An In-Depth Look at Sales Funnels: Part 2

Last week in our In-Depth Look at Sales Funnels series, we did an overview of the sales funnel and the strategy behind it. Today we will dive into how to create a sales funnel and go more in depth into the first 2 stages. First, let’s start with the 7 steps to create a sales funnel.

Steps to Create a Sales Funnel

Step 1 Define the Problem You Are Solving for Your Customers

To craft an optimized sales funnel, it’s essential to step into the shoes of your audience. The more you know about their aches and pains, what they hope for, as well as their passions – the better equipped you are to place offers that will truly captivate them! Dig deep into understanding your prospects; this is where success lies in turning clicks into conversions.

Step 2 Define Your Goals

It’s time to set the stage for success! Getting clear about your goals is essential in creating an effective funnel. Ask yourself: what do you want from each step? Are more leads, product demos, e-newsletter sign ups or purchases part of that equation? Once you define these objectives, measuring how well they’re hitting their mark will be a breeze.

Step 3 Build a Landing Page

It’s never been more critical to make a great first impression. That’s why landing pages are so important. They provide your prospects with their very first encounter of who you are and what makes you unique. Make sure it clearly communicates these aspects. Include an easy form where users can enter their contact details – allowing both parties the chance to continue talking in future.

Step 4 Offer Something of Value

A great way to capture new leads is by giving them something of value such as a lead magnet in exchange for their information. An e-book or whitepaper makes a fantastic lead magnet – something valuable that visitors can take away with them when they leave. Investing the effort into creating these assets requires time and energy in the beginning, but it will certainly pay off in the end.

Step 5 Nurture Leads

Your prospects have now progressed from Awareness to Interest and now it’s time for you to keep their attention. By leveraging the email addresses acquired through your landing page, use an educational nurture series of emails which will effectively paint a picture about how great your offering is. It is important to deliver consistent messaging to set the tone for what your customers can expect from you. Studies show that it takes anywhere from 7 – 20 touches to convert a lead so be sure you have at least that many in your sales funnel. These do not necessarily have to be all emails, there are many channels for your leads and customers to learn about what you offer. You can geek out on touchpoints in this article from the Strategic Advisor Board.

Step 6 Close the Sale

Even if a lead doesn’t become a customer right away, the relationship needn’t end there. For those who already purchased from your business, focus on retention and loyalty-building activities – it pays off in spades. Meanwhile, nurture relationships with leads that are still undecided — you never know when they may decide to convert! Maintaining communication lines is key for any stage of the funnel process: making sure everyone always feels connected ensures success down the line.

Step 7 Track Results and  Find Leaks in Your Funnel

To prevent leads from slipping through the cracks, look for blind spots in your funnel and take action to fix them. Remember that a great sales process is an ever-evolving one. Make sure you’re continuously optimizing it so you can maximize conversions. With some vigilance, those qualified contacts will become loyal customers faster than ever before.

Next up is the first stage of the sales funnel: Awareness.

Sales Funnel Awareness Stage graphic

Sales Funnel Stage 1: Awareness

At the top of your marketing funnel, it’s all about getting people to recognize and become familiar with your brand. This step doesn’t need to be laser focused on any particular product or service; rather, it’s an opportunity for you to introduce people to your brand and what you stand for by sharing helpful ideas and advice. Focus on how you can help others, not just highlighting what products or services you have on offer. That occurs in a later stage. This is a great opportunity to share interesting insights into who you are as an organization so potential customers get to know more about your values and mission. Content in this stage is informative and captivating.

As stated above there are many channels for your prospects to learn about you. Here are some of them:  

  • Social Media
  • Podcasting, Guest on a podcast
  • E-books, whitepapers, etc
  • Webinars
  • In-Person events
  • Website SEO

Now that you have succeeded in getting your brand in front of leads, it’s time to move into the second stage: Consideration.

Sales Funnel Stage 2: Consideration

In the second stage of the sales funnel, your leads are continuing to learn about your products and services and how they compare with your competitors. This is where you provide valuable information that makes a strong argument for why customers should choose your product or service as their solution. Help them understand that your product or service is the answer to their needs.

To have a better understanding of your buyer and their needs, consider the essential characteristics that shape them and what their pain points are. Knowing these can help frame what questions they may ask once they learn more about you and your rivals in the market. Aiming to build a bond with those considering your offers means creating content focused on clearly conveying why yours is an optimal choice for resolution. Doing so will bring these leads closer along the journey towards conversion.

Sales funnel consideration stage graphic

This essentially wraps up the educational stages of the buyer’s journey.

Don’t miss next week’s blog where we talk about the next 2 stages, Preference and Purchase(Convert).

As always, you can learn more about how Automation on a Mission can help you design and build your perfect customer journey as well as other services we provide, click here.

What are some of your favorite lead magnets? Leave in the comments below.

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