Sales funnel is a structure and flow of prospects moving deeper into the sales cycle phases. Think about the conversion process it takes from top to bottom. By default, everyone started out as a prospect, and gradually became a paying customer. It is the customer’s behavioral action that defines how engaged they are in each stage of the sales cycle. When they reach a desired or target behaviour, then they move deeper into the sales cycle. Making them more valuable, higher lead score than others who are still remaining in the top part of the sales funnel.
What’s the structure of a sales funnel?
An ideal sales funnel involves building trust and loyalty with your customers. In essence, it is a way to entice them to buy from you by slowly engaging, bringing in value, thereby, strengthening your rapport with them. Your objectives are simple: get their emails and gradually convince them to buy from you.
If your business is just starting off, it is likely that your content collection in the website is still under development. And you are experimenting with different ways of running the business. Therefore, instead of burning your budget on paid ads, the most logical step to acquire traffic is through inbound marketing by using emails to build up a viable group of prospects and leads. It is also strongly recommended that you have a good resource center on your website to ensure the content is abundant and up-to-date. After all, your website is the most important marketing zone containing all the content collateral that delivers valuable information to your prospects.
Think about each step in the funnel:
1. Blog post requires more time to build up your reputation and ranking on the search engine results through SEO. Alternatively, you can use paid ads to bring in traffic through Google Adwords or Bing Ads, also known as PPC (Paid per click).
2. Once you’ve got the traffic on the landing page, use a free ebook, whitepaper or info guide as a lead magnet to convert your prospects to subscribers. They will leave their email contact in exchange for the freebie they wanted.
3. Send them nurturing emails to build trust. Remember the first few emails should not be overtly sales oriented. They should provide comparisons, analysis or useful info guides relating to your company’s offerings. Your customers want to hear how your offerings are comparable to other competitors in the industry. Then, for the final steps when customers are informed about your products and services, you can send them a promotional email to entice them to buy from your company. Everything needs to be gradual. Valuable info is given incrementally to keep your customers comfortably engaged. The very last email, you can ask for referrals and give out bonuses or incentives, so your customers will come back and buy more from you.
4. Landing page is also an important part to convert visitors into paying customers. It should be what you are trying to offer through out the entire email campaign. Stick with a consistent theme and good value proposition. After they have learned from your nurturing drip emails, Your prospects have gained a deeper understanding and trust in your brand. The landing page also reaffirms that they are making the right decision by choosing your brand. Therefore, this is the final decision point where they will buy from you.
Sales funnel is a powerful manifestation of how prospects have evolved into paying customers. More often than not, many companies can maintain a good website, has developed products and services, but they lack the know-how in client acquisition. In other words, attracting traffic to their website. Moreover, some companies also have trouble keeping up with the attention span and interest of their prospects. They do not have enough resources to keep engaging the prospects and nurture them deeper into the sales cycle. Therefore it is critical for marketing team to understand how the process of sales cycle works in order to grow out their subscribers lists and bring in more value to prospects and make them the recurring, loyalty customers.