Anyone who has an online business must learn to create an effective sales funnel or revenue funnel. It can help convert the website visitors into buying customers. If you are a business owner and you would like to know the secret on how to get many online customers, then it is about time to learn about the sales funnel. Expect to hardly make any profit if you don’t have a good revenue funnel.
The revenue funnel is also known as sales process. It refers to the purchasing process that businesses provide the clients when buying products or items online. The funnel is divided into several stages or steps. The primary goal of a revenue funnel is to lead the customers from one stage to the next until they finally decide to make a purchase.
The sales funnel has different stages and you need to understand what goes on in each stage so you can create an effective funnel for your particular business.
Understanding the Different Stages of Sales Funnel
From the first day that your target customer learns about the existence of your business up to the moment when he decides to do business with you, he goes through your sales funnel’s different stages.
Your revenue funnel may have more than four stages, but the ones that will be discussed in this section are the primary steps that you must pay attention to.
In this stage, your target customers learn about the existence of your company or business. The customers are aware of your company’s services, product, and or solution that can bring a lot of benefits or advantages to them. A potential client may already be aware of the problem’s existence and he knows that he needs to find the right solution before it escalates into something bigger.
During this time, the potential client may decide to finally pay your website a visit. He is already aware of your business as well as the things you offer, which he thinks can bring the solution he seeks.
He must have discovered your business through Google search, a post shared on social media, ad, or a link from a blog post.
The customer, at this stage, is keen in finding the solution to his problem. He also intends to find ways or products that can help him achieve his goals. The initial reaction of most customers is to search for answers on Google. If you have great content, then you have an opportunity to attract the potential customer’s attention and make him even more interested on the things that you offer.
You can also include the evaluation phase as part of this stage or prepare a separate section for it. The prospect also needs to evaluate or examine the competitor’s solution and compare. It is important to let the customer see that you have better things to offer and you can give more.
When a customer becomes interested on the things you offer and he thinks that you can provide the solution he needs, he may follow you on social media. Expect the customer to compare your products or services with the others that offer the same things. He may even subscribe to your mailing list so he can keep track of the fresh happenings about your business or company.
The sales funnel also contains the decision stage, which is the third step. At this point, the potential customer is already contemplating on taking advantage of the solution you offer.
The customer concentrates on the things that you can give, including the different options and packages. He now tries to calculate which option could bring him the most benefits and advantages before he makes a final decision. Once he arrives at the right decision, he buys the package that he thinks would bring great advantages.
The offers are usually presented in the sales page. You can also make use of webinars, demo videos, calls, and others to present the things that you sell.
This stage is where the client becomes a purchasing customer by finalizing the transaction. The money will be transferred to you the moment he clicks on the purchase button and make a payment by using a credit card, transferring funds to your bank account, or utilizing the services of a payment processor.
If your customers are satisfied with your products, services, and/or solutions, you can expect them to do business with you again. They can become your loyal customers. They might even introduce some friends and relatives to your business and help you gain more revenue.
You may need additional steps to your sales funnel to keep your customers coming back for more.
Additional Stages for your Sales Funnel
Once you have gained your customers, it is necessary to keep them interested in your business. Make them pledge their loyalty to you and let them feel that you and your company value their existence. Don’t aim for a one-time transaction – make them stick to you like glue and don’t let them consider other companies.
Here are the other things you can include in your sales funnel.
The B2B (business-to-business) transactions or sales usually involve contracts or order that must be renewed or repurchase. Your customers may need to reevaluate your performance as well as the things you offer to find out if everything is still at par with their requirements. This phase is crucial because the result of their reevaluation will decide whether they still need to renew the contract or not.
Some companies that have become complaisant with their offerings often fail to keep their loyal customers. Why? Some companies failed to provide the same things that the customers need from them. Perhaps, they did not expect their clients to reevaluate their performance and products since they have passed the customers’ scrutiny the first time.
It is important to always deliver the quality that the clients expect to receive all the time. Don’t expect them to remain loyal to you if you no longer give them the kind of products and services that they require. Be strict with your quality control and make sure to meet all the requirements of your clients all the time.
If the customer is satisfied with the reevaluation, expect that there will be a repurchase of product or services. You have satisfied the initial requirements of your customer and all you need to do is keep the same quality of goods and services. Continue doing the things that made your customers choose you the first time or make things even better. In return, you can be certain that you will be able to keep their loyalty.
Inside sales managers typically implement strategies and tactics as well as make use of tools that can help optimize each stage of the sales funnel.
Sales Funnel Creation
Creating a sales funnel is not as difficult as you think, although it could be tedious. The succeeding sections will guide you in creating your revenue funnel.
If you are interested in a tool that can help you easily create your funnels, check out my Clickfunnels review.
1- Gather data and get to know your customers
The best way to understand your customers is to talk to them. You need to know their frustrations and needs. You also need to know the degree of help that they can get from your products and/or services. You will know whether the things you offer can effectively solve their problem.
Understanding the needs of your customers can help you make the necessary adjustments to your funnel. You can focus on the key selling points as well as the most relevant. You may also acquire insights that can help you make your product or services even better.
You can ask the following questions to your customers:
– What are the challenges that you face in [particular concerned area]?
– What are the things that you find frightening and frustrating? Are you clear about your aspirations and goals?
– What have you tried to do to solve the problem or complete your objective? Did it work (rate it between 1 and 10)?
Looking at the data that you have gathered, you must be able to come up with a proper content for each stage to help your target customers move down your funnel.
2- Develop different buying personas
To be blunt, you can’t use the same sales funnel for all types of customers that you managed to acquire. The reasons could be:
– Their different purposes or uses for the product.
– Their different motivation or grounds for buying the product.
– Their buying minds work differently from each other.
You need to determine all types of customers that you have and develop different buyer persona for each type. Once you have done that, you can start creating a sales funnel that goes with a particular type of buyer to match their experience. If you do that, you will be able to capture all of your visitors and turn them into customers.
3- Develop strategies for lead generations and how to increase traffic to your site
Paying for an ad is the simplest method that you can use to drive traffic to your site. When someone sees your ad and clicks on it, you will instantly gain a visitor. You can use Google AdWords, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads, Facebook ads, and others. The major disadvantage of paid traffic is that the bulk of visits will greatly diminish when you no longer pay for your ads. It would be difficult to get new leads. The affiliate marketing is another form of paid traffic. However, you only need to pay when a sale has been made and you don’t need to shell out some money in advance.
There’s also “free” traffic, which is actually not totally free. You need to spend some money on paid tools that you can use to optimize your site. You need an optimized site for the search engines and win the attention of net surfers to create clamor regarding the existence of your business. You can generate free traffic if you use SEO (search engine optimization), direct traffic (from past clients and the people who already know your products), referral traffic, and non-paid social media traffic.
Another way to increase traffic to your site is through cold outreach. It is a strategy that involves cold calling companies or sending cold emails to the parties that may need your services or products. This strategy is the most time-consuming among the three.
4- Create effective engagement strategies.
There is a need to constantly engage your leads as well as give timely and sufficient information on subjects that perk their interests. Doing so will help them move down your funnel until they reach the stage where they can finally decide to make a purchase. For your engagement strategies, you can use any (or all) of the following:
– Blog posts
– Facebook live
– Posts on social media
5- Craft efficient closing strategies
The closing strategies are responsible for converting the potential clients into real purchasing customers. You need to do everything in your power to drive the customer to make a purchase. You can use emails and sales calls, sales page, and webinars. You need to make the clients understand that they need to buy any of the things you offer to attain the right solution for their problem. Make an irresistible offer to close the deal and explain to your customer about the things that he needs to do to make a purchase.
After creating your sales funnel, you still need to do a lot of work to make sure that the funnel will remain effective. You must continue to gather and analyze the data to improve your funnel and get better results. If you don’t have sufficient sales, engagement, and/or prospects, you have a problem that must be fixed immediately.
Leaky Funnel: Causes and Solution
There are many reasons that leads fail to move down the funnel. However, there are only three major causes of lost leads.
1- Takes a “no” answer too quickly.
In the business world, a “no” or an objection does not usually mean that a customer totally rejects the idea of purchasing your product or services. It could be interpreted as “not this time”, which means you can still get your chance at another time. A particular reason that a client may give could be enough to put off the deal, but only for that moment.
You should not give up completely. You can ask again some other time. It is possible that the client does not urgently need the things that you offer, but he finds it valuable. He still does not need it for the moment, although he may need it in the near future.
To avoid missing your potential client by the time that he really needs your products or services, you can create an automated email follow up. You can also give additional information regarding the offer that the customer may find interesting and worthy.
2- Failure to make the necessary follow up.
In the business world, follow ups are crucial. Take a look at these stats:
– Only 10% of sales reps diligently make a follow up with a potential client more than three times.
– 80% of the closed deals happen between the fifth and twelfth follow up.
– 48% of sales reps never bother to make a follow up.
If you will calculate carefully (using the presented stats), you can see clearly that a company losses a lot due to lack of follow ups. Bear in mind that it’s a major offense not to make any follow up at all.
3- Takes time to make a follow up.
Are you aware that it is possible to convert a lead into a sale when you connect with an interested prospect within the first five minutes? If you wait more, then you continue to lose your chance to convert a lead into a sale.
You may argue that it is simply too impossible to make a contact with an interested lead within five minutes. It is true that it is an impossible feat, but not when you are fully automated.
Automation helps you set up a campaign to give immediate response to someone who is interested in the things you offer. You can set your sales automation platform to send an email to the interested visitor as soon as a lead passes to your sales funnel. The email may contain the information that you would like to impart to your prospect.
You already know what a revenue funnel is, the different stages of the funnel, how to create an effective tunnel, and the leaky funnel’s causes and solution. With this information at hand, you should have a good idea on how to make a sales funnel that can help you gain more revenue.
Sales Funnel Conclusion
The sales funnel is a complex subject, however if you take the time to understand it you will be greatly rewarded. I recommend you check out the book “DotCom Secrets” by Russel Brunson, it is an in depth study of every step of a sales funnel.
With this book you will be able to understand every step, from creation to optimization.
Your understanding of the sales funnel is essential to your success in business.