How prepared is your business to convert leads into real sales? If you don’t have a plan and a strategy in place for converting your ad clicks, social media followers, and regular digital interaction into tangible sales, your web strategy is intrinsically flawed. All businesses need a proper sales funnel to help capture user interest and convert it into a customer purchase. Sales funnels can take many shapes and forms and, in this article,, we will teach you how to begin and how to shape your sales funnel so that you can reach the maximum conversion potential for your business.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel helps you manage your audience and channel them towards your sales pitch. It helps you refine interest and stoke enthusiasm for the products and services you have to offer. A proper sales funnel should feel like a natural part of the website and/or shopping experience. Depending on what products and services you offer, your sales funnel can take one of many different forms. Each sales funnel is different, but the overall process is relatively the same. The basic principles of the sales funnel follow the same basic steps of the sales process, though the names of each step might change depending on who you are talking to and what you are selling. However, the basic steps of the sales process are awareness, interest, assessment, engagement, and purchasing. Depending on how frequently your products are restocked or refilled, you can also use the sales funnel to help create brand loyalty too.
Where to Begin
Let’s start with awareness, how do you let your audience know that your product exists? Is it best to pepper Facebook or Google with ads? Should you mention what you have to offer in your first message over social media? Generally speaking, you want to decide what services your target demographics use and place your ads, logo, or even just your brand name there. This is where you run targeted ad campaigns over social media and search engine pages. The first step is where you cast your widest net, though it is important to remember that targeted campaigns typically yield the best results.
Many funnels make the mistake of having too wide of an opening. The logic behind this idea isn’t too farfetched, you might think that the more people you put into your funnel, the more you’ll end up selling to. However, this isn’t appropriate for most business, especially if you sell specialized products or services that aren’t applicable to everyone. You want to create targeted sales funnels that appeal directly to people who meet the criteria for your products and services. You can do this with demographically targeted ad campaigns through social media and search engines that allow you to specify statistics about your target audience such as; age, gender, location, and even specific interests.
It is also important not to disorder your sales funnel. You don’t want to sell too aggressively in the opening stages of the sales process. Your priority should always be meeting a need for the customer, not in generating income for yourself.
The best sales funnels operate in layers, slowly moving you through every stage from awareness to loyalty without ever letting you in on the behind the scenes process. The best sales funnels also layer themselves so that you are often introducing the next phase of the process while you are reinforcing the current one. This means that the specific products and services you offer can come up in the assessment and engagement stages of your funnel, though it is still recommended that you save the hard sell for its own purchasing stage of the process. A layered funnel lets you introduce the customer to the benefits and costs of your product while you address the needs, they have that it might meet. It also helps you keep the customer engaged, especially when they are digital customers browsing your website.
Word choice is a very important part of any sales funnel. You want to make sure that you are using suggestive words to make leading statements and ask open ended questions. In the end, you want your sales funnel to encourage the customer to sell themselves on your product. You do this by using words that provide evocative imagery, that present scenarios that your customer is familiar with, and that encourage the audience to think of ways in which your products will help them out. A good sales funnel does not beat your audience over the head with ideas, but it provides an environment for them to sell themselves on the benefits of what you have to offer.
While it is important not to fixate too much on the final sale, it is a necessary part of your sales funnel. Your endgame should be a concern for your sales funnel, just not its primary concern. It is important to keep this in mind as you structure your sales funnel. Otherwise, your sales funnel may not have a target and will be ineffective because of it. When thinking of your endgame and including it in your sales funnel, remember to fixate on what your product can do for your audience, not what it is or how much it cost.
Your final goal should not be to convert a one-time visitor into a one-time sale, but to create a relationship between your business and the customer. Yes, the sale might be the immediate goal, buy you want to establish trust and the idea that your business can meet their needs not only now but, in the future, as well.
The sales funnel is the bread and butter of your business’ virtual sales strategies. You can begin it with lead generation strategies on social media and search engines and turn it into lifelong relationships between your company and your clients or customers. The sales funnel is your ticket to building a stronger brand to creating the ideal marketing and sales process that brings real customers to your business.