If you have an online business you will benefit from having a sales funnel(s). So; where do you start? This basic guide to sales funnels aims to help you get going with putting sales funnels to work in your business.
A sales funnel is one of the most measurable ways to generate leads and sales for a business. It is a process; with moving parts; which can be measured and improved.
Failing to put sales funnels into your business will hurt your bottom line. A website is not enough anymore. Your competition is already using sales funnels.
What is the primary goal of a sales funnel? It is to move people from one stage to the next stage in the funnel until a sale is made.
Sales Funnel Stages
When someone hears about you, up until them make a purchase they go through different stages. These stages are the funnels you create.
Each funnel, or sales journey will be different. This will depend on buying personas (ie your ideal client, markets you are targeting) and the type of products or services you offer.
You can design multiple-sales-funnels. Each one linked to a specific product or service and client persona.
There is also no set rules for the number of stages you can define. We have 4 basic sales funnel stages based on the AIDA marketing model.
AIDA stands for:
- Awareness: Your ideal client becomes aware of their pain
- Interest: They have an interest in solving it
- Desire: They develop a strong desire to solve the pain
- Action: They take action to solve it (sale is made)
When they visit your website for the first time; they have become aware. This could be from a search engine search; social media interaction or any other traffic source.
Next they will start developing an interest in solving their pain. Looking at different options. Doing various searches to get an understanding of it.
They make contact. This is the interest phase. They have taken action and reached out. This could be following you on social media or subscribing to a newsletter.
A sale is made. The Action stage. They decided you are the solution and a sale is made.
But this is not where it ends!
- Retention: Keeping customers is an important activity in any business.
- Referrals: Asking for referrals could really help with making more sales in your business.
Here are a couple of ways to keep customers:
- Special offers and deals
- Customer Service Surveys
- Customer follow-ups (email, sms, and phone calls)
- Product or service guides
How to use content in different stages of your sales funnel.
Here are a couple of ideas how you can use content in your sales funnel:
- Blogging (awareness and interest). Educating and giving more insigiths into their pain and your solutions. We use blogs for SEO, traffic generation, social media interaction and email follow up.
- Lead Magnets (interest phase). Giving something of value. This could be a video, checklist or report. They join your emailing list. You can add links and sales actions in your lead magnet and follow up process.
- Webinars (desire and action). Online events is also popular way to make more sales.
- Videos (awareness, interest, desire). You can use video to educate and inform. Explainer videos are videos which explain a certain area or use. Think about this. A video makes a presentation while you are doing something else.
You do need to align your sales funnel with what your ideal customer is looking for. This will greatly enhance the results you get from your sales funnels. Focus on specific pain points and relevant selling areas.
Here are some questions you can ask your ideal client to get a better understanding:
- What are your biggest challenges?
- What frustrates you most?
- What are you biggest fears when considering?
- What are your goals?
- What are you aspirations?
- How have you tried to solve your pain?
- What has worked for you?
- What has not worked for you?
Having defined your ideal customer and putting a sales funnel in place means you can start measuring the results you get from your marketing and sales activities.
Not every marketing campaign will be a winner. Marketing and sales is work. The more you work at it the better it performs. A sales funnel gives you data to help you improve your results.