Did you know that 96% of your website visitors are actually not ready to buy from you yet. That is a HUGE number.
So, how do you convince them to move across to the buying process once they land on your page?
The answer: create a sales funnel.
Sales funnels are used by many businesses to do just this; get prospects to buy your products and/or services, and become leads.
We believe that it is very important for SMBs to make efficient use of these funnels. The most common goals that small to medium businesses want to achieve in order to grow exponentially are getting their brand in front of their customers, and then progressively encouraging them to buy from you.
But there are techniques to this process; the whole idea is to nurture your leads towards the sales process and to deliver your messages to them at the right place and right time.
In this article, we want to help you get started on this, whether you are planning to create a sales funnel, or looking to optimise your current one, we provide the details below so you can go ahead and generate the results you need.
What is a sales funnel?
Sales funnels help you automate the sales process, and can eventually help you scale your business with higher conversion rates through building rapport with your customers. They are also effective for whichever business model you have in place.
Think of a normal funnel, it is wider at the top and gets smaller towards the end. This provides a visual indication of what the sales funnel aims to do.
A sales funnel has different sections, or stages. At the start of the sales funnel, you have a wider audience that you attract, and with every stage you pass them through, the audience becomes smaller and more qualified. The goal is to get your audience to move towards the end of the funnel, where they take certain action to become your customer.
Essentially, you are filtering out the non-qualified customers to the most qualified with the use of your sales funnel.
These stages are given many names, but here we will provide the most common names used for each stage:
Or AIDA for short.
Understanding the sales funnel stages
So we have the 4 stages, AIDA. Our aim is to encourage our customers within each stage to buy our product or service.
This is where the strategic techniques come in. For each stage of the funnel, you have to target your audience accordingly. You cannot take a generic approach to each customer, because as they pass through these stages, they will have different needs which you will need to cater to.
Attention: During this stage, you are attracting potential prospects by framing yourself as the potential solution to their problems. Research the opportunities they may look for, and their pain points. Start creating content that aims to solve their pain points.
Allow your target audience to find your content via different traffic sources, such as Google, paid ads, or social media. If your audience are engaged by your content, they will start becoming curious as to what you have to offer.
Interest: Now they are aware of your brand, your audience want to learn more about your products and services, and what you have to offer. This is the time to push them further down the funnel by generating interest.
Define who you are and what you are setting out to solve, how your customers will benefit from your solutions, your mission statement, and your unique selling points.
Desire: Whoever resonates most with your brand after you have initiated interest will arrive to this stage of the funnel. But it doesn’t stop here, you have to make them desire purchasing your products or services, and working with you.
Here, you could provide them with educational value. Give them ways to keep interacting with your brand, you could make them sign up to a newsletter so they can follow your journey. This will help build trust, making it more likely to push them towards the action you want them to take.
Action: If you build up enough desire in a potential customer, they will want to act. Provide them with ways they can do this. For example, perhaps offer them incentives, demos, free ebooks or provide direct call to actions such as ‘Book a strategy call’.
Give clear next steps so that you generate action from your prospects, and help you complete the sales process.
A sales funnel in action: How it works
Let’s put this into a working example, taking each stage of the funnel into account.
You have a digital service that you would like to provide to your audience, say you create websites.
- Attention: You want to create awareness and generate attention around your service to your target audience. Here you will drive traffic to the page where your service is offered. To drive large traffic to your page, you can create blogs around the topic of websites, such as how-to guides, making sure you address the common problems faced whilst addressing your solution. Post these on social media, provide links to your blogs on related forums online to create awareness.
- Interest: Once you have drove people to your site, you want to build a relationship with them, and vice versa. Provide ways for them to opt-in to your business, so that they can learn more about your website creation service. Here you could allow them to sign up for a free webinar or online course, this will act as your lead magnet. This will help you in providing value, addressing your solutions to their problems and explaining what you have to offer.
- Desire: A great thing about webinars, online workshops and courses is that you can stimulate desire directly with your audience. If they resonate with what you have to offer, this will build enough desire for them to take action.
- Action: Towards the end of the webinar, provide the next steps or specific call-to-actions that they should take in order to pursue the desired action, in this case, it would be signing up to the website service, or booking a strategy call.
Why is a sales funnel important?
Having an automated sales funnel in place allows you to see your customer’s journey and touch points.
Your sales funnel will help you understand how your customers engage with the touch points you provide them with along the different stages. It can also help you find the gaps where prospects are not converting, and where they disengage from the funnel.
This is beneficial as you can double down on what works, and optimise on what doesn’t.
A sales funnel will ultimately help you create more strategic decisions on how to get your target customers to convert and complete the sales process.
As a small to medium business, having automated processes and generating qualified leads to your site through an effective sales process is paramount to your growth. A sales funnel can help you do exactly this.
Even if your business has the best services or products in place, this is of no use if you have no leads to buy them. Follow the example given above, taking each customer journey stage into account and adapting it to your own approach.
Doing this will develop brand awareness and generate potential leads. Once you perfect this, you will be in possession of an automated sales machine, creating revenue for your business and allowing you to grow and scale predictably.
Want to find out how you can build automated sales for your business? Call us today to get started.