How to Create the Ultimate Sales Funnel
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar or an online business, big or small, you have probably known the pain of missing a sale. In these cases, the best approach is to build a sales funnel that guides your visitors to the shopping cart.
This guide will walk you through the basic concepts of a sales funnel and how to optimize it to increase your number of buying customers.
What is a Sales Funnel?
In marketing, the process of turning your visitors into customers is called a sales funnel.
While you may have a well-thought marketing strategy, created pitches and demos, and even practiced your persuasion skills, the right sales funnel will help you take your lead from the top to the bottom of the funnel, ending in a successful purchase.
Why is a Sales Funnel Important?
A sales funnel will show you the path your visitors take before they can become buying customers. If you've wondered why your visitors leave your website without purchasing, there may be a gap in your sales funnel.
Analyzing your sales funnel will help you know your customers' thoughts during each stage to adapt your marketing strategies to their behaviors.
What are the Sales Funnel Stages?
A sales funnel is divided into four stages known as AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. Before explaining them to you one by one, let’s have a simple sales funnel example.
Suppose a visitor lands on your website through a Google search. From the moment they visit your website, they become prospects. Now, the visitor will check out your products listings, maybe your blog posts, or your ‘About Us’ page. Then, a chance for them to subscribe to your email list appears on their screen.
Say they fill out your form. Congratulations! Now you have a lead. From now on, you will send your new lead interesting information about your products or services outside of your website.
If you take advantage of this, you can offer your lead a coupon, special offers, and more after a while. This will make them more interested in your business since they are constantly provided with meaningful content and attractive offers. In the end, some of them will end up buying your products or services thanks to this path you have created for them.
The Four Sales Funnel Stages
Now that you have seen an example, you may understand how each of the four stages of the sales funnel work. Bear in mind that each business will have a different approach to these phases, but they aim to create the ultimate sales funnel.
If you have done a great marketing strategy, this first stage might be a piece of cake. When a person encounters your advertising, hears feedback from friends or family about your business, or finds your social media or website in Google, they become aware of your product.
The prospect might then become a customer by visiting your website or contact you by phone or email. However, you may have to convince them to do so since awareness doesn’t instantly mean engagement.
After your prospects evaluate your brand and products, they might consider buying from you. Prospects will probably compare your products with the competition and think over their options, making sure they choose the best option.
Many business owners make a huge mistake at this stage: they become too pushy with their sales approach. Of course, informing your prospect about your product and having informative and exciting content is a great way to draw them closer to you. Still, being too aggressive will make them choose other brands.
The decision stage marks the period in which your customer is ready to buy. They like a specific product, and you offer it. But so do the other two or three businesses.
In that case, you can make your best offer. Think about a discount code, a bonus product, or free shipping. Briefly analyze your competition and come up with alternatives that make your potential buyer choose you.
Besides special offers, phone conversations and personalized advice will be a great way to guide your customer to choose you over the other options they have.
At the bottom of your sales funnel, you find the action stage. Your customer purchases your product or service and is now part of your customer directory. On the other hand, they can also end up not buying your product. This will depend on how you build your sales funnel.
Moreover, be aware that you have to focus on customer retention. Keep your content updated so that your customers always find a reason to stay. Enroll them in a rewards or membership program, send them newsletters and personalized thank you letters every time they purchase. This way, you will build customer loyalty.
How to Build a Sales Funnel
Now that you understand the stages of this process, it is time to create the ultimate sales funnel for your business. As long as you have prospects, you will track their behavior and engagement to think about the best way to create your sales funnel.
Step 1: Analyze Your Target’s Behavior
When selling a product or service, you must know your target audience and how they behave. Nowadays, you can use several tools to monitor site activity to determine how the audience interacts with your website and social media.
Make a list of all the things they do. What page do they spend the most time on? What are the most searched products? Where do they click? All this data will help you adapt your marketing and sales strategy.
Step 2: Create Meaningful Content
Information is the best way to lure prospects into your sales funnel. Post content on all of your platforms frequently and link them. Use videos, images, and any other type of content to diversify the information you are putting right in front of them.
Moreover, if you have a bigger budget, you can run a few ads depending on where your target audience spends more time. For instance, LinkedIn might be the best place to advertise if you’re selling B2B.
Step 3: Build a Landing Page
This step is heavily linked to the one above. Even if you create great content about your products or services, prospects won’t see any point staying on your website if you don’t offer clear and compelling information about your business.
Whenever visitors click on an ad or other type of content, it should take them to a landing page that has captures your prospect’s attention. Let them know who you are and what you have to offer so they can’t say no and end up subscribing to your mailing list or signing up for a workshop.
Step 4: Start a Campaign
If your landing page was successful, you might have your prospects’ contact information, whether it is their emails or phone numbers. Whichever the case is, you want to make sure they don’t forget about you.
For instance, create educational and original emails or another type of content they can easily read once it appears on their inbox or messages once or twice a week. Make sure it is relevant content for them and not just spam about your products. Remember, you subtly drawing them towards you.
Step 5: Upsell
Now that your customers are in the decision stage, provide attractive offers that drive them toward the shopping cart. You can consider a product demo, a free trial, coupons, etc. As long as it creates value for both parties, you will definitely bring home another purchase.
Step 6: Keep in Touch
Whether your customers buy your products or not, you should keep the communication going. Create content that educates them about your products and nurtures your relationship. Likewise, you can try to gain the attention of the prospects who didn’t purchase by checking in with them every once in a while.
Why You Need to Optimize Your Sales Funnel
As your business grows, you may notice that the perfect sales funnel you built some time ago is no longer working. This is because your products or services may have changed, and so does your target audience.
If not assessed on time, your sales funnel might cost you a significant amount of money. That is why you should constantly check in with the sales team to make sure everything is running smoothly.
How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Focus on the areas where visitors move from one stage to another and look for any cracks in the process. Here, you should re-evaluate your target audience and how your call to action may be failing to attract them. Likewise, analyze if your content is outdated and needs a new focus to develop the messages that your audience wants to hear.
Moreover, you may also want to take a look at your offers. Are discounts more popular than free shipping? Is your free-trial offer really that necessary? Optimizing your sales funnel is all about analyzing every stage to find the holes in the process.
Once you figure out what isn’t working out anymore, fix your sales funnel with new marketing and sales strategies. Remember that content and customer retention are key to a good sales funnel.