An effective sales funnel is essential for your business to attract more prospects and close deals with them. A sales funnel is a marketing system that guides a potential customer/lead through a systematic process with an end goal of converting that lead into a client. A representation of an actual sales funnel shows a heavy top that is characterized by many people while the lower end is much smaller with fewer people. It’s usually a clear indication that there is a huge opportunity to strengthen your sales cycle to win sales from the majority of your visitors. Goal is to provide value to leads as they move down the funnel. There are different stages of the sales funnel. These include Awareness, Interest/Consideration, and Decision/Action.
This step involves using methods of inbound marketing to bring leads into your website. When people visit your site for the first time, they may not even realize they have a need for your product or service. You, therefore, want to focus all your energies on trying to grab their attention so that you can provide them with some information to gain their initial trust. Content marketing can help you introduce yourself, show people that you understand their problem and have a solution to fix it.
The Awareness stage is where you GET FOUND.
How? Blog, PPC, Search, Social Media, Email
Once visitors have identified a need, they will begin to look for alternative options to address it. They will start to add and subtract brands as they evaluate what they want. It is the perfect time to capture their e-mail addresses thus giving you a way to make follow-ups and possibly generate a lead if you can provide value. Sending out periodic newsletters, free reports or e-course is an excellent way to build a stronger relationship with your prospects.
At this level, the consumer selects a brand at the point of purchase after surveying the competitive landscape of the product/service, e.g. pricing, trial offers, etc. Of importance here is to create backend products that solve your customers’ greatest problems.
Incorporating Buyer Personas into the Sales Funnel
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing clients. Understanding your buyer personas enables you to target or personalize your marketing campaigns for different segments of your audience. To create your personas, consider including demographic information, goals, motivations, buying behavior, hobbies and interests of your clients. For instance, you could have a buyer persona named Maggie. Maggie could be a 29-year-old who uses YouTube on a daily basis. She prefers Google over Bing and loves to surf the internet for health, fashion, and beauty related sites. In this case, you can fine-tune your marketing strategy to fit the persona’s profile. With Maggie being a lover of YouTube, a video based Ad focused campaign would help get your message out. You will also want to use Google Ads over Bing ads and generate more content on health, fashion, and beauty-related topics.
Optimizing your sales plan can feel like a daunting task, but it’s something you may need to do as you go along. For a more successful & well-thought out sales funnel, establish all the possible ways that people enter your funnel so you can identify their origination point. Look out for details like where they come from, their personas and the point they are at in the purchase cycle. Once this is done, make sure they are kept engaged with relevant blog posts, free video content, social media profiles, etc. Lastly, use tools like Google analytics to analyze the page statistics such as the time spent on page, most clicked links, entry and exit paths, etc. With time, effort and focus, you will see huge improvements in the performance of your site.