The way to survive in a competitive marketplace.
Defining and managing your sales funnel is one of the most powerful concepts in the business world: bringing an unknown mass of contacts to a lead, to a buyer.
What is a Sales Funnel?
It is a process that helps you sell your products and services. A process that you can define and constantly improve. A process that can be used by a team. Defining a sales funnel means that your marketing and sales departments must work closely together. Some call it also the customer journey, the journey might differ from one prospect to the next depending on your target group, your market, and the products and services you offer.
These eight stages represent your customer´s mindset.
1. TARGET GROUP
The first step is to define and find your target groups. These target groups have to contain an relevant mass of potential clients. The more you know about your audience, the more effective your marketing will be. You’re not market to everybody. You market to people who fit well with what you sell.
Now you have to become known in your target group. The have to take first notice of the product, service or brand. This can be done with an advertising campaign, social media link, video, Google search - a marketing expert should know the best, most effective marketing tools. This is the moment at which you catch a consumer’s attention first. The awareness stage is a courtship. You’re trying to woo the prospect into returning to your site and become more involved with your business.
If you find the right approach, you will arouse interest, which is the minimum you need to maintain your potential customer's willingness to invest time. Now the clients visit you website, walk through your store. A visitor lands on your website through a Google search or social link. He or she is now a prospect. The visitor may look at some of your blog entries or browse your product offerings. Offer him or her the opportunity to subscribe to your email list. Interested customers tend to return to your site when you contact them with special offers, special landing pages, information about new blog entries or inspiring messages.
If your customer is interested now, he wants to know more details, will search for information. He will have a deep look at your website, check the feedback on social media, look for tests and recommendations. Now consumers are researching, comparing purchases and rethinking their options. Now is the time to jump in with incredible content that will help him. Now you market to people who are a good match for what you sell.
If he´s on your website, you can track his surfing through your pages. Analyzing this data helps you understand the customer's needs. How much time does he spend on a particular page? When do they scroll? Where do they click? All these data points help you to refine your buyer personalities.
With call-to-action elements could lead to initial interactions with the clients. Now you can identify the client: if he requests for further details you are permitted to contact him. This phase has an enormous impact on your consumer behavior and trust. When an online visitor fills out your form, they are a lead. Be careful: If you push too hard on your product or service, you will drive them away. Establish your expertise, help the consumer make an informed decision, and offer to help them in any way you can.
In this stage your sales department has the main role. If the client requests for detailed offers or individual concepts or starts negotiating, you can talk about his wishes. You can market to the customer using a personal medium, e.g. e-mail, telephone or text. Now you can learn a lot about your clients and improve your sales process with every new inquiry.
If the customer hesitates, it is the time to make your best offer. It can be a bonus product, free shipping or discount. Be aware that he considers alternatives to you. Try to make your offer so irresistible that your lead can’t wait to take advantage of it. Use A/B testing to find the best offers and optimize your margin.
Now make it as easy as possible. Your offers, contracts, order confirmations and invoices should be easy to understand. Check all our documents with the customer's eye. If you never disappoint your interested parties, they will have no reason to look elsewhere. Work on your mindset: Your customer is your friend. He is the reason, why your business, your company exists.
Optimise your online shopping card. Conversion rate is a great measure, it is defined as the number of visitors to a website that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors. Try to find out the typical conversion rate of your competitors and to make it better.
8. REGULAR CUSTOMER
But just because a consumer reaches purchase that doesn’t mean your work is done. The trust is now being built. If the customer has had a positive experience, he is open for the next offer - if you find out what he needs next. In other words, you should focus on the customer retention. Express gratitude for the purchase, invite your customer to give feedback, and make yourself available for support. When you understand your customer's needs, you know what you can offer next. Find new services and products and optimize your cross selling possibilities. Keep reaching your regular customers. They are your most effective basis for further sales.
So, track your customer retention rate. Check how often they come back and buy from you? If they become regular customers, they will refer you to their friends.
Measuring the Success of a Sales Funnel
On each step you can improve the number of people that go from one step to the next, which will have a crazy impact on your business, due to multiplication effect. If you double the leads and you double the percentage of closed customers, it means have you four times the number of new customers. If you don’t understand your sales funnel, you can’t optimize it.
A great way to measure the success of your sales funnel is to track your conversion rates. You need to know how you can influence visitors as they pass through the funnel and whether they eventually convert. You can find the places where prospects drop out and never convert. You can also A/B test your adverts, posts, landing pages, email campaigns. Change up your speech, offers, imagery and layouts to figure out what your audience responds to.
Each stage requires a different approach, because you shouldn´t send the wrong message at the wrong time. You don't want a waiter asking you what you want for dessert before you've even ordered drinks. Cultivate it over time.
Sometimes you have a scenario in the right place at the right time, and a customer will buy immediately. If you recognize a customer moving through the sales funnel very quickly, you have to be ready to close the deal immediately. A narrow, optimized sales funnel gives you the information your prospects want. Gather that information and use it. If you are wrong, you will lose the sale. Pay attention to the results.
This is the way to survive in a competitive marketplace.
Over the last 30 years I have created concepts for every phase of the sales funnel. Let us define your sales funnel together and take a closer look at each phase. email@example.com
The definition of a sales process (sales funnel) becomes even more effective when it is integrated into an overall strategy and an adequate infrastructure.