Sales funnel here, sales funnel there, sales funnel everywhere. So many marketers talk about sales funnels but few of them understand how they really work. Furthermore, a number of them use an outdated sales funnel model where the actual sales take up most of the funnel.
Times have changed and nowadays it is much more difficult to land that final deal with your customers. Competition is much fiercer, with an endless number of small businesses and start-ups emerging each day.
But according to a study by HubSpot, as much as 37% of marketers say that prospecting is the most difficult part of their job. In addition, research conducted by Salesforce shows that 68% of companies don’t measure their sales funnels properly and that a whopping 79% of marketing leads are never converted into sales.
If you want to steer clear of this clueless lot, you need to know the exact steps that will help you create a high-converting sales funnel.
Let’s dive straight into the strategies for a sales funnel that will leave your customers no other choice but to buy your products or services.
Top of the funnel
This is the beginning of your sales funnel efforts. And you know what they say: ‘The beginning is always the hardest’.
At this stage, no one knows you, so the first step of your lead generation journey and eventually, sales process, should be to research the market and learn as much as you can about your potential customers.
Get to know your audience
In order to make an effective sales funnel, you have to understand your audience. But to do this, you need to pin down the specific questions you need the answers to.
There is so much information out there that you simply have to be selective and search for the information which is truly relevant to your business.
Here are some questions that you should ask yourself:
– Who is my audience?
In other words, you want to know their demographics like age, gender, location, education, etc.
Another set of information you can use to get to know your customers better and finally convert them is called psychographics. This is a study of consumers’ attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria.
You won’t send the same marketing message to a millennial and a baby boomer, right? That is why you need to know everything about your audience and be able to talk to them as to your best friend.
– Where are they on social media?
Again, people of different ages will use different social media platforms. Your job is to discover your audience’s favorite place to hang out online and then use this channel to reach out to them.
– What bothers them?
This is another crucial question. The sooner you realize it is not about you but about your audience, the better chances you have to create a more effective sales funnel.
Remember, your potential customers are humans and your mission is to help them solve their problems. This is highly relevant to your content marketing strategy.
When you know your audience well enough, you will be able to:
– position your brand uniquely
– find your audience more easily
– address their pain points more effectively
Ask yourself as many questions as you can think of and when you determine all details, use them to create buyer personas.
Create Buyer Personas
If you research your prospects thoroughly, you will see that not all of them are the same. In fact, you will have to divide them into categories, or segment them, which is a more popular term.
You need to create different buyer personas based on the information you came across while doing your research.
Here, you need to ask yourself more questions:
– Why do they want to buy your product or service?
– How are they going to use it?
– What motivates them to buy your product/service?
Answering these questions will help you personalize your approach and improve each customer’s individual experience by categorizing them as a specific buyer persona.
Middle of the funnel
Now that you have learned everything about your audience, the time has come for them to learn something about you. In other words, they need to learn about your brand in order to buy from you.
For this reason, you need to create content and drive traffic to your website so as to grab the attention of your visitors.
Below we list the most common, highly effective lead generation channels.
You have learned about your customers’ pain points and now you need to help them by creating high-quality, optimized content.
Google and other search engines reward websites that answer visitors’ questions and help them solve their problems. It all boils down to helping your audience and increasing your presence on search engines.
Besides content creation, you also need to work on content distribution. The best places to do this are your website and social media channels, where you can share your content for everyone to see and engage.
Note: a great way to create content that is engaging and will entice your readers to be curious about your products/services is by fueling your social media and content marketing efforts with customer reviews. How? By generating reviews and then promoting them.
You should also start guest blogging to raise awareness of your brand and get some backlinks, both of which will help you improve your website ranking.
It’s true that organic reach is the best way to generate leads, but sometimes it’s just not enough. Moreover, it takes incredible amounts of time and effort to achieve visible results this way, especially for new businesses.
Keep in mind that even the biggest brands use paid advertising, so there is no valid reason why you should refrain from it.
In order to get the most out of your paid advertising, it is best to use multiple channels:
– Google ads
– PPC campaigns
– social media advertising
– influencer marketing
Another effective lead generation strategy to use is email marketing.
But before you actually send a newsletter, you need to build your email list. And the best way to do this is through landing pages.
In a word, you need to give your visitors a compelling reason to sign up for your newsletter.
This is why your landing pages should have:
– a call-to-action button that stands out
– high-converting forms
– lead magnets
– social proof
Once you have an email list full of qualified leads, you can start sending newsletter emails on a regular basis.
However, you can’t send the same email to everyone. Remember segmenting?
It is important that you segment your audience, personalize every message, as well as share exclusive sales and experiences with them. This way, you will maximize your email marketing efforts and your emails will always be read with great attention.
Bottom of the funnel
Even though you have come to the final part of the sales funnel, don’t get overexcited. This is where you need to keep calm and convert your leads.
This is the most important stage, yet one that requires the most subtle approach. It is the final stage of your (and your customers’) journey during which the visitors convert into paying customers.
If you have completed all the previous stages successfully, a lead has developed enough interest in your product or service. The only thing left to do for them is to take the final action of making a purchase.
You can make this happen by following the tips mentioned below.
Create forms that convert
High-converting forms have a relatively small number of fields. You don’t want your leads abandoning your form because it takes too much time to fill out.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask for essential information such as payment method, for example. Here, you need to find the balance between too many and too few fields.
Also, make sure to match the fields to the size of the input. If a field is too long or too short, users start to wonder if they understood the label correctly. This is especially true for fields with uncommon data or a technical label like CVV (card verification code).
Next, place labels above the corresponding form fields. If your form is hard to scan and understand, the abandonment rate will be much higher than you want.
Finally, distinguish optional and required fields. Even better, try to avoid optional fields altogether. And of course, provide highly visible and specific error messages which will help users easily identify where exactly they have made a mistake and how they can fix it.
Minimize the number of steps
Not asking too much information is one of the landing page design tips you need to respect if you want high conversions. When you minimize the number of steps required to complete the purchase, you make the sales process shorter and more convenient for users.
This means that you shouldn’t navigate your buyers through five different pages before they actually buy your product or service. Again, by making it easier and faster for them to buy, you make them more likely to complete the purchase.
In other words, minimize the number of steps in order to maximize the likelihood of purchase.
Keep going after creating your high-converting sales funnels!
Building a sales funnel isn’t as complicated as it sounds when you follow thoroughly the steps. To know exactly what happens for each part of the funnel, I strongly suggest you to work with a CRM. With the use of a CRM, you’ll convert more leads into sales, gain time, focus on the important leads and automate your repetitive tasks. Now that you have completed the final step of your sales funnel journey, you need to know one thing – this is not the real end.
You need to keep communicating with the new customers that you have acquired and make sure that they are satisfied with what they got. One of the great ways to do this is to offer a membership-based rewards program.
This will keep the communication going and give you a perfect opportunity to tell your (now already existing) customers about your new deals.
Some of the steps mentioned in this article may not be applicable to your business, but others will definitely help you improve your sales funnel and increase your sales in the long run.
Remember – get to know your audience as well as you can, make sure you help them solve their problems, and keep it simple throughout the whole process.
Cavil Consult creates digital marketing strategies and sales funnels for startups and established businesses. We have the honor to have been listed in this list of the top digital agencies, so we definitely have the experience and knowledge to bring your business forward. We use many digital marketing strategies such as content, SEO, social media, PPC, email marketing, etc. We are growth, data and conversion-driven. If you want to drive qualified traffic to your website, get downloads for your app, generate leads, increase sales or create high-converting sales funnels, connect with Cavil Consult Team We’ll start growing your business together and in a short amount of time. Talk soon. We acknowledge the our strategy partners Growth Hackers for this article