What is a sales funnel and why do you need one?
If you work in marketing and sales you have probably heard the word sales funnel by now.
Sales funnels work for any online business. They are here to help your prospect become a customer by building trust over time with them.
To do so, there are a series of steps you can undertake. This will help bring people from not knowing you to eventually buying from you. Here, we will explain what you need to create the perfect sales funnel and convert potential prospects into your loyal customers.
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is the step by step that a prospect undertakes before becoming a customer. The marketing funnel can be divided into 3 big categories of goals: lead generation, lead nurture, and finally the sale.
The only way to craft an effective sales funnel is to understand the goal of that funnel and choose one goal only. You will have to build a different sales funnel for each one of your goals.
With a sales funnel strategy, you can attract people with a free guide, e-book download, or webinar that answers a question they have. On the same page, you are also building trust and showing them more of who you are. You are also providing value with your expertise. At the end of the free content, you will usually present an interesting offer, with a promotional price for a limited time only.
Does my business need a sales funnel?
Today if you are an online business you need to build a strong presence online. Why? Because nowadays people have more resources to choose what solution is best for them. And what they want is to buy from businesses that they trust. Having a sales funnel helps you build trust along the way.
Technically if you already have a social media or website you already have a funnel going on. But for your business to scale, you need to work on how to bring more people to know who you are, build a strong relationship with them and this way increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Having a sales funnel, will give you the visibility to later measure your progress and results and organize a better marketing strategy.
Optimizing your sales funnel
What can you do along with building a strong relationship with your prospects? You keep them coming for more. You can do that by setting up a system that collects the email addresses of your prospects and then markets them automatically, saving you time. After some setting up of your own sales system, you can continue to market to your prospects or customers, over and over again.
It is important that you find the right structure for your funnel. Choose a sales funnel layout that fits what you’re trying to get people to do whether it is subscribing to your email list, attend and event, or buy a product.
You also need to be able to make your business measurable and see where a disconnect might be happening. It is then easier to make changes accordingly.
That’s why tracking must be implemented too, so you can determine how each prospect should be approached through the funnel.
Build the right sales systems for your business
There are two types of sales systems that you can create – lead driven and sale driven. A lead driven system will give you access to the emails of the prospects that want to receive your free offer. A sale driven system is made up of buyers only.
For the first lead driven system, you don’t need to have a product, set up a sales page, or have customer service implemented. You just need to promote affiliate products and let someone else do the rest.
On the other hand, with a sale driven system, you only get the buyers to address once they’ve purchased something. It actually is a good way of building a solid list of interested people but you do need your own product to make it work.
In the article from FiveFunnel you can see different type of successful sales funnel implemented from the big brands.
The 4 stages of a sales funnel
There are 4 stages of a sales funnel.
-Awareness or prospecting your lead by creating attractive content on social media
-Interest. Making the first contact as he reaches out to you
-Decision. Qualifying the lead by presenting your offer and why it is the right solution for them
-Action. The purchase of your service, product or membership.
Top performing businesses know well all the steps of their sales funnel strategy. First, they address the customer’s needs and send the right message at the right time. And secondly, they can scale the sales process and forecast their future revenues. Well defined sales funnel stages are a key factor for business prosperity.
How do I manage my sales funnel?
Sales funnels have been implemented for a long time by big companies in addition to a solid marketing strategy. But today, sales funnels have become more complicated and demanding due to the increase in digital channels.
With lots of different tools and digital content available for businesses, there are many possibilities you can try for it to suit your audience. Your job is to find which one of the digital channels you use will work best. That said, more options make the building of your sales funnel become more complex and it is crucial not to get too scattered when building your marketing and sales strategy.
It is important that you have a clear business vision, a target audience, and a buyer’s profile and prepare a strong e-commerce marketing strategy.
Your goal by building an effective sales funnel strategy is to solve your customer’s problem. Once you’ve identified what it was, you can produce content to draw them to it. Once they are interested, you then offer your solution to solve it, whether it is a product or a service.