How To Create A Sales Funnel That Converts

Not everyone is familiar with the concept of a sales funnel but if you’re in business – either as a start-up, an entrepreneur or a multi-million dollar industry, you need to know what they are and what they can do for you…

Basically, the idea is to systematically direct any prospective customers your business may have, to specific content on your website based on how they’ve interacted with your brand, and with the intention of converting them into customers so that your business can grow.

Putting it simply, the objective is for you to be able to drop the word ‘prospective’ from prospective customers…

Sales Funnels That Convert

Essentially, a sales funnel is a marketing strategy – it’s literally how your potential customers go from ‘Who are you again?’ to “Yes, I want some of that!’, so having a strong digital sales funnel can be the difference between having a small business and having that multi-million dollar company.

Strong sales funnels expedite business growth – and as a business owner, if you want keep up with the competition and stay relevant, it’s highly suggested that you build, refine, test and fully optimize your sales funnel.

It can literally transform a small business into a global multimillion-dollar company within a short period of time, as well as providing scalable, sustainable growth for companies at any level.

Entrepreneurs need consistent lead generation to sustain their business, but without a marketing funnel, they don’t have a blueprint for generating leads. 

So, the sales funnel is one of the most important concepts in the digital marketing world.

The Ultimate Guide to Sales Funnel Success

A sales funnel is therefore a digital marketing concept that describes the journey your potential customer has in order to purchase your product or service. This journey obviously varies depending on your business’ sales model.

the ultimate guide to sales funnels

The point of a conversion sales funnel is to build an effective buyer’s journey and increase your conversions into real sales. 

Always ask the question, what’s in it for them?

What will they get out of this freebie?

So even if you’re starting a business from scratch, if you have a website you can measure and create a sales funnel that converts prospective customers.

Sales funnels can help you do several essential things:

·      They can create awareness for your brand, product, or service

·       They can attract interest in what you have to offer

·      They can stimulate a wish to purchase by educating them

·      Help leads achieve a desirable action

·      Move leads through the sales funnel to the final purchase

In a profitable sales funnel, this purchase process is replicated and leads to the highest number of conversions possible.

So, broadly speaking, a sales funnel is a multi-step process that converts your website visitors into buyers.

A sales funnel has multiple stages that act as steps that a potential buyer takes from the point of being an anonymous user to the time they decide to purchase your product.

Why do companies need sales funnels?

What’s In It For Them

Few people will purchase your product with only the first glance at your website. It takes time for them to know you and trust your credibility. That is what the sales funnel is about. It helps you to gain trust and build a productive relationship with your prospective buyer so they can press the ‘buy button”. 

Why is it Called a Sales Funnel?

Not exactly the sexiest sounding phrase, but it’s a powerful tool. Or it can be when you know what to do with it.

There’s nothing complicated, technical or difficult in understanding your sales funnel – in fact, you probably already have one in some shape or form.

Quite simply a sales funnel is a journey your ideal client goes on

when they enter your world.

In a nutshell, there are various stages when it comes to a sales funnel journey – however, basically, the model of the sales funnel is that it’s wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.

To get the most out of your leads at each stage of their purchasing journey of your product or service, you should have a sales funnel conversion strategy for all levels of the sales funnel.

Measuring and testing the success of your marketing strategy helps you drive additional improvements and gives you an idea of what’s working, and what isn’t.

So, at the top of the funnel are your potential customers, and at the bottom are your committed customers – the idea is to turn your potential customers into committed customers by creating and encouraging an awareness of interest decisions based on your sales funnel’s stages. 

Hence the name…

 Not Just a Gimmick

A 2020 study in Harvard Business Review claimed that companies with simple, well-designed sales funnels are 62% more likely to close high-quality sales than those without.

3 Stages Of A Sales Funnel

So, by having high-quality sales and repeat customers, building a well-functioning sales funnel can make all the difference to your business’ success.

Sales funnels are seen as long-term projects which are designed to draw in new prospects, to keep them coming back and, hopefully, turn them into paying customers.

The best part about the sales funnels is that if done correctly, you don’t need sophisticated subscription software to build them – you can generate a sales funnel across just about any industry or niche to generate leads.

Your Ideal Buyer’s Journey, Mapped Out

The main idea of a conversion sales funnel is to create an effective buyer’s journey and increase your conversions.

To do this, you must first identify your starting point and then your end goal. Realistically, you must identify three essential factors:

  • What does your typical prospect’s journey looks like at present
  • What’s your end goal, or what action you’d ideally want your prospective customer to take?
  • What can you do to improve your existing buyer’s journey thereby increasing the chances of these leads becoming paying customers?

Once you’ve decided what your end goal is, you can plot it out as a conversion sales funnel.

Set Goals for Each Stage in Your Sales Funnel

Think of your sales funnel as three separate components – the top, middle, and bottom.

Determine what you want from each segment of the sales funnel; perhaps you want to increase your traffic at the top of the sales funnel, maybe enhance your engagement rate in the middle, and improve your conversion results at the end…

Once you’ve set some solid goals, you could use various online tools to monitor your progress and ensure you’re meeting your sales objectives.

Because unless you’re sure about what you want and need from each stage in your sales funnel, it’s really hard to know if you’re meeting your SEO targets. It’s therefore essential to deliberate on your overall goal before you build a conversion sales funnel.

Draw Up a Content Plan for Each Stage in the Sales Funnel

Each stage of the sales funnel – top, middle, the bottom needs its own marketing plan to keep your business prospects moving from one stage to the next – remember the goal is to get them through each stage successfully.

Grasp the Art of Funnel-Building

As a business owner, it’s essential that you provide content that adheres to your audience’s needs.

With e-commerce, the sales process can be a long game, so you need, at a minimum, the three-stage funnel to attract prospective customers, to win their trust and get them to forge ahead when it’s time for them to close the deal. 

A Salesforce survey found that a whopping 79% of leads never end in sales. But, with a well-planned sales funnel, you can prevent this from happening to your business.

Marketing funnels are simply three-part blueprints for steering your prospects into becoming paying customers.

Sales Funnel Kit

You should have to rely on costly funnel building software – instead, you should save your money and spend it on ways that have been proved to work when it comes to promoting your content.

If you follow this basic, three-step sales funnel stages’ formula to building successful marketing and sales funnel, you can put your business on the path to search engine optimization (SEO) success and bring prospective customers into your business organically.

The 3 Main Sales Funnel Stages

A sales funnel is therefore a digital marketing term that describes the customer journey through the buying process when they are on your business website once they are on your landing page.

From the minute they give you their name and email address they go into your sales funnel as they’ll receive a series of emails that are all leading them towards one thing, to buy from you or book you.

But the key to converting more bookings or sales is understanding how your Sales Funnel works, evaluating the process and making it more effective.

The sales funnel stages are roughly divided into three sections: top, middle, and bottom which putting it simply, are divided as follows:

  • The top of the sales funnel is where your marketing campaigns take place, spreading awareness to as many potential customers, as possible.
  • The middle section represents the sales process, which is where sales representatives appeal to any interested customers and try to guide them towards making a successful purchase.
  • If the sales rep is successful, the customer will then enter the third and final section by purchasing your business’ service or product. Once a purchase is made, the prospect becomes a customer, which helps your business to succeed.

Each one of the sales funnels stages is important.

1. The Awareness Funnel – Top of The Funnel

Awareness

The first stage is all about building brand and product awareness interest decision-making – why would anyone trust your products, services or brand?

It’s at the top of the funnel that you’re trying to create some hype around your business and to encourage any prospects to learn more about your business and how your products and services can help them.

Check out your competition – how do they connect with their customers?

This is why your website landing page is so important as Facebook ads, for example, can drive traffic to your landing page, and beyond – because if you’re offering a great read or a freebie or discount, prospective customers often find this irresistible.

At this first stage of the sales funnel, it’s common to use visually engaging content through your landing page including videos, blog posts, and social media posts to introduce your business and to create an interest in your brand’s story and what you can offer them.

At the top of the funnel, at this point, it’s unlikely many people know who you are — okay, maybe a few potential customers know you, but the point of this stage of the game is to get your name out there and to get people to know who and what you are.

At each one of the sales funnel stages you want to create noise and excitement around your service or product and credibility around your brand.

You could:

  • Create awareness and appropriate content for the top of the sales funnel.
  • Perhaps initially use PPC ads to increase traffic.
  • Optimize your content for SEO so it ranks high in the search engine results – people are more likely to find you online this way.
  • Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and post regularly and interact with followers.
  • Establish a referral program to reward people for recommending your services and products to their social network.

You need to go from bland to brand…

This can become a time-consuming exercise in itself with establishing followers, gaining social media influence, and massive online publishing with articles, blogs, advertisements, tv presence to get them to visit your land page but, get this right and you’re on your way!

At this stage of the top of the sales funnel, if you’re not already active on social media, that’s a great first step to start – this is the time to sign up and to start creating content for your potential audience.

So, at this stage of the funnel, it doesn’t matter that you don’t have an audience yet. But it’s essential to think about your potential audience — who they might be, what they might want — and to then begin to create content for them about your business and brand.

You need to get prospects to visit your website and to then see what you can offer them – hence the importance of your landing page. Perhaps you can carry out email marketing campaigns from there to promote your latest blog posts and post out newsletters…

It’s important to decide on the type of business mission you want to create, but that means also generating content and products from what your customer also wants most -not just what you’re interested in!

Professional Website

It’s at this first stage of the sales funnel where you create a professional-looking website with a great landing page where prospects can sign up for something of value to them with your email marketing – maybe a newsletter, a blog subscription or a free guide.

The landing page will be your first repeated point of contact with your customers – it goes without saying that a free guide is of more value and more popular than anything else.

Although your website content can take any form, most consist of the following:

• Long-form blog post/articles – make sure you use SEO keywords and use these crafted compelling content pieces to make you sound like an invaluable authority.

• Podcasts/Social Media/YouTube videos – if people can visualise your products or services and how they can benefit them, they’re more likely to buy them.

• Emailing content means you’ll have your prospect’s contact details…

The main thing is to create excellent, well-sourced and easy-to-read SEO content that genuinely helps solve the problems your audience might be facing.

Use your awareness-phase content to bring positive attention to your brand, adding value to your audience by solving legitimate problems, cost-free. 

2. The Consideration/Interest Funnel -Middle of The Funnel

Once you’ve established that essential first point of contact with your customers by them visiting your website, your goal is to build on that new relationship by creating an irresistible middle of the funnel.

You now have someone’s attention, so now it’s time to gain their trust and show them why they need your business’ service or product.

A prospective customer could realistically be in this second sales funnel stage for quite some time, so your focus should now be on creating valuable, informative, and reliable content which could be case studies, video tutorials, podcasts and downloads.

Interest

The middle of the funnel is where your potential customers become comfortable and familiar with your website—so don’t let them go! This is where they should understand who you are and why they should invest their time in you – so if you’ve promised them blogs, articles, podcasts etc. you should be able to deliver.

The most important thing is that you are offering them a bit of you and your business so, you should try and interact with them, answer all their questions, and respond to their feedback as much as you can, as soon as possible.

Some ways to do this are to provide a free service or product – perhaps free shipping. If you’re a yoga teacher, for example, you can offer them a free one-time tutorial, or a free instructional podcast. You can also demonstrate case studies and reviews of how you’ve helped other like-minded customers, useful and/or entertaining content, but most importantly, you must appear to give them your time.

Because if you don’t send out regular and consistent communication, you’ve already lost their trust. Consistency is key.

‘All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.’

Bob Burg

The Consideration Stage

The middle stage is dedicated to an audience that has a specific problem in mind and wants to find solutions or products to address it. They might not be ready to part with their well-earned cash, but at this point, they’re looking for trustworthy sources for information about a product or service that they have in mind.

At this sales funnel stage, you want to create informative and authoritative content that focuses on specific types of solutions or products — for example, ‘What’s the Best Electric Family Car that I Can Buy?’ or ‘Why is a Career as a Wedding Planner a Great Job Move?’ are great content ideas for this consideration stage of the sales funnel. 

Once your content at the consideration stage is ready, check your awareness content and add in links to your related consideration content. By doing this, you can route prospective customers to the next stage in their buying journey.

Your sales and marketing strategies, tactics, and materials will do the heavy work there and act as a lead magnet.

Just make sure that there’s a natural link between the content pages you’re linking between; you don’t want these links to seem forced because you can spoil any trust you’ve built with your prospect if it seems like an obvious sales pitch.

Because did you know that 72% of prospects won’t make a purchase until they’ve read some good reviews on your website?

Therefore you should give those potential customers the reassurance they need to take the final step by adding excellent reviews to your page. You can either just ask your customers for testimonials, or you can check out your existing reviews on Facebook and LinkedIn and ask for permission to share them in your website content.

Where you should display testimonials depends on your audience, your brand goals, and your marketing strategy. Perhaps you could include some quotes from positive reviews on your landing page; embed a widget from a website like Trustpilot on your page so prospective customers can read your reviews before they buy or; you can link videos of satisfied customers using your products or services.

3. The Decision Funnel -Bottom of the Funnel

The final stage of the sales funnel is the clincher, and should therefore be focused on giving prospective customers a reason to want to buy your product, or sign up for your service, or take any other call to action that you want – ultimately to make a purchase.

Digital marketing strategies at this final stage of the sales funnel could include free trials, actionable emails, and CTAs – calls to action.

Decision

By now, your customers probably trust you because they’ve received all the great benefits you promised at the top of the funnel – that wonderful freebie they registered for on your website, and the middle of the funnel – maybe those regular emails with great content from you, and so they have some idea of what your business can offer.

This is where you’re converting prospects into paying customers, so ensure you’re content is succinct, honest and reliable. 

The final part of the funnel is where you ask for the sale – you’ll continue to engage with them, but you can also offer something of even more value because it’s most likely that your customer is now at a point of making a decision, and it’s your job to give them something so essential they’re bound to take action.

This is why your calls to action have to be really strong at this final stage, and there should be lots of buying opportunities on your pages, and your product or service links should be included wherever they naturally fit.

Give your call to action a sense of urgency by emphasizing how your service or product can solve everything, and why they should act now.

Decision phase

You can make it easy for customers to act by displaying your call to action somewhere extremely prominent, like the top of your landing page, or the end of a guidepost, or in a colourful, clickable button at a strategic point in one of your YouTube videos.

Remember – there has to be a continuity between each of the different stages of your sales funnel – your awareness content should link to your consideration content, which, in turn, should then link to your decision content.

So, in this way, your marketing strategy resembles a ‘funnel’ that, eventually, leads to a sale.

Win, win!

How to Get Started…

Create a Sales Funnel

You can make it easy for customers to act by displaying your call to action somewhere extremely prominent, like the top of your landing page, or the end of a guidepost, or in a colourful, clickable button at a strategic point in one of your YouTube videos.

Remember – there has to be a continuity between each of the different stages of your sales funnel – your awareness content should link to your consideration content, which, in turn, should then link to your decision content.

So, in this way, your marketing strategy resembles a ‘funnel’ that, eventually, leads to a sale.

Win, win!

So, we’ve established that creating a sales funnel is an effective business tactic that can broaden your customer base and increase your business’ sales.

While every business is different, there are some basic steps that you should follow to establish a successful sales funnel:

  1. Generate traffic – your website should showcase your products or services. By creating and carrying out a comprehensive digital marketing strategy can help your business attract more site visitors, and raise awareness about the product or service you sell. You can do this by using search engine optimization (SEO) to help your site rank higher in online searches.You can also use ads to direct prospects to your site’s landing page which is excellent for lead generation.
  2. Analyze your target audience. By having user behaviour reports you can tweak the sales funnel by indicating key metrics about how your visitors engage with your website. By knowing what people click on or how much time they spend on a particular page can help your marketing team decide how to attract possible leads.
  3. Marketing – you could establish a weekly newsletter, which offers your subscribers information about the goods or services to convince them that your business has the solution to their problem.
  4. Selling – sometimes you’ll find that customers need a little extra convincing to spend their money. So, alongside persuasive blurbs on your site’s homepage, if you provide reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers you can increase your product’s desirability and achieve new customers.
  5. Nurturing – the bottom of the funnel doesn’t have to end with one sale as it can lead to multiple sales from new and existing customers. You could occasionally reward loyal customers by offering coupons, special promotions, or discounts. It’s proven that businesses that make their customers feel valued have a higher retention rate and increase the chance the buyer will return for more business in the future.

So, Why Are Sales Funnels Important?

Sales funnel are important because they help your business understand how close a prospective customer is to purchasing your specific goods or services.

By monitoring each part of the funnel, your company can identify any holes or imperfections in your marketing and sales efforts, you can strengthen your emotional appeal, or refine your customer service process by creating a base of loyal, returning customers.

Sales Funnel Workbook

It, therefore, makes sense to tracking the prospect’s journey throughout the funnel from interest to purchase which can help with sales model optimization, resulting in more business and profit for your company.

It’s important to remember that the conversions’ funnel is a continuous and changing cycle, and your methods need to evolve as well – what may work today may not be as effective tomorrow, so always ask yourself what you could do to improve your customer’s experience.

When you work hard to give your customers the experience they’re after, you won’t just be building a loyal client base – you’ll also be standing out from the crowd – a funnel can help you do that…

Advantages of Sales Funnels for Your Business

By using a sales funnel you’ll be able to achieve your business goals faster because you’ll have a good understanding of the behaviour of your potential customers.

Because by learning the different stages of the sales funnel where prospects either leave or move on to the next one, you can learn when you need to use particular marketing methods that can help improve your customer’s journey.

Get Expert Help Creating Your Own Sales Funnel

So, you now know how to create a sales funnel including its benefits, but what are you going to do next?

This is where I can help…

If you require support coming up with an effective sales funnel that ensures most of your prospects turn into loyal and repeat buyers of your products and services as an expert in sales funnels I can optimise your sales funnel to meet the needs of your different site visitors.

Sales Funnel Kit

Instead of second-guessing what a visitor to your business website might want, I can provide unique landing pages for each type of product or ad that you want to run. I can also identify any holes in your current sales funnel at each stage of the funnel, and come up with marketing strategies that will efficiently solve those problems to increase your conversions.

Let me help you achieve your business goals by creating an effective sales funnel for you that can transform more prospects into customers and sustainably grow your business!

‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’

Simon Sinek

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