base. This can be done by following a five-step process as part of your digital marketing strategy. A successful online sales presence can guide your customers through the selection and purchasing process.

Meeting Customer Needs With Digital Marketing

Successfully marketing a product or service to a customer means understanding their psychological needs. If you are selling a product, you are selling the idea that it will solve a customer's specific problem or meet their specific need. If you are selling a service, you need to get in touch with the pain of your potential client to draw their interest in what you are offering. This can be done by incorporating a five-step sales process into your marketing strategy.

Creating a successful online sales presence can be accomplished by making sure that you represent and court your visitor through the five levels of the sales process on your site.

5-Step Digital Marketing Sales Process

To meet customer needs and have a successful sales presence in the virtual world requires an internet marketing strategy involving a five-step process:

  1. Marketing/prospecting to your target market and audience
  2. Building credibility and trust
  3. Escorting and courting the buyer through the process
  4. Presenting the product or service that meets their needs
  5. Closing the sale

These five levels of the sales process are the core components that will move your website viewer from visitor to customer. By representing each level and courting your potential customer through those levels, you will have the power to move your website transactions from failure to success.

The five levels build on one another in many ways. A digital marketing strategy that is done correctly will clearly define all five levels of the process and how they are represented through your site. The strategy will then assist you in setting realistic and attainable digital marketing objectives. It will also assist you in using each step to build and influence the others so that the process continually moves toward the successful close of the sale.


Prospecting is the first step in the process and is the result of marketing. It's the delivery of qualified targeted traffic to your virtual storefront. It can be achieved by search engine optimization, pay per clicks, or advertisements that draw people to your site. Once they are there, it is your job and responsibility to deliver your unique selling proposition (USP). To determine your USP, you will need to understand the following:

  • How your product or service fills a void in the marketplace
  • How your business stands out as distinct and appealing and what sets it apart from the competition

Building Credibility and Trust

In a brick-and-mortar business, trust is built by human interaction. Greeting a person when they walk in the door or physically helping them find something is easily accomplished. This next step can also be done virtually, which will build trust and credibility with visitors to your site.

You also build that same trust and credibility by the elements that surround the design and the development of your website. Your viewer is unconsciously judging your credibility by looking at the following:

  • Site appearance as professional and legitimate
  • Attractive images and working links
  • Proper spelling and grammar
  • Easy navigation
  • Easily located assurance and privacy policies
  • Easily accessible support and product information

Your site should work as a personal shopper, a live virtual assistant that knows your visitors' needs and offers easily accessible solutions.

Escorting and Courting the Buyer

A person who visits your site has been targeted if you followed the first steps in prospecting. The next step is to qualify your visitor. A person visits your site because they are looking for a solution to a problem, which can be a product or service. Internet marketing studies show that seven out of 10 visitors to a site are prepared to buy. Take the time to escort them to what they need.

Your navigation should be structured to assist those that know exactly what they want, those who know what they want in general but aren't sure about the specifics, and those that are browsing and need some direction.

Presenting the Product or Service

The presentation process is how you present your products or services to visitors as you guide them through the selection process after you have escorted them and determined their needs in the previous stage.

Note that each level of the process overlaps. As you present your products or services to a visitor, be sure that you are keeping their attention and interest by motivating them to continue with the sale.

Closing the Sale

Make sure that your site effectively closes the sale. This involves providing sufficient information about your products and services, such as assurance policies or guarantees, to ensure customer satisfaction. Also, consider adding testimonials for each product or service to build added credibility. Lastly, be sure to provide specific payment information, involving credit cards or personal checks, to eliminate any guesswork, which can ruin a sale. If you effectively court your potential customer through the five levels, you will have the power to move your website from failure to success.