Sales Funnels 101: How to Make a Funnel That Actually Sells
Sales funnel is a pivotal concept integral to modern business success.
It forms the backbone of a customer-centric approach to marketing and sales. But, we should break it to you that sales funnels aren’t created equal. Some are conversion super-engines, while others fail to deliver on the potential.
What exactly separates the two groups?
Well, planning ahead of time is paramount: it allows you to be in control of the outcomes. Secondly, an effective sales funnel is always targeted, optimized, and tailored to a specific audience.
In order to make a funnel of that kind, one has to put in a lot of hard work and resources. The process also requires you to juggle a heap of moving parts simultaneously.
The good news is our guide is here to streamline the whole endeavor. Here is how to funnel your way to surviving and thriving in a competitive market.
Taking a Look at the Blueprint
The first step is to familiarize yourself with the concept of a sales funnel.
Most importantly, you need to understand how each stage of the funnel fits the big picture and shapes consumer behavior.
You can think of funnel as a journey customers take on the way to buying your products/services. Its wide top marks the first stop on that journey and bottom is the final destination. The funnel narrows down the more you descend through it.
So, the main objective is to steer as many people as possible to the very bottom.
In other words, you want to turn random visitors into prospects and then convert them to leads and buyers. To pull it off, you need to be able to map out the whole process.
The four main stages of the funnel are:
- Awareness— refers to the initial moment of gaining people’s attention
- Interest— involves research, price comparisons, and deliberation on a customer’s part
- Decision— is where leads decide to purchase or not
- Action — takes place at a funnel’s bottom, where leads become buyers
It’s not common for prospects to jump over the middle stages and immediately buy. It can happen, but it’s more of an exception than anything resembling a rule.
All About that Audience
Your next task is to get to know your target audience better.
This is not overly hard to achieve, as you can harness the power of big data and analytics. The goal is to gather relevant data points, such as demographics and online habits.
Once you have enough fuel in the tank, extract valuable insights from the raw material. The best way to go about this is to leverage advanced analytic tools and initiate site monitoring.
For instance, investigate how people navigate your website and what steps they take before reaching a purchase decision. You may want to focus on exact page spots they click on and scroll to.
You can also develop buyer personas to serve as your guiding light. These semi-fictional profiles of ideal customers simplify the process of building a funnel geared toward maximum conversions.
After all, the more you approach the bottom of the funnel, the greater the need for precise targeting is.
Make a Funnel from the Roof Down
Designing a funnel starts at the very top.
You first find out how people manage to end up at your digital real estate in the first place. In all likelihood, they utilize Google search, social media, or some other cyber highway.
Upon discovering the source of traffic, take a deep breath. We can’t emphasize how vital it is to refrain from selling too aggressively right away.
People are more interested in finding out who you are and what you stand for. Thus, once they land, you need to make a great first impression. Showcase your expertise and explain why you are better than the next company in a long line.
Having sorted that out, you can initiate the decision stage of the funnel. Put together killer landing and product pages to make your irresistible offer. Throw in an enticing hook such as free shipping, discount, or a bonus product.
Furthermore, a compelling CTA is one of the mainstays of the funnel. You need to use it to prompt people to perform a certain action. For example, invite them to sign up for your email list or submit personal information.
Give them something in return too— a free piece of content or a coupon code should do the trick.
Work in Progress
Bear in mind sales funnel is never set in stone.
You have to engage in ongoing optimization, following a flow of fresh data. Namely, do yourself a favor and measure the success of the funnel using key performance indicators (KPIs).
There are various options here, but tacking conversions is an absolute must. Note that you can A/B test your landing pages to figure out what versions could spur the highest conversion rates.
While at it, try to find holes and friction points in your funnel. They are usually associated with user experience (UX) faults, such as poorly optimized pages, irrelevant offers, and shabby content.
Also, notice the drop-off points tend to correspond to moments when customers move from one funnel stage to the other.
Finally, we want to stress your work isn’t done once someone reaches the bottom of the funnel. One purchase can lead to another and so on. This is to say the final ingredient comes in the form of customer retention.
This is the process that keeps the sales pipelines flowing and empowers you to snatch the business Holy Grail— a steady stream of recurring revenue.
Success by Design
Sales funnel is your comprehensive roadmap to business greatness.
But, to make it really happen, you need to embrace a strategic approach to designing it. We’ve shown you how to make a funnel by developing each stage with thought and foresight.
So, do your homework and collect pertinent data. The more knowledge you acquire the more effective your funnel is going to be.
Also, it’s clear you constantly have to be on top of the game, reaching out at the right place and time, with the right offer. Make sure to inform, entertain, and help before asking for a purchase.
Don’t fail to refine your approach over time and play the long-term game. This will help you supercharge your lead generation and conversion rates.
Contact us in case you need help maximizing digital tools and stimulating growth. It’s time to delight your clients and keep them coming back for more.