No matter what industry your company is in or what products and services you’re selling, every organization needs a powerful sales funnel. Whether you recently launched your business and are trying to gain traction, or you’ve been in business for a while and want to boost conversions, knowing how sales funnels work can make a huge difference in helping you reach your goals.
In this blog post, we cover what a sales funnel is and how to develop one that converts.
A Deep Dive into Sales Funnels
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the journey a potential customer takes from discovering your brand to making a purchase. It’s visualized as a funnel, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, because you’ll likely cast a wider net at the very beginning of your sales funnel, but as potential customers go through this buying journey, the number of interested people will decrease — and that’s okay. According to Forrester Research, a strategically designed sales funnel can improve conversions by up to 16%, which means you want to be intentional about the direction you lead your potential clients so that they’re more likely to take action.
The Four Stages of a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel consists of four stages: awareness, interest, decision, and action. Ultimately, your goal is to make sure your leads go through all four of the stages, as that’s when the purchase happens. That means it’s crucial to cater these stages to your audience to give them exactly what they need, when they need it, to encourage them to move to the next stage.
Stage One: Awareness
Awareness is when potential clients just discover your brand for the first time or realize they have a need that your company solves. At this point, the goal is to educate and inform these individuals rather than try to sell to them.
Content ideas for the awareness stage include:
This content can be used to demonstrate your expertise in your field and build trust with potential clients.
Stage Two: Hook
Once these leads know about your company, they become interested. They may be conducting more research and looking for solutions, which means that it’s critical for your company to prove why you’re the go-to solution in the industry. At this point, you can share more in-depth content that educates these individuals even more than you did in the awareness stage.
Content ideas for the hook stage include:
In the hook stage, these leads have already started to view your company as credible, so now it’s time to give them even more helpful information.
Stage Three: Decision
In the decision stage, the lead is ready to make a purchase, but they’re meeting with a few different service providers or checking out a handful of product companies to determine which one is the right fit for them. They’re ready to buy, which is great, but they need confirmation of which company is the best, and that’s where the decision stage comes in.
Content ideas for the decision stage include:
- Product demos
- Case studies
- Discount offers
By showcasing happy clients and customers, you can prove to these leads that you’re an expert at what you do, based on the experiences that other people have had with you.
Stage Four: Action
In this final step, the lead has made their decision on which company they’d like to move forward with and is now going to make a purchase. Although they’ve already committed to your company at this point, it’s critical to ensure that the buying process is seamless for them, or else it may influence them to change their mind.
Content ideas for the action stage include:
- Clear calls-to-action
- Streamlined checkout processes
- Post-purchase follow-ups
The easier it is for people to hand you the money, the better the outcome will be for you.
Driving Traffic to Your Sales Funnel
Having a sales funnel is great, but it’s not so great when people don’t even know it exists, or you can’t get them to enter your funnel to begin with. As a funnel is only as effective as the number of people you can get into it, here are some suggestions for increasing your reach:
- SEO: Enhancing your content’s SEO can improve visibility on search engines, helping to increase web traffic.
- Paid Advertising: Google Ads or Facebook Ads can help you to get granular with who you’re targeting, allowing you to reach the right people at the right time.
- Social Media: Posting consistently on social media platforms where your audience hangs out can amplify reach.
- Joint Partnerships: Collaborating with like-minded professionals can allow your company to get seen in front of audiences much larger than your own.
How to Know Your Sales Funnel Is Working
Just like everything else in marketing, don’t throw spaghetti at the wall and hope that it sticks when it comes to your sales funnel. Always reference data and analytics to understand whether or not your sales funnel is working. Take a look at:
- The points where people drop out of the funnel
- Where users are coming from
- What types of content or offers resonate with your leads the most
From there, you can create a strategic game plan moving forward to ensure that your leads stay interested and engaged.
Nurturing the Post-Purchase Relationship
Your relationship with your leads doesn’t end once they make a purchase. Now, it’s just the beginning and time to focus on customer retention. In a study by Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention was shown to increase profits by 25% to 95%. That means that it’s much more important to retain the customers you already have than it is to acquire new ones, especially because they can refer other customers to you or make additional purchases from you.
You can retain your customers by:
- Providing a one-of-a-kind customer experience
- Upselling other products or services that will continue to support them
- Offering them “gifts” for being loyal customers
It’s all about continuously proving to your customers why they need you so they don’t ever feel inclined to look for another product or service provider.
Getting Started with Your Sales Funnel
Turning to a Marketing Agency for Support
If you’ve read this blog post and know that building a sales funnel is important, but you have no idea on how to get started, working with a marketing agency is the best way to go. At Dash of Social®, we support our clients with building sales funnels for them and then implementing them to ensure they’re attracting and driving the right people.
Reach out to us for a free consultation if you’d like to explore what it’s like to work with our agency and how we can support you.