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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Beginner’s Guide to a Sales Funnel

If you are in online marketing or if you want to be a sales rep, you need to know what sales funnel is. What is a sales funnel? How to utilize your content on every stage of a sales funnel? How can you get the best positive results from an existing customer or a potential buyer? How can you use email marketing to turn an existing customer into a loyal customer? If these are some of the questions you want to be answered, you are in luck! We will explain all the basics of a sales funnel. 

What Is A Sales Funnel?

Sales funnel is a prime concept in marketing strategy that shows a potential customer’s journey. The deeper sales funnel stage the customer is in shows a deeper commitment from the customer. 

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A lot of the times what happens is that a potential customer might get involved in the initial sales process but lose interest along the way. This happens a lot with businesses on social media or digital media. Imagine someone saw a product on your Facebook page or your blog post, they might be interested in it but different factors might change their mind. 

Most digital media businesses online sales funnel process to ensure effective sales. Whether you are using a B2B sales funnel or B2C marketing, the online sales funnel will make you a success amongst your target audience. 

There Are Four Different Effective Sales Funnel Stages:

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  1. Awareness stage
  2. Interest stage
  3. Decision stage
  4. Action stage

Sales Funnel Stage Explained

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From the moment a potential customer becomes aware of your brand till a deal is closed, your customer goes through several of your sales funnel stages. 

A customer journey will differ according to your buyer persona, your brand, and the kind of services or products you wish to sell. 

For instance, if you have a boutique, you can personalize your sales funnel stages accordingly. As a sales manager, finding your target audience and growing your business should be your priority. You don’t have to stick to the traditional sales funnel for your lead generation. Focus on lead generation and lead nurturing when you build your sales funnel stages. 

Whatever your process is, keep the four stages of awareness, interest, decision, and action in mind. 

Awareness Stage

This is the first stage of getting an ideal customer. This is the stage where they realize what their issue is and what they want to do about it. This awareness will lead to potential customers finding your website from a search engine, Facebook ad, or other digital media sources. 

Interest Stage

This is the stage where a potential buyer expresses his/her desire to buy your product or service. The sales funnel stage is crucial in closing a deal. The potential buyer or existing customer will show his interest by subscribing to your website or social media page. 

Decision Stage

This is the stage where a potential buyer will look at what exactly it is that you are offering. Why should he buy your product and not your rival business’s product? 

It is important at this point that you employ certain marketing strategies like offering deals, packages, and other incentives. You can communicate with your potential buyer through live chat or over the phone to turn them into loyal customers. 

Action Stage

This is the stage where you will reap the benefits of all your hard work. This is the moment when a potential buyer turns into an existing customer. It’s basically where the exchange of goods/services and money has happened. 

However, it is important to remember that your role as a sales manager does not end here. You need to maintain a good relationship with your customers to attract them again and again. Some simple ways of doing so are by revamping your landing page and marketing funnel technique from time to time. 

How To Retain Your Customers To Turn Them Into Repeat Customers?

The main motive behind excelling in your sales funnel technique is to find an audience of ideal customers. Your brand can only grow with loyal supporters. And so, it is important to keep certain marketing funnel techniques in mind. 

Remember to reach out to your customers through emails. Inform them about any offers you might have. Invest in your outreach program and follow up on queries. Send out guidebooks in product usage; it will take you a notch up from other businesses. Assist them in case of any technical issues. 

Manage Your Content For Every Single Sales Funnel Stage

One of the major mistakes a sales manager makes in digital marketing campaigns is ignoring the brand’s content. Most often, people focus on traditional sales funnel so much that they forget that they need to align their content with the funnel stages. We have made a list of steps you can take to close better deals. 

Blog To Generate Awareness And Interest

This is a great marketing strategy to spread the word about your brand. In the sales pipeline, this does not necessarily come at the bottom. 

By spreading the word, you can direct traffic for your website organically. Create attractive and appropriate content for your target audience to make it more engaging. One essential part of this marketing funnel step is to use appropriate keywords and make it SEO friendly. 

You can even engage with your potential buyers on your social media pages. The bottom line for this sales process is to be active and engaging. 

Lead Generation Through Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is anything that your potential buyers of existing customers might value. This attracts them, generates interest, and keeps them hooked on your brand. Be helpful towards your customers and they will rely on you for any future needs. 

Influence Decision And Action Through Webinars 

This sales process in your sales funnel stage is a crucial one. Since you will be conversing with your customers directly, you need to grow their demand to ensure that they follow through and buy your product/service. 

Tell them what you are providing and what it can achieve. One easy step to convince potential buyers is to offer a consultation or a free trial. 

Creative Videos Will Help You Through All Sales Funnel Stages

Creative videos are essential in the sales process. It can be instructional or an explanation video. These videos will generate interest and encourage your target audience to take action. 

Think of it as a pitch. You can pitch your product or services through these videos. Direct them towards your website and attach a link in the video to generate traffic. Furthermore, you can share this video on your social media platforms and ask existing customers to share it as well. 

Where Does Social Media Stand In An Effective Sales Funnel?

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As the world is increasingly growing digital, social media has become a powerful tool in disseminating information. 

Traffic And Awareness 

Whatever promises an app might give you, the best way to get in touch with ideal customers is by consistently engaging with them. 

Being active in social media about your brand is crucial in keeping your existing customers happy and attracting new leads. The next step to lead generation is lead nurturing. And social media is a great platform to do that. 

Lead Generation

Share your most attractive lead magnets on your social media pages. And always remember to direct your audience towards your landing page. 

There is also certain sales funnel software that can help you through the sales process. For example, you can use MySignature to automatically add a clickable banner in your email. It is an excellent marketing strategy since it will help your customers in their buying process. These are some of the marketing automation techniques that can be quite effective. 

Engage Your Target Audience

Social media platforms have completely revolutionized digital marketing. Everyone has to agree that a video’s potential to go viral is much higher than an email. 

Facebook ad and Facebook Live are tools that you can use to create an effective sales funnel. The conversion rate for customers to loyal customers is much likely through social media engagement. 

Understand What Is A Sales Funnel And Create A Personalized One

To create an effective sales funnel, you need to understand what is a sales funnel. Here’s a detailed guide on how you can create a personalized sales funnel for your brand. 

Collect Data On Who Your Customers Are

A business is nothing without its loyal customers. Get your marketing team to collect data on who your customers are and what your target audience should be. The customer journey is the most important in lead nurturing. 

What are the problems that your customers come to you? Can you solve all of the problems? How can you make your products better and impress your customers? Why are loyal customers loyal? How can you increase your conversion rate? 

These are some of the questions you can think about. The best way to collect information in the customer journey and buying process is by talking to them directly over the phone, through live chat, or email marketing. 

Analyze the data and create effective content for your personalized sales funnel. This is the best way to slide through the sales pipeline. 

Alter Sales Funnel According To Buyer Persona

The whole point about not following the traditional sales funnel is to reap the most benefit out of your sales process. And so, you should keep the buyer persona in mind. Many amateur marketing teams create one blanket sales funnel for all their customers. They forget that there will be demographic and other such differences even within their existing customers. 

Different individuals go to a brand for different reasons. They use the products differently, and most importantly, their buying process differs from each other. 

It will be very profitable for you to put extra effort into creating different sales funnel for different categories of your existing customers and potential buyers. Furthermore, it will give your customers a much pleasant experience. A happy and content customer means a higher conversion rate. And that’s what effective sales funnel is all about. 

Make use of the data collected and understand each category of your customers and target accordingly.

Lead Generation And Traffic Marketing Strategies

As mentioned above, there are several ways you can engage with your customers to generate leads and create traffic on your website. In general, three major marketing strategies are consulting to be most effective. They are free traffic, paid traffic, and cold outreach. You can use all three together or different combinations of them. 

The easiest of these three is probably paid traffic. It’s when you buy an ad on some apps or websites. And when a person clicks on the ad, they will be automatically directed to your website. There are several social media apps that can help you with this method. Some of them include Facebook ads, Google AdWords, LinkedIn Ads, and Twitter Ads. 

The main problem with this purchase funnel is that the traffic will stop once your subscription is up. Moreover, you won’t generate more leads. Another type of paid traffic is affiliate marketing. In this method, you can opt to pay once you close a lead through the middle man. 

Free Traffic means that you won’t have to make any direct payments. However, it does not mean that it is really free. You will have to invest in certain sales funnel management tools. Furthermore, you will have to spend a lot of time optimizing your website to best fit Google’s algorithm. Since your only source of traffic will be search engine optimization, you will have to put constant work. Some of the techniques in this method include non-paid digital marketing traffic, SEO, direct traffic through your already existing customers, referral traffic through linking your website to other sites. 

Cold outreach sales funnel strategy is where you send emails from your brand to potential buyers. You can also cold call companies that might be interested in your products and/or services. This method is the most tiring and time-consuming of all the marketing sales funnel management techniques mentioned. 

For more information here you can find some best cold calling tips and tricks that really work for your business.

Engage To Find Sales Qualified Leads

We have emphasized this point again and again because this step is crucial in the sales cycle. You need to engage with your customers to find sales qualified leads. Engagement is major for the success of a conversion funnel. 

Sometimes your customers might have an issue and not know what the solution is. Or, they might not know that there are more effective solutions that you can offer. Spread the word, and the interested party will automatically flick your website. You need to convince potential buyers into taking action and closing the deal through engaging with them. 

Some major ways of doing so are video, blogs, podcasts, Facebook live, social media posts, and webinars. 

It’s all about spreading the work. You can use social media to build a strong and loyal customer base. A loyal customer is an ideal customer. Promotion if your brand through your customers is more valuable than any paid promotion. And to build such a loyal base, you need to engage with them as much as possible. 

How To Successfully Close A Deal

This is the step where you seal the deal. This is the part where you successfully convince a customer to buy your product or services. Remember that verbal affirmation does not mean closing a deal. It happens when the transaction of goods and money takes place. 

All your hard work will be paid in this sales funnel stage. You need to be clear and precise when you are in this stage. There are various methods you can use for this stage. Some of them include sales emails, sales calls, webinars, sales, and product pages. 

Note that you can create a demanding prospect prior to meeting with the customer. And so, you will be prepared for any of their queries. Tell them the positives and why they need your product to make their life easier. Make an offer that meets all their requirements and more. Once a deal is closed, both you and your customer will be happy and satisfied. And a happy customer is the backbone of a successful business. 

6 Principles Of Persuasion To Upgrade Your Sales Funnel 

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Image Credit: READINGRAPHICS

A leading psychology and marketing professor, Dr. Robert Cialdini, wrote a book in 1984 called Influence. He mentioned six principles of persuasion that are used by top sales reps until now. 

The six steps are reciprocity, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. 

The logic behind this theory is that, as Dr. Kendrick explained, an individual is more likely to agree with someone if they think that the person is an expert or a credible authority in that subject. The chances of getting convinced are higher if we like that person and think that we owe some sort of reciprocity for their efforts. Furthermore, a person is more likely to be persuaded if there’s social proof of a product or an idea ( social proof basically means the popularity of that thing) and if the thing is a scarce commodity.  

Combine The Four Sales Funnel Stages With The Six Principles Of Persuasion

The principles of persuasion can be employed to take your sales funnel to the next level. 

Awareness Along With Consistency And Reciprocity 

Make people aware of your product by providing free trials. This way you can show consistency and people will feel the need to reciprocate to you. 

Interest Along With Liking And Scarcity 

Generate interest in your product by using the principle of scarcity and liking. Be approachable and secure loyal customers. 

Decision Along With Authority

Assist your potential buyers in the decision step by showing that you are a credible source for whatever you are selling.  You can do this by creating tutorials and webinars. 

Action Along With Social Proof

Combine the principle of social proof in the action sales funnel stage. You can do this by showing recommendations made by your existing customers, reviews, favorable PRs, and testimonials. 

What’s The Next Step?

Creating a personalized sales funnel is not the end of your work. It actually starts from this moment on. It is time for you to put your theory into practice. 

Remember that you need to note down every detail from testing your sales funnel. It will help you in modifying it if needed. Make a clean calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever you are comfortable with. Just remember that content marketing is a growing process. The simple traditional sales funnel does not work the same for everyone because everyone’s brand and target audience are different. So, to get the best results, you will have to be consistent with analyzing your progress. 

It will reveal your weakness and strengths. Where are you lacking? What can you do to fix it? Focus your time and energy on what needs to be improved. To run an effective sales funnel, you need to be able to direct your resources appropriately. 

Keep testing your personalized sales funnel on each category, and it will be perfected within no time. There may be agencies that offer purchase funnel and marketing automation features, but the best way to run a successful conversion funnel is by growing organically. There’s no other secret than just being passionate about sales. 

Make use of all the tips given above, and you will surely create your best-personalized sales funnel and find your ideal customer. 

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