A sales funnel is a step-by-step process that you can use to nurture your customer from that first point of contact through to a conversion.
The funnel goes beyond this and helps you to achieve long-lasting loyalty from your customers.
So, how do you get started? Take a look at our guide to understand the basics of sales funnel building and how you can apply this method for your business.
How does a sales funnel work?
A sales funnel is a way to gather potential customers and lead them towards a purchase. There are 3 basic stages:
- Attract – With a sales funnel, you can make connections with new customers and generate interest in your business.
- Engage – As you nurture customers through the sales funnel, you are fostering profound levels of engagement with your business.
- Sell – The short-term goal of the sales funnel is to achieve a conversion. However, you can continue to nurture and engage beyond this point, to foster repeat purchases and long-term loyalty.
Why is a sales funnel so important to your business?
- Increase your conversions and your revenue
- Nurture strong connections with your customers
- Reduce the cost associated with conversion
- Identify areas for improvement in your strategy
- Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy
Who uses a sales funnel?
Any business that is marketing products or services to customers can use a sales funnel. This sales funnel provides a streamlined route from the first contact through to conversion, and even beyond.
The six stages of the sales funnel
- Awareness – Make sure your customers know about your business. Ensure that they recognise the products and services you offer.
- Interest – The next step is to foster interest and engagement in what you provide.
- Desire – With the right nurturing, you can kindle an element of desire in your leads. Not only are they interested in your product — they actively want to purchase it.
- Action – Translating this desire into a genuine conversion is the next step. The interest and desire is already there, but you need to nudge your leads in the right direction.
- Retention – Once you have achieved conversion, you need to work to keep hold of your customers with further nurturing.
- Repeat action and advocacy – Keep your customers coming back for more with the right approach to support and assistance. Turn one-off customers into fully-fledged brand advocates.
How to create a sales funnel for beginners
1. Map out the customer journey.
The best way to get started is to map out the journey that your potential customers (leads) take. This means identifying who they are – by creating avatars of your “typical” customers, understanding where you find them, whether they know they have a problem/need, whether they know that your business can solve them, and what might stop them from making a purchase from you.
2. Set up an email marketing campaign.
Support your funnel with a targeted email marketing campaign. Once you have found and collected an email for a lead, you want to make sure you are touching base with them on a regular basis. The frequency will differ greatly depending on your customer type, industry and even your style, however it’s important to remember that over 95% of people who visit your website, are not yet ready to buy.
What you need to do, is make sure that when they are ready, you are in contact with them.
We use ActiveCampaign. Mailchimp and Pipedrive are also popular options.
3. Create a sales funnel landing page.
Each step of your funnel should direct your leads to perform a specific action. In most cases, this will involve reading or buying something. Where will these actions throughout your sales funnel lead to?
Create a dedicated landing page so that your leads enjoy a seamless journey towards conversion. These pages should address the specifics from the sales funnel that lead to them. Having one page for multiple funnels will not only dilute the message to your leads, but will also make it harder for you to understand what is working, and what can be improved.
4. Edit other website pages.
You want to make sure that your leads are able to continue their journey beyond your landing pages. Make sure your other pages support this ongoing journey.
Remember that your website is not a set and forget strategy. Make sure the call to actions (CTAs) and the menu allow these landing pages to seamlessly navigate around your website.
5. Drive traffic to your funnel.
You need to feed the top of the funnel, by letting people know about your business, your brand, and your products. This means you need “leads”.
Grow your lead numbers with PPC ads, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, and other promotional techniques.
6. Monitor your funnel’s performance.
Keep on top of analytics so that you know what is working within your funnel. Make strategic changes as and when required. That means setting up Google Analytics, setting up goals and dashboards that will allow you to keep track of how each of your funnels is performing.
Sales funnel FAQs
Before you jump straight in, it’s important to make sure the various aspects of sale funnel marketing straight. Below are the most frequently asked questions we get regarding sale funnel marketing:
1. What is sales funnel traffic?
This the total number of leads accessing your sales funnel.
2. What is paid sales funnel traffic?
This is the number of leads you have paid for directly, perhaps with PPC ads.
3. What is free sales funnel traffic?
This is the number of leads you have not paid directly for. This may include leads from social media shares or SEO activities.
4. What is a sales funnel marketing strategy?
Your sales funnel marketing strategy is the plan you will use to nurture customers towards conversion and beyond.
5. What is a social media sales funnel?
The social media sales funnel refers to leads who have been captured and nurtured via social media.
6. What is sales funnel software?
Sales funnel software includes tools and features to help you build your funnel and foster connections with leads.
7. What is sales funnel management?
Your sales funnel needs monitoring and adjustment on an ongoing basis. This is sales funnel management.
8. What are sales funnel metrics?
These are the metrics you will use to measure the success of your funnel — for example, the number of conversions over a certain time period, the duration of the nurturing process, or the average value of each sale.
9. What is sales funnel optimisation?
Sales funnel optimisation is getting the very best out of your funnel, making changes and adjustments to improve the funnel over time.
10. Do sales funnels work for beginners?
Yes! You just need the right tools and templates.
Build your sales funnel and nurture those all-important leads.
With the right tools, templates and support, you can build a winning sales funnel and nurture your leads through to conversion and beyond.