The sales funnel is probably the most integral part of any product-based business. Perhaps you feel that your product can do most of the talking for your business but even companies that crafted their own niche use sales funnels.
This is simply because sales funnels also offer a way to maintain all aspects of a business. It’s also a helpful means to allocate finite resources which can help you save more in the long run. It’s the method in which your business attracts prospects and turns them into paying customers. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your business already has some sort of sales funnel.
What you need to do is to ensure it’s working efficiently and is able to convert prospects on your end through the four major phases of a sales funnel.
It Starts With Awareness
The first phase of a sales funnel is the awareness phase. All businesses require this stage. Without knowledge of your product, how can you expect to create demand? That’s why your business needs marketing when creating awareness.
You must spread awareness that your business exists and offer to solve a need or a problem that exists in the marketplace. This is the first stage of any sales funnel, it doesn’t necessarily create customers but it does generate prospects for you.
Even if you have a completely new or unique product, this stage is still important since it creates awareness for your ideal customer by helping them realize they have a problem or need they didn’t know they had. This is particularly important if your business is offering a new service or has a unique selling proposition that the wider public may not be aware of.
There are a number of ways to promote awareness of your product. You can do this either by running an ad campaign or promoting your website to be more visible. At this stage of the funnel, you should also be using your landing page or running a few ads as well. Most of the time, a simple concept would do which means they should be low on text and heavy on eye-catching graphics.
Converting Your Prospects
Your next mission is to transform your prospects who are already aware of your product into interested buyers. This is known as the interest phase of a sales funnel.
At this point, the prospect has seen your business and has some knowledge or information about your products. This is where things like social media or the keywords you use on your website can help draw in consumers to your business instead of your competitors.
There are, however, some cases where you can introduce more text into your marketing at this stage such as using blog posts. Get the email address of your prospects and have a subscription list in place where you can nurture them. Your landing page should have a way of capturing visitors’ emails such as a pop-up box.
You should also have an automated email service which will send out information about your business. Any direct queries from your list should be given to your sales team who can then establish rapport with the potential client and answer any specific inquiries they may have.
For this stage, you’ll also be needing a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a special offer you give in order to draw in prospective customers whether in the form of an ebook, downloadable file, discount or any other promotional offer. Be sure to add a condition to your lead magnet such as by requiring them first to subscribe to you.
Next Phase: Decision-Making Time
The next phase of a sales funnel is the decision phase. This comes after the prospect has come to the conclusion that they want their problem solved or have a need satisfied. They should now be looking at the specific things that you offer and how they can get the best value that suits their particular problem or need.
This is where you make use of the email addresses you have obtained. Specific offers should be directed towards your target audience to create better value. This is where you need to set yourself apart from your competitors in your market. Since you already know the prospect is interested in the services you provide, devote some time to making them a customer.
Offers such as a twenty percent off can be a great reason for a person to try out your product. You should also make use of the testimonials of previous users of your products. This is a way for them to vet the quality of your product.
Another clever way to convert at the decision phase is to send them surveys or questionnaires with questions that facilitate the kind of self-evaluation that will make them realize how your product fits with a particular need or issue of theirs. This allows them to think they came to the decision themselves.
Time to Take Action
A sales funnel concludes at its most important section and it’s the purchase or action phase. This is the stage at which a customer buys your product and a relationship is formed. At this stage, after-sale interactions are important and should be seen as a way for you to nurture a new customer. Make sure to send follow-up emails and surveys asking how you could improve your product for them.
There is another phase that you can apply to certain product-based businesses but not all. This extra phase is the repurchase phase. This is when a past customer buys from you again. This is obviously better for businesses that are selling a product that gets consumed or will require an update after the passing of a period of time.
This is why you after-sales are important and why it pays to maintain communication with your customers. You want to turn them into brand advocates who can turn more prospects into actual paying customers for you. But more than that, you also want them to enter the repurchase phase at some point. It will be much easier for a sales team to work with people who have previously purchased from you as they already know that they’re interested in your products and will have a greater idea of their buying behavior.
You should also offer your customers scheduled special offers as a sign that you’re rewarding their loyalty. You can also foster a feeling of exclusivity by reminding them that only a select group are receiving your offer as they are a valued customer. You should, of course, aim to make most of your customers repeat ones if that’s applicable to your business. Going this route can no doubt help create a reliable and steady stream of income that will allow your business to better expand.
In the tech world, awareness is crucial because it’s vital for your business’ online presence. A sales funnel can help you spark awareness and turn it into interest and ultimately, sales. More than that primary benefit, it also helps save resources so your sales and marketing needs are always covered. It helps you better allocate your resources so you can do other things that fit in more with your expertise.