Sales funnels are an essential part of any business, yet they can be tricky to create. You should know – when I first started my business, I had no idea how to create a sales funnel. Thankfully, I was able to get some help from a friend who is an expert in this area. Here are the key takeaways that she shared with me on how to create a sales funnel:
How to Create a Sales Funnel
Creating a sales funnel requires a lot of time and effort. But it’s a necessity in a competitive business environment.
Before we dive into how to create an effective sales funnel, let’s take a moment to define what a funnel is.
What is a sales funnel?
The sales funnel is every stage that a customer has to pass through in order to become a paying client.
Let’s look at how a brick-and-mortar business might handle its sales.
A portion of the people who walk by a business decides to step inside, which is the next logical step in the sales cycle.
A customer is browsing a clearance rack. Now, he or she is at the next stage in the buying process.
Once the customer has picked their 4 favorite shirts, they are finally ready to check out. This is the final phase of the funnel.
If all goes well, your customers will successfully finish their purchase goal and exit the sales funnel.
Every business has a sales process, and yours likely looks something like this:
A sales funnel is a series of steps a business takes to convert a potential customer into a paying customer. The process usually begins with marketing that draws attention to a product or a service. From there, customers learn more about the product and eventually purchase it.
Any type of marketing campaign can be a part of your overall marketing strategy. And your strategy might span across several campaigns.
Each stage in the sales funnel affects how consumers behave. Understanding them will help you better connect with them.
By understanding the different sales funnel stages, you can implement tactics to transition people from one step to the next.
This can have a massive effect on your revenue.
If you increase the number of contacts in your sales pipeline by 2, you will increase both your number of qualified sales opportunities and your percentage of converted deals.
That’s 4 times as many customers as you get from just 1 new customer.
Understanding your sales process and funnel is the foundation of any successful business.
Importance of a sales funnel
Your sales funnel illustrates the path of your prospects.
Knowing your sales funnel can help you identify where your prospects are dropping off.
If you want to optimize your sales funnel, it’s important that you understand how it works. We’ll go into the specifics below, but in general, you can influence the flow of prospects through the funnel and whether or not they convert.
The 4 Sales Funnel Stages
The AIDA model is a marketing concept that divides the sales process into four steps: awareness, interest, decision, and action. These stages are your prospect’s frame of mind.
As a marketing professional, you need to understand the different stages of the sales funnel so that you can tailor your message appropriately. It’s like a waiter asking what dessert you want before you’ve even had your appetizer. You need to make sure that you send out the correct messages at the right moment, otherwise you risk alienating your potential customers.
Let’s take a closer look at each stage in the sales process.
The Awareness Stage
This is the moment when consumers first become aware of your brand. This could be through word of mouth, seeing your tweet, a post shared on Facebook by a friend, or by searching on Google. This is your chance to make a great first impression.
Your potential clients learn about your business and what you can offer.
When the timing is right, some customers will buy right away. It’s often a “right place, right time” situation.
The prospect is already aware of your business and is aware that you provide a valuable service. By continuing to talk to them, they are more likely to be converted into customers.
In the Awareness Step, you’re trying to build a relationship with your prospect. You want to be informative without being overly sales-y. You want to show them that you know what you’re talking about and that you can offer something of value to them.
The Interest stage
When consumers have reached the “consideration” stage, they are starting to compare and weigh their options. This is the time when you should offer helpful information that helps them compare their options.
If you want to be successful in sales, it’s essential to remember that customers want to feel in control of the situation. Pushy salespeople will scare off potential customers, so instead, work on building your credibility. Help them make informed decisions, and they’ll be much more likely to buy from you.
The decision stage
The consideration stage is when a prospect is seriously thinking about purchasing from you. This is typically the stage where your prospects are comparing you to your competitors.
This is the time to offer your prospect something extra. This could be a shipping discount, a coupon code, or a free bonus.
Your product should be so beneficial that the prospect is immediately drawn to it. Make sure that your product is something they really need and will help them solve their issue.
At the bottom of your funnel, customers take action to purchase your products or services. This is where they become a part of your customer base.
Just because a consumer has reached the end stage of the sales process, that doesn’t mean your job is done. It’s up to them to make the purchase, and it’s up to you to market to them.
You want to make as many sales as possible from one customer.
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How to Create a Sales Funnel
Now that you’re pumped, you want to create a sales funnel—and quickly.
Sending a call straight to your prospect’s phone doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think.
Step 1: Study your audience’s behavior
The more you understand your target customers, the more effectively your funnel will be. You are not trying to market to every person.
Your marketing efforts are targeted toward people who will be interested in what you offer.
Where do they click? When do they scroll? Crazy Egg is a great tool for understanding how users interact with your site. The snapshots feature provides valuable insights into where people click and scroll. This information can help you optimize your site for better engagement and conversion rates.
Where do they click on your site? When do they scroll down?
All of these metrics can help you better define your buyers’ persona.
Step 2: Grab the audience’s attention
Your funnel only works if people can find their way into it. This means that you need to put the right type of content in front of the right people.
If you want to take the organic route and post tons of content across all of your platforms, that’s great! Just make sure you diversify with infographics, videos, and other types of content. This will help keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
If you want to spend more money on ads, the best place to run those ads is where your target audience hangs out.
If your product or service is geared towards businesses, then using targeted advertising on LinkedIn could be the perfect option.
Step 3: Create a landing page
Your ad or other content is designed to take your prospects somewhere specific – a landing page with a can’t-miss offer. By providing value upfront, you increase the chances that they’ll stay on your page and convert into a lead or customer.
Because these people are still in the early stages of the sales process, you should focus your efforts on collecting their contact information rather than trying to close a sale.
A website’s landing pages should guide visitors toward taking the next action.
You need a strong call to action that tells your visitors exactly what to do next, whether it’s downloading a free e-book or watching an instructional video. By taking this next step, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals!
Step 4: Create a Drip Campaign
Come up with an email nurturing campaign. Do this on a regular basis, but not too often.
Sending one or two email blasts a week should be enough.
Educate your prospect before trying to sell them anything. What do they want to know?
What objections do you need to overcome to convince your customers to buy your product?
Your drip campaign should end with an amazing offer that will inspire your leads to buy from you. This is the most important part of the campaign, so make sure it’s something they can’t resist!
Step 5: Stay in touch with the customers
Don’t neglect your loyal customers. Continue to reach out to them.
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How To Measure the Success of Your Sales Funnel
As your customer base and offerings grow, your funnel may need some tweaking. That’s fine.
Tracking your conversion rate is a great way to see how successful your funnel is.
What is your conversion rate for people who click through on a Facebook ad and sign up for your email list?
Pay attention to each stage of the sales cycle.
The sales funnel is a useful tool for tracking the progress of your business. By understanding how each part of the sales process works, you can identify where you can make improvements.
For example, if not enough consumers are being captured with initial content, then the business may need to create more engaging content. If prospects do not trust the business enough to give their contact information, then the business may need to work on building trust. And if existing customers are not coming back and buying from the business again, then the business may need to improve its customer service or product offerings.
Knowing what questions your prospects have about your service will help you know where your funnel needs tweaking.
How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Optimizing your sales funnels involves focusing on the most important parts of the process, such as when a consumer moves from one stage to another.
We talked about how to run Facebook ads. Running one campaign isn’t enough.
Create 10 or 20 Facebook ads. They might look similar, but target them to different groups of buyers.
AB Test your landing page. It’s worth it because it’ll help you convert more visitors into customers.
You can also AB test your email campaigns to see what type of language, imagery, offers, and layouts your audience responds to. This way you can make changes to optimize your sales funnel more effectively.
In order to optimize our sales funnels, we need to pay attention to our results.
Start at the top of the marketing funnel. Your goal is to drive traffic to your website, whether it’s through ads or SEO, and to get people to click on the call-to-action (CTA).
If your content isn’t working, try something else.
Your landing page is the key to your sales funnel. Make sure the offer and CTA match the content in your blog post or Facebook Ad. This will ensure higher conversion rates and more leads moving further down your sales funnel.
- Test your headline.
- Test your body copy.
- Test your images.
- Test your CTA.
When asking people at the action stage of your sales funnel to purchase from you, AB test it. Does offering free shipping on your products work better than a 5% discount on them?
These little tips can make a big difference in your sales.
Finally, track your customer retention rate. Do customers come back to buy from you a second time, a fifth, and a twenty-fifth?
Do they refer you to others?
Your goal is to keep your brand top of mind. You can do this by always delivering what your audience wants and needs. If you never disappoint them, they won’t have a reason to look elsewhere.
Now you know how to create a sales funnel that will help you take your business to the next level. Remember to pay attention to each stage of the sales funnel and make sure to keep in touch with your customers.