A Beginner’s Guide to a Sales Funnel

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Every business needs a strategy for getting products and services to customers. Your sales funnel uses the buyer’s journey as an outline for funnel development. Sales funnels ideally warm up potential customers. Before you decide on a plan of action, you should establish a vision, set goals, and define your target market.
 

Components of the Sales Funnel

 
The top of the funnel is the foundation for your strategy. Here, you establish brand awareness and identify the target market. Then, you share your brand through word of mouth and social media marketing. You must tailor it for search engines and try to get customers “in” the funnel.
 
The middle of the funnel is about building a relationship with potential customers. When customers interact with the brand, you must lead with value. Only after making it to the bottom of the funnel can you hope to convert customers, establish loyalty, and retain them.
 
The parts of the funnel consist of four parts: awareness, interest, decision, and action. These stages help you move through the buyer’s experience, and can be easily mapped out through popular CRM’s such as Pipedrive or Autoklose.
 

Awareness

It does no good for people to know your brand name and nothing else. You convert people’s awareness into interest. Businesses often use a lead magnet, a piece of value to offer in exchange for something small (like an email address). Some common lead magnets are eBooks, guides, checklists, infographics, webinars, and giveaways in general (e.g., free trials, free shipping, free upgrades).
 

Interest

They then try to pique a person’s interest. For example, once you collect an email address, you can send valuable emails to them. You should provide links that connect them to resources, maybe an article or blog post they find interesting. Prospects who find genuine value in your emails are more likely to buy something in the future.
 

Decision

The third stage of decision is rooted to trust. You must provide consistent value, but there are other ways to establish trust. For starters, it’s easier to buy from you when people like you. Businesses should try asking prospects to commit to something, maybe even something small (like that email address).
 
They might express their authority or provide social proof with reviews and testimonials. All these things invite prospects to take action. One of the most direct ways is to convince them that time is running out to take action. Special offers and discounts are sure to reel in anyone.
 

Action

The final stage is to interest prospects enough to convert them into customers. Not everyone who enters the funnel will take action, but sometimes all you need is a few. Every success provides detailed information on how to tweak marketing campaigns and alter products and services to meet the needs of the customers.
 

Retaining Customers and Re-Targeting Lost Conversions

Retaining customers is of the utmost importance as they require fewer funds to convert. If you can provide a valuable product or service consistently, customers will remember that. They share their good experiences with your brand, and this produces more prospects.
 
As stated previously, not everyone gets to the bottom of the funnel. You should go back and try to convert those you hooked in the beginning. Ads can be re-targeted through Facebook or Google to reach people who didn’t give you their contact information.
 

Steps to Designing a Sales Funnel

Sales funnel design starts with research. Then there is the question of how to direct traffic and what kind of content to produce. Content should be engaging, so much so that it eventually leads to conversions. It is cheaper for you to retain customers than it is to seek out and convert new customers. Thus, once you establish trust, you should keep their trust and go back to them for future sales.
 

Research

Businesses begin by establishing the target audience. You can send out surveys and analyze these along any secondary research conducted by the government or other companies. You use this information to build buyer personas.
 
Buyer personas include a list of demographics, where people get their information and spend their time, and the goals and challenges of prospects. You should also think ahead to people’s concerns about buying from the business. Research is ongoing because people change.
 

Traffic

There are four types of traffic: direct, referral, organic search, and paid media traffic. Traffic is direct when people go to a brand’s site directly. Referral traffic comes from backlinks from articles, blog posts, social media posts, and other sources. Organic search traffic is the kind of traffic a business gets when people click on their links on a search engine.
 
Organic search traffic is unpaid and can be improved by doing search engine optimization. Paid media traffic is all about advertising on Google, social media, and videos. These visitors are generally less engaged, and you should work hard on your landing pages to ensure visitors get a good first impression.
 

Engagement

Content should be valuable and credible. Above all else, it should be relevant to the audience. Once the content is presentable, you must decide how to maximize engagement. One choice is to offer a subscription. You can engage with people on social media. You should be consistent enough that visitors don’t forget about your brand, but you should avoid flooding prospects with emails or masses of social media posts.
 

Conversion

Trusting and engaged prospects make for better customers, so long as you follow up your content with similarly valuable offers. Brands frequently direct customers to landing pages with (usually) one action to take. You can also convert customers through an e-commerce platform. Email marketing is another good way to convert visitors into customers. Making sales in-person or over the phone are also effective.
 

Mistakes to Avoid

Before you execute your plans, focus on your target market. Don’t waste time trying to convert people who don’t want or can’t use your products and services. These products and services should be appealing, and so should the landing pages and platforms. Most importantly, the audience shouldn’t be left to do all the work. You must guide audience members through the sales funnel.

To learn more about sales funnels and time saving CRM tools, check out the onetool App store.