What Is a Sales Funnel?

Getting the attention of your customers and asking them to trust your business with their needs is a pretty difficult thing to accomplish. But sometimes, even when the fish is already caught in the net, they can still easily get away. Even if the customer has noticed you and expressed his or her intent to do business with you, the opportunity can still slip out of your hands due to some reasons.

It could be because the customer wasn’t getting enough information from you or that the product or service you are showing isn’t exactly what the customer imagined it to be. If you’re running an online shop, the customer might have a problem with checking out and decided to just abandon the cart altogether. Imagine all the efforts and hard work wasted.

What you need is something to guide the customers through their buying journey. This is what a sales funnel is for. A sales funnel serves as a guide for the journey your potential customers go through on their way to a successful purchase. You usually start with a lot of potential clients or customers who might have heard of your product or service. Then a smaller portion of that group would want to learn more, and a smaller chunk of that second group may actually contact you for purchase.

As the sales process goes on, you will be talking to fewer and fewer people who are actually more interested, until you are left with the people who become your customers. When you look at the sales funnel, you’ll notice that the form is like an inverted pyramid. You filter people until you get those who really matter.

Why Is a Sales Funnel Important?

Your sales funnel is the end point of all your marketing efforts. It is where all the leads from your social media campaigns, Google ads, telesales, and other lead generation efforts go to. But even if you spend thousands of dollars for your marketing campaign, not all of them will turn out to be actual customers. The sales funnel puts your potential customers on the right path to learning about your product or service, and then buying from your business.

Sales Funnel Structure

The sales funnel is generally composed of four parts. The sales funnel stages include:

  • Attract: Marketing and advertising which bring visitors to your website.
  • Convert: Offers that inspire visitors to share their contact information.
  • Close: Efforts which encourage leads to close and become paying customers.
  • Delight: Quality service that keeps your customers happy and inspires referrals.

How and why those people move down the funnel depends on your own sales and marketing ability, of course. The leads in the middle and lower sales funnel stages are those that you want to pay the most attention to, because they’ve moved beyond awareness to interest.

Tips to Improve Your Sales Funnel

  1. Use multiple marketing channels to attract visitors. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You can use a mix of multiple marketing channels including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, off-site SEO, direct mail campaigns, and cold calling to get the attention of your potential customers.
  2. Analyze the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. In order to learn what marketing channels are most effective, analyze your website traffic and inbound phone calls. This data will help you make educated decisions so you’re not wasting your marketing efforts.
  3. Add new blog content to your website on a regular basis. Content is king and a blog is a great place to organize all of your great content. Writing useful blog posts can improve your SEO and help you engage with your current clients.
  4. Include more than one call to action (CTA) on your website. It’s possible that your website visitors will be at different stages of the customer journey. Different call to actions will make sure that there’s something for all customers in different stages of the funnel.
  5. Re-target website visitors who don’t convert the first time. Consider running a retargeting campaign so you can display advertisements that will display only to people who visited your website. This will give you another chance to draw them back in.

Bottom Line

The first step to improving your sales funnel and marketing efforts is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Create a game plan with specific due dates to ensure you can start making progress. If you continue to wait, more and more potential customers will get away.

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