Chances are you’ve heard of sales funnels. However, if you are new to the world of sales, you may not be sure exactly what goes into funnels, and how to best optimize them. Fret not, as our sales funnel experts have everything you need to know about moving prospects from the top to the bottom for conversion. This is your inside look at how to create a sales funnel that works.
The Basics of Sales Funnels
Sales funnels are not tangible. Rather, sales funnels are metaphorical representations of the process that prospects go through before converting into actual customers. The funnel begins at the initial point of contact and ends when money is exchanged for a product or service.
Create a sales funnel and you’ll have full control over paving a path toward increased conversions. Sales leaders in a wide range of industries often credit the best funnels as those that convert interest into action. Succeed in convincing your target audience they need your service or product, and your pipeline will be primed for ongoing movement toward the bottom.
Control the Relationship With the Audience From the Start
As a business owner or marketer, your aim is to convince those who might need or desire your value offering to pay for that product or service. Oftentimes, the perception of the business is shaped within the initial 30 seconds of contact, be it a commercial, radio spot, blog post, pay-per-click (PPC) ad, etc.
The best sales funnels begin with an introduction that educates prospects about the value of your offering. The optimal funnel starting point empowers customers to select products or services based on information as opposed to gut instinct or price. By the time such a candidate engages with your sales team or other personnel, the initial interaction will have positively shaped their perception of the enterprise as a whole.
At the very minimum, by intriguing your prospects, they are more inclined to continue considering the company’s value proposition even if the price is slightly higher than that of the competition. This is precisely why it is so important to carefully craft the online content, ad material or other creative elements that serve as the initial point of contact. It is this initial experience that determines whether prospects are open to the idea of moving down through to the middle and eventual bottom of the sales funnel.
Build a Polished and Functional Landing Page
When was the last time you revised your landing page? If you are launching a startup, you might not even have a landing page. Moreover, some businesses rooted in the past have no online presence at all. The success of your business has the potential to hinge on the quality of the landing page that greets visitors.
It is imperative that your landing page and the rest of your website are functional on all web-connected computing devices. Aside from loading pages on each respective device, the page should also look polished on those screens of varying sizes. Keep in mind, the landing page is an opportunity to make a positive first impression. A polished landing page tells the world about your company’s identity, its value proposition and how you solve problems.
Communicate the company’s value offering on the landing page, including an option to obtain more information by signing up for a newsletter. Collect email addresses, names and additional contact information from the landing page, remain in contact with those prospects and you’ll have an opportunity to gradually guide them down toward the funnel bottom.
Capitalize on Contact Information
Greet those who enter their name and email into the newsletter contact form with an initial introduction. Tease upcoming sales, new additions, newsletters and other exciting events to stimulate interest. Let the audience know when the next newsletter is scheduled to be published and you’ll build momentum toward an ongoing information stream that educates and motivates recipients, eventually turning them into loyal customers.
Continue to Engage the Audience
The sales funnel will not operate autonomously. Active management and possibly even regular tinkering might be necessary to maintain sales funnel functionality. Even if a prospect converts, the purchase of a service or product does not end the sales funnel.
The challenge lies in keeping sales prospects at the stage of conversion instead of allowing them to transition over to the top of your competitor’s funnel. You can prevent such an outcome by regularly engaging with your audience including current customers.
Be strategic when choosing your method of engagement. Send a thank you message, a holiday greeting and other updates to maintain a dialogue. Even a brief message will serve as a reminder that greases the wheels of business.