With so many ways to drive traffic to your website — from Facebook ads to Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, SEO, email, and so much more — it’s a relatively easy practice (however daunting, nonetheless).
While each of these ads can garner thousands of views, impressions, and clicks to your site, we know the ultimate goal — sales. But how do we turn all of our views and clicks into tangible revenue? This is where the sales funnel comes into play.
In fact, a top priority when it comes to boosting sales is improving the sales funnel’s efficiency. Good sales funnels give salespeople an idea of their potential customers’ thought processes, challenges, and decisions.
In its most basic definition, a sales funnel refers to the steps a person must take to become a customer. This effective digital marketing technique is essentially the algorithm that you want prospective customers to experience as they move from a Prospect to Lead to a Customer, and hopefully, a Repeat Buyer or brand ambassador.
‘Funnel’ here is a metaphor. You will begin with a large audience of prospective customers, who will ultimately reduce to a smaller group of highly targeted, high-value customers. A sale is not the final goal, at least not a single one. It is instead important to create customers who are loyal and have a high lifetime value. You can be more precise about when and how offers are presented if you break down the buyer’s journey into smaller steps (i.e., stages). If you are a small business owner, you are probably going to start with just one or two products. Many large B2B companies build lead generation and sales pipelines by leveraging numerous offers.
One of the best parts is the fact that any marketing channel can be used as a funnel! Or even be spread across several channels.
The path prospects take is illustrated in your sales funnel. It can be helpful to understand your funnel in order to spot the areas where prospects leave and never convert.
Without understanding your sales funnel, it is impossible to optimize. For now, understand that you can influence how visitors move through the funnel and whether they convert. We’ll talk about how the funnel works below, but for now, just realize that you can influence how visitors move through it and whether they eventually convert.
Funnel is a process full of different stages, but now, for simplicity’s sake, let’s understand the concept itself and how it actually works. How each visitor goes from a prospect to a lead to a buyer.
It is likely that a visitor stumbled upon your website after searching Google or clicking on a social media link. A prospect is now in sight. You might have a visitor browse your product listings or a few blog posts. At some point, you offer him or her the chance to subscribe to your email list.
Leads are created when visitors complete your form. Customers can now be reached by email, phone, or text message – or any combination of these methods. You’ll tend to get more leads when you send them information about new blog posts, offer special offers, or other compelling messages. Consider offering a coupon code. As visitors progress through the sales funnel, the marketing funnel narrows. As a result, you’re going to have more prospects at the top of the funnel, and fewer buyers at the bottom, but you should also become more targeted in your messaging.
With repeat buyers being the ultimate goal as you look to create a stellar customer base, the sales funnel is essential to a company’s long-term success. However, it’s important to take the right steps to properly execute this sales funnel. Generally, to understands sales funnels we can, for the benefit of the big picture, split them into three parts:
You may not have intentional stages in your sales funnel, but funneling occurs on some level regardless. The number of customers you end up generating will increase dramatically when you use a specific approach, especially if you want to grow an online business. With our model, the well-designed sales funnel includes six essential stages for ultimate success. These stages are:
With a properly executed sales funnel, you can not only convert leads into paying customers but ones that continue to shop with you through the years. While this isn’t an easy process, it’s incredibly important, and we are here to walk you through every step of the way.
Let’s review each of the six steps to an effective sales funnel!
You can’t sell anything if people aren’t aware of your products or business. Before beginning the sales process, you first need to reach new prospects to build an audience to sell to.
When reaching new prospects, the best tactics include:
Remember, you cannot assume anyone knows about your brand or what you do. Potential prospects are likely to know very little, if anything at all, and won’t be ready to buy until they have a better understanding of your business. For this reason, the awareness stage is not about selling. Instead, focus on engagement — catching the eye of potential customers and enticing them to learn more about your brand or services.
Now that you’ve created awareness and a prospect has engaged with and clicked your ad, visiting your site, or further engaging with the brand, it’s time to focus on a stellar buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey is essential to keeping the attention of the prospect. However, there are a lot of factors you’re working against. With so many options to choose from, prospects are quick to stop their journey when they notice certain elements or missing must-haves.
Reasons prospects leave at the Discovery stage of the sales funnel are:
Phew, that’s a lot! However, all of these elements are seamlessly integrated into successful websites, and they all work together to create a user-friendly, informative, and engaging experience that carries the Prospect to the next stage.
To be successful in the Discovery stage, we recommend:
So your prospect has successfully passed the discovery stage of the sales funnel. Now, they begin evaluating.
When we talk about evaluation, this refers to the debate the customer has on if they need to buy an item or service. With so many options, many customers will search around, looking to other sites or for any information to support or contradict their initial reaction to buy with you.
At this point, it’s important to convince the customer that you are the right choice, so they stop looking elsewhere and click “add to cart.” To successfully convince your prospective buyer, you’ll need some key tactics to promote success. These include:
Now that you’ve managed any customer concerns, answering the “why to buy,” a large majority of your prospects may still be interested, however, are not quite ready to purchase.
There are a few reasons why customers don’t buy immediately. Some like to think about their purchases first (we aren’t all impulse buyers!), while others might not have the funds or are waiting for a better time to shop. However, you don’t want to lose these prospects at this point — and you don’t have to.
To continue to engage prospects, bringing them through the sales funnel and towards a purchase, it’s time to get engaging! We recommend:
With these tactics, you won’t lose the more hesitant customers!
Hurray! You successfully engaged your prospects, and they’ve decided to buy your product. They’ve almost clicked the “buy now” button, but they aren’t quite there yet… what’s next?
At this point, customers need one final push, reassuring them that this purchase will be a smart one. There are a few ways to do this, but the top methods include:
With these methods, you can give the customer the final reassurance they need to finally buy now — a worthwhile final push!
We aren’t done yet!
Now that you’ve secured the first purchase from a customer, it’s time to make them long-time shoppers and brand ambassadors for your business. And why does anyone keep coming back for more? Because they love you!
To make a customer love your brand, cementing you as an essential part of their life or routine, it’s important to:
By continuing the relationship, displaying that you offer ongoing support and information based on purchases, you will effectively show the customer that you’re a trusted business to continue purchasing from.
By continuing the relationship, displaying that you offer ongoing support and information based on purchases, you will effectively show the customer that you’re a trusted business to continue purchasing from. Now let’s take a look at some advice in creating a sales pipeline yourself.
It’s time to create your business’ sales funnel. The following steps will help you complete it quickly:
Building a landing page and using content marketing efforts to drive traffic to it would be a great idea. Rather than trying to force people to buy from you, it is better to capture leads. Your audience should be shuttled from stage one to stage two of the sales pipeline using a landing page. Thus, it should include a clear call-to-action to inform your audience what they need to do next.
What type of customer would you like to serve? This question should not be answered by guesswork or assumptions. You should instead build buyer personas based on data and research.
How can you expect others to stick to your rules? Why should they follow your instructions? You need incentives or discounts to create FOMO when you build a sales funnel for your business. Whenever you move them to another stage, you need to provide them with a reason for doing so.
In order to generate leads, you put in a great deal of effort. However, it is even more crucial what you do with them. The nurturing process needs to be applied in all stages of the funnel. Relevant content is key to this.
Each stage of the sales funnel should have a clear call to action. If your customer has already purchased, you should upsell to them.
If the funnel is successful or not, you should nurture relationships regardless of the end goal. Customer retention is improved by doing this, as you remain in their mind for longer.
And that’s complete the sales funnel!
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