A sales funnel represents the various phases a customer goes through in the process of buying a product or service. Each phase in your funnel will impact the behaviour of your future customers, and having intimate knowledge of them can allow you to implement tactics to encourage more people to move forward through the phases – with huge effects on your sales results.
Imagine doubling the number of people in two of the phases of your funnel: twice the prospects and twice the percentage of confirmed customers. You would have four times as many new clients per month!
Managing your sales funnel is a fundamental notion in the sales process, and I would like to share a few key points to help.
You need to attract the attention of prospective customers. A tweet, a post on Facebook shared by their friends, a Google search, an article in a specialized magazine, etc. can make prospects aware of your business and what you have to offer.
When you get lucky, a prospect might shift into “purchase mode” straight away. This, of course, is the ideal scenario in which that person has likely already researched your business and this moment of awareness triggers the buying action directly.
More often, however, the awareness phase is more like a courtship ritual – the goal is to convince your prospect to make contact or engage with your business in any way.
When a consumer reaches the interest phase, they start doing research, conducting comparative studies and weighing their options. This is the time to produce relevant content to help them in their efforts, but hold back on the selling.
If you push your product or service from the very outset, prospects will lose interest and look elsewhere. Your goal in this phase is to demonstrate your expertise, help prospects make an informed decision and offer to help them in any way possible.
When a customer is ready to make a purchase, they are likely considering two or three different options – one of which is you, I hope! It’s time to make your best offer. Free shipping, a discount code or a bonus product, for instance. Look into what your competition is offering and try to beat it. You need to make it so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down.
Your prospect has shifted to customer status and is now part of your business ecosystem. Congrats! But being an established customer doesn’t mean your work is done. You will need to do your best to increase the value of each individual customer over time: that means focusing on their loyalty to your brand.
These are 4 items not to be missed. Take due time to design your own sales funnel in line with who you are and what your audience wants. Be sure to adjust your approach as you go and examine why your efforts are or are not working.
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