Posted by Pamela Swift in Sales & Marketing
Article Contributed by Marcus Jensen
The sales process is a long road dotted with pitfalls and junctions that can lead potential customers astray. Sales representatives cannot cover every step of the way, but they can pull together a map, and put visible signs to direct people. Namely, sales funnel prevents the sale pipelines from becoming clogged, which is why many online businesses take advantage of this model. In fact, internet marketing has embraced these techniques as they show great promise in terms of establishing sale relationships with buyers in the long term.
At the top of the game
The funnel metaphor is handy because it helps people get into the outline of this business method. So, imagine your unqualified leads sitting at the top. These include all potential customers than have not yet come in contact with the company. The way to the bottom is difficult, but the people who pay for your products and services dwell there. Customers may fall off at each stage of the process, which means you must develop a deep understanding of the sales stream.
The backbone of your efforts is identifying crucial sequential steps and status codes. Opt for a small number of codes in order to make things as simple as possible. They are utilized for classifying the prospects, and this is much easier if there is a contact management system or a sales workflow. Newcomers are often overwhelmed by the mountains of data, but this link should give you a clear idea about marketing tools necessary to create a sales funnel. Next, it is time to get into the facts and figures and calculate the changes in numbers of prospects of each status.
Rites of passage
Attaining the expected conversion rates is a tough call, an ongoing endeavor of fine-tuning. So, compare them against targeted figures and get to the root of the problem. The goal is to identify the number of prospects who will eventually become customers. A deviation from the predicted patterns enables businessmen to make adjustments in the sales pipeline. Thus, an enterprise which uses sales funnel model is able to diversify the offerings and avoid putting too many eggs in one basket.
Ultimately, this boosts the efficiency of resource allocation, and takes the operations to the next level. The uninterrupted flow of eager customers through the funnel can do wonders for revenues and profits. Obviously, driving internet traffic and setting up an appealing website is the first thing to do. This is followed by offering valuable services to those who sign up. So, learn how to convey your brand messages, reach out to people without being intrusive and carry out innovative marketing campaigns.
Tools of the trade
Initial communication is essential because it builds trust from scratch. The best way to attract people is to offer them free or low-cost products and services. Everyone likes free and affordable stuff, and the only thing you need to get the ball rolling is someone’s contact information. Engaging blog posts, social media attention, increasing the visibility in search engines — these are all excellent ways to grab attention. But, after that, the client’s personal info should be exchanged for promotional products, white papers, newsletter, e-courses, free consultations, etc.
However, one should not be fooled by the success at this point, as the drop off in activity may occur later on. Therefore, be careful when introducing medium and high cost items on the way to the bottom of the funnel. For example, evaluate the ratio of visits versus the number of people who actually sign up. Even when there is a solid connection established, but it is still too early to call it a day. The funnel is deep and one can easily get lost in its shadows.
Waste no time presenting guiding light is the form of coaching, workshops, consulting, memberships, and other features that do not cost an arm and a leg. If the people react well, and the number of prospects does not shrink, you can muse on offering medium and high-cost items and services. Provided that the execution of the sales funnel has worked to your advantage, there should be enough customers willing to pay top dollar for your expertise, or the latest killer product. So, you have finally made it to the bottom, or considering that it all resembles one upside down pyramid, you arrived at the very top.
Lead the way
Making a purchasing decision is more of a tedious process than a moment of revelation. It is best not to leave its outcome to chance, so build a framework that pushes the customers in the direction of the funnel’s bottom. Building up the big picture of the process leads the prospects through the jungle of making purchasing decisions. When someone is treated with inexpensive or giveaway services and features, he is more likely to buy something more expensive from you later on. This enables business organizations to pave their way to success and hit big in shorter periods of time.
About the Author
Marcus Jensen is an IT professional. He is an Editor-in-Chief of technivorz.com, and writes about business, technology and marketing.