DID YOU KNOW?
79% of the marketing leads are never converted into sales.
68% of companies have not identified or measured their sales funnel.
These statistics are astonishing! This is a lot of business lost due to not optimizing the sales funnels.
Before we deep dive into the what and how of a sales funnel, let’s take a close look at why a sales funnel is so crucial for the success of any brand.
A sales funnel can help track leads as they come closer to becoming paying customers. Whether a business model is in the form of brick-and-mortar or online, an optimized sales funnel is required to attract and convert visitors.
A sales funnel ideally consists of 3 segments (it can have more, depending on the nature of a business): top, middle and bottom. The key goal is to move people through these 3 stages until they become paying customers.
A great example of an effective sales funnel is the Groupon Website. Traffic on the Groupon website comes from ads, referrals, affiliates, email lists etc. Once on the website, the pop-up incentivizes the visitors to give their email addresses.
They give discounts on spas, restaurants etc just for signing up. From there, visitors can browse through the website. A simple yet effective funnel that increases the email list of the brand and increases the chances of purchase with each customer visit.
What Is A Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is an important element of a marketing strategy that qualifies customers at each step from being a random visitor to a potential customer and ultimately a paying customer.
What A Sales Funnel Is Not?
- It is not a never-ending website
- It is not a sale-sy marketing strategy
- It is not a shortcut to getting quality leads
A sales funnel is a proven and tested strategy to carefully churn out your dream customers out of the rest of the crowd! Any brand or business can influence the visitors to move through the funnel by marketing tactics.
The first stage: When a visitor lands on a brand’s website through a Google search or a social media post or an ad, they become business prospects. These prospects might check the website content, blog posts, case studies, customer testimonials and browse through the products/services offered. At some point, these prospects must be given a chance to enter their email address by offering discounts, free services etc. If they fill in their email address, they become business leads.
The second stage: These leads can now be further nurtured via text, phone, emails etc. Now, is the golden opportunity to establish a personal connection with these leads, know their pain points and try to offer a solution.
The process of nurturing goes from this point and ends till they become a paying customer. The funnel also narrows itself at every point. Each prospect might not become your lead and each lead might not turn into a potential and ultimately a paying customer.
Understanding The Customer Mindset
The above picture represents the four stages of customer mindset. Let’s dig deeper to understand each stage.
At this stage, you catch the attention of your customer. This may be through a Facebook ad/social post/tweet. The main motive here is to spread awareness regarding your business/brand. The customer might engage immediately and buy or would need further wooing in order to become a warm/hot lead.
Customers at this stage mostly indulge in product/service comparisons, research and thinking over options. This is the perfect timing to swoop in and influence your audience with reliable content which is not sale-sy at all like blogs, infographics, educational emails etc. The main goal here is to establish expertise and influence the purchase decision of the prospect.
At this stage, the customer is on the verge of making the final purchase decision. They fully know about your service/products and are considering 2-3 options to close the purchase. The main goal here is to put your best offer forward to incline the potential customer into choosing you. It could be a freebie (of great value), free shipping (e-comm brands), flash sale, irresistible bonus/discount.
At this stage, the customer becomes a paying customer and you have your sale! The work of the marketer doesn’t end here.
The main aim at this stage is to retain this customer in repeat purchases. At this stage, you turn customers into brand advocates. Offer a loyalty program, exclusive access to your services/products, gratitude emails, special occasion gifts etc to keep these customers hooked on your brand.
Now that we have analyzed your customer’s mindset, let’s get the ball rolling on how to build these sales funnels in a fast and effective manner.
How To Build A Sales Funnel
Analyze Your Audience Behaviour
The more you know about your dream audience, the better your sales funnel can be built. “You are not marketing to everybody”! Recognize the unique pain points of your audience.
- Do they want monetary benefits?
- Do they need recognition?
- Do you need love and respect?
Capture Their Attention
Once you know them, you can lure them. Put favorable content in front of them in the form of blogs, emails, videos, infographics etc. You can go the paid advertising way in the form of social media ads on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and much more.
Build A Landing Page
A landing page is a concise platform that gives crisp information about your product/service with a strong CTA. The leads from various sources should first land on the landing page before getting lost in the deep content of a website. The landing page can have an instructional video telling them step-by-step process to make things crystal clear in their head.
Create A Compelling Email Drip Campaign
Engage regularly with your prospects with amazing content via emails. But do not bombard them with emails. Try using imagery, infographics, storytelling and more interesting elements rather than a regular boring all text email.
Always keep in touch via emails, phones, texts with your existing customers. Remember you have to ensure repeat purchases, hence a healthy relationship has to be maintained.
Pro Tips To Optimise Your Sales Funnel
Building a sales funnel is never the end goal but building an optimized sales funnel will do the trick. Here are some pro-tips which can help you in optimizing your sales funnel:
- Run multiple ads (if you are getting leads by paid advertising)
- Target different buyer personas
- Always do A/B testing to churn the best ad out of the lot
- A/B testing on landing pages as well (Different headlines)
- A/B testing for emails (Different imagery/subject lines)
- Landing page content should be crisp
- Mimic the content on the source of the lead in your landing page
- Add a compelling offer and a strong CTA
- Always A/B test your offer
- Track results at each and every stage (Click rate of an ad/ Opening rate of email etc)
Building a sales funnel is not easy. It is pure hard work and requires a deep strategy to churn out the best results. There is a thin line between being pushy and actually providing value to your customer. Most brands cross over.
The customer today is hard to crack and requires careful nurturing to become a paying customer. By understanding the working of a sales funnel, you can go ahead and create a strong one for your brand. Follow the steps mentioned above to capture quality leads and turn them into your brand advocates for life.
Have you created a converting sales funnel for your business or still thinking it over? Share your experiences/results with us. Let us know in the comments below.
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