Sales funnels map out a prospective customer’s journey through the sales process. The funnel terminology is used to show that a large number of customers enter the sales process but a much smaller group ends up closing a deal. Sales funnels can be automated across email and landing pages to improve the scalability and efficiency of the sales process.
Creating your automated sales funnel
Start by building a sales funnel map
Step 1: Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your existing sales processes:
Use your sales data to identify products or services that are commonly purchased together and seasonal uplift in demand and use your website analytics to analyze the stages of the sales journey to identify where there is a steep drop-off. This insight will help you build your sales funnel map for optimal performance.
Step 2: Entice people into your funnel:
Publish content that demonstrates your expertise to raise awareness of your services among your target market. You can experiment with a variety of methods to find out what works best for your business:
- Social media: Raise awareness with short form thought-leadership content on social media which gets people clicking to visit your blog posts.
- Infographics: Infographics are a great format to use when you’re looking to explain more complex concepts in an easy to absorb format.
- Blog posts: Publish insightful blog posts that educate, entertain and help your audience solve a problem that relates to your service offering. They’ll be enticed to know more about what you offer!
- Paid ads: Paid ads are a quickfire way of raising awareness of your offering although generally, this is something that is only worth launching after a decent amount of insight has been developed about the key sales drivers among the target customer. It is also vital that you have a solid landing page in place first, before launching paid ads.
Step 3: Develop an amazing landing page and hook.
The blog posts and social media content that you’re producing should ideally all be pushing potential prospects to visit your landing page. This landing page should entice people to give their email address in exchange for a high-value piece of content. Some examples of high-value content that you can experiment with are:
- Ebooks: A guide to help the target customer overcome a challenge or get a job done. This can also be a piece of thought leadership or a piece of market research.
- Templates: A template that helps the target customer do a complex job easily. Examples are content planning templates, seo templates, analysis templates etc.
- Webinars: A live event for people to learn something that helps them achieve their business objectives.
Step 4: Build an email drip campaign.
Sending your leads one or two emails a week, filled with amazing and engaging content, is a great way to keep their attention without bombarding them with unnecessary information. Increase your sales by educating your market, consider what they want to learn and what is holding them back. Don’t forget to promote your service and throw in a few promotional offers into your emails also!
Step 5: Don’t forget your existing customers.
Instead of ignoring buyers, continue engaging them with content post-purchase. Thank them for their business, deliver content that is useful and offer them exclusive deals to maximise customer lifetime value. This helps to keep your brand front of mind for whenever they next need your services.
AIDA the 4 basic components of your sales funnel:
The four stages of the sales funnel represent your prospective customer’s mindset as they move through their purchase consideration process.
Simplified by the acronym AIDA, the four stages are awareness, interest, decision, and action. In each stage, the prospective customer has a different mindset and we should be engaging with the customer throughout each stage in to achieve the best sales results.
The first stage is awareness, and it refers to the moment your business first catches a prospective customer’s attention. Maybe they saw a tweet or post about your products/services, noticed an advertisement or found you through Google. Wherever it is, the consumer is now aware of your business and becomes a potential prospect.
If you are lucky, the prospect might find your business desirable and buy something straight away. If not, they will move on to stage two.
At this point, your prospect is thinking about their options, comparing you and your product/service to other businesses. Instead of immediately trying to push them to close a deal, now is the time to tell them a bit about your business. Give them quality content that assures them you’re the best option on the market.
Trying to sell right from the beginning will simply chase prospects away. Show them you are an expert in your field, reliable and that you can help solve all their problems before pushing for a sale.
By the third stage of the sales funnel, your prospect is interested and ready to make a purchase, whether that is with you or someone else. Now is the time to put forward your juiciest offer. This could be money off if you buy before a certain time, bonus products, free shipping or anything to make your business irresistible to them!
Do a little research and find out what deals your competitors are offering so you can offer your customers something a little more compelling that better meets their needs.
The last stage of the sales funnel is action. Here, your customer decides if they like your offer and purchase your product or service.
But the action stage is not the end! After a target prospect has become a paying customer, we can begin nurturing them for the long term by delivering exceptional service and asking for their feedback if they had a good experience see if they are happy to refer their friends and family, helping to expand sales for the business. We can also up-sell them additional services to maximise their revenue contribution to the business.