The sales funnel is a great relationship-building framework that will take an individual that has never heard of your business and guide them along the way until they become a happy and loyal customer.
Sales funnels are a graphical representation to illustrate these customer experiences as they can often be challenging to visualize.
We will take you through these individual stages while detailing the advantages of developing a sales funnel for your organization.
How Sales Funnels Work
Today, many business sales cycles are long and don’t deliver a new customer right out of the gate. There is so much competition and opportunity to set yourself apart from others. One has to explain, shape, even mold the users to comprehend how you are different and what you can deliver where others fall short.
By utilizing a sales funnel or sometimes called a marketing funnel, you are offering your potential customers a map to learn about your organization. The funnel provides all the tools and data necessary to take them through the process while nurturing a relationship with your business. This journey begins when they first learn about your company until they become dedicated customers.
A sales funnel is composed of three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. As we move down the funnel, our number of leads decreases because we aim to target those more likely to convert, which inevitably reduces the pool.
Know Your Audience
Before defining the funnel stages, it is important to understand the way your business acquires new customers. Maybe your prospects find you on social media, paid ads, or by a google search that utilizes search engine optimization (SEO). The important thing is to understand where they originate.
Creating a sales funnel works most effectively when you understand your target audience’s habits.
Once traffic origin is confirmed, the sales funnel stages will guide prospects through a series of data and communications that makes it easy for them to learn more about your company.
Prospects at the first stage typically don’t know much about your products or services. This stage is called the awareness stage, which is at the very top of the funnel.
Awareness content should have a very low barrier of entry and will appeal to a broad audience. Adding materials such as a landing page or infographic that is simple to follow can help entice your target audience.
It is crucial to include a call to action or CTA, which will make this newly formed association more solidified and urge them to continue down the funnel.
A great approach is to provide free content in exchange for an email address. Providing free beneficial information could be in the form of a video, blog article, or ebook. Those who complete an action at the top of the funnel will move on to the next stage.
The consideration stage represents the middle funnel. We now produce content that should align with the users’ interests. Here we lean into cultivating the relationship by earning their trust and drilling down on their pain points.
Retargeting ads are a great way to increase brand awareness. Retargeting is serving an ad to an individual who has already seen your business and has been previously marketed to in some fashion. A retargeting ad could be as simple as an email that answers common questions. Include additional product features along with successful case studies. Make sure to include your next CTA.
It might even be the right time to introduce a special offer and let them know how you can help them alongside their journey. The goal for the mid-level funnel is to get prospects to take the next step and for you to gain authority in the subject you are representing.
The conversion stage or bottom of the funnel is the last stage where prospective customers go before they convert. By now, these individuals are more familiar with the brand, offerings and recognize how you provide value.
At this stage, these prospects are more likely to have the intent to purchase. It is crucial to make the final action as easy and seamless as possible. You want the idea of becoming a customer to be the next logical step.
Time to get direct and specific about what you do and what you can provide. Create price comparisons, testimonials, and information around common objections. Leave multiple CTAs and easy buttons to connect, like social media and website links. Now is a great time to schedule a demo, set up a free trial, and get them set up.
The continued follow-up with potential buyers is a great way to organize traffic and increase conversions. The sales funnel creates a process around those interactions. As your business continues to drive strangers through your funnel with multiple campaigns, perfecting and optimizing, you will be able to identify what messaging is working for your audience and what isn’t.
As you develop a relationship throughout the customer experience, it makes their eventual conversion easy and expected and your sales more predictable. Why? Over several weeks, months, even years, your prospects have become fully educated on your business offerings and how your organization is aligned with their needs.
Lastly, make sure you are tracking your results throughout the entire process. Understanding metrics such as cost per acquisition (CPA), lifetime value (LTV), and conversion rates will increase your sales funnel success.