Your website and all social platforms should be working as a sales funnel. It should be producing the equivalent of 10 sales agents going out and selling for you on a daily basis. A good sales funnel should be working night and day and therefore help you make money when you are on holiday, sleeping, or not working. The point is that even if you are taking a break, your company is not. Now that we know how powerful sales funnels are, imagine that your whole website set up as a sales funnel, can you feel how powerful that would be?
So, what is a sales funnel? To explain this simply, a sales funnel shows your prospect’s journey. It shows you the process that they take in order to become a client or customer. It shows you which campaign is attracting more prospects so that you can position yourself better. A sales funnel allows your prospects to enter different parts of your business at the point that they feel your service provides a solution for them. It is called a sales funnel because in theory you are funnelling prospects down in order to get a client that knows exactly what they want.
A sales funnel can be split into 4 main areas:
• Attract: This is the means of attracting prospects to your business through advertising and marketing. The purpose is to bring visitors to your website.
• Convert: Special promotions and sales to inspire and attract visitors to provide their email address or contact number.
• Close: Parts of the funnel that capture the real sale of the offer, this is the part that encourages prospects to become actual paying clients or customers.
• Delight: This is now for your business to provide an excellent, quality service to keep your clients or customers happy and hopefully receive referrals and/or up-sells.
How does this apply to your business?
To demonstrate this process lets presume that you are looking for a local bookkeeper.
Here is the Attract:
You go onto a search engine and search words like “Bookkeeping Software”. At the top of the search results you see ‘Xero’. You click on this link and you get taken to the Xero Homepage.
Ready for the Convert?
You have a look at the Homepage and notice the big green button saying ‘Free Trial’. This seems like a good idea and enter your email address and your name to create your account needed to access the free Xero trial. Before you realise it, you are enjoying how easy it is to use the software, the pointers that pop up to help guide you through the system, you like the layout and the feel of the platform.
Moving to Close:
You have had a little go with Xero, and a few days later you receive an email from Xero giving you more benefits of the platform. The trial period is great but it’s decision time, is this the platform for you? It only costs $25 per month for a starter pack, that’s cheaper than employing a bookkeeper, so you enter your credit card details and now you have your very own Xero account.
Time to Delight:
You think Xero is so wonderful, with all the features, and easy to use platform, you decide to tell your business contacts and friends about this excellent platform. Without even realising it, you have become one of the best kinds of promoters for Xero. You also continue to use the platform and reap more benefits from it daily as your understanding and knowledge of the system increases so does your want and ability to use it. Now, not only are you telling everyone how spectacular the system is, but you are also looking at upgrading your subscription to an higher package.
If we analyse this example, what we see is that Xero attracted you to their website through a very nice mix of brand recognition and SEO. There offer for a free trial converted you from someone that the company had never met before, to a prospect, and then the email that they sent you helped close the deal. Their sales funnel did however, not stop there. Their well performing platform and helpful team made you refer them to other people and recommend them when conversations came up, and as such, the cycle continued. Now imagine the growth potential if you had only 3 people doing this every day, or even every week, the potential is endless, right?
This example shows you the importance of a good online presence, a sales funnel is vital to your business and as you can see above, you were caught up in the sales process from start to finish and did not even feel it.
Do you have your sales funnel in place?
Here are some tips on how to improve or start creating your sales funnel:
- You want to ensure you know who you want to target, and then use many different channels to attract and reach your visitors. Some of our successful clients use a variety of marketing channels, some of these are Off-page SEO, AdWords, Social media ads, email campaigning. The best marketing channels will be dependent on your industry, however, never put all your eggs into one basket, you want to be using a variety of methods.
- Test, test, test, monitoring your results and return on investment (ROI) is critical to your marketing. This will help you learn what works and what does not. This means you have to monitor your views to your conversions, the number of calls you are getting, the number of people that are clicking on your ad but not actually calling it, why? This shows that you have a problem; you need to find out where this lies and what the solution is. You need to make educated decisions on the data that you are looking at, or you may as well just burn your money. We do a lot of A/B testing to find out which scenario is working best against which content.
- Blogging is a really important part of your funnel. You need to be blogging on a regular basis and you need to put this content on your website and monitor the effects. The more content you have the better. Within the digital marketing space content is king. Your content needs to be fresh and relevant, this can help improve your SEO and also helps you engage with prospects and current clients. You need to stay on top of your competition and demonstrate that your company really is the solution for them.
- Pay attention to what your customers and prospects are telling you and take this information and adapt your website to it. If your prospects are not understanding what you do, then you need to ensure that these questions are clearer on your website. You could even answer questions you get from clients and prospects in an easy to read blog post. The majority of the time the person asking the question is not the only one seeking the answer so by doing this, you will save yourself the time of answering individual questions. This will also help you attract new visitors.
- People respond by being told what to do. Most people do not know how to make a decision, which means having a clear Call to action button in different places on your website will help your sales funnel. No-one is going to spend hours searching for your number, unless they want to make a complain. When you do your Call to action buttons, make sure they are offers or giveaways, this will allow people to enter your sales funnel at their own pace. No pressure, and commitment free, this is really important when trying to build your business as some people just are not yet ready to contact you. Do not force this, let them decide, give them control.
- Just because someone visits your website does not mean they are going to convert straight away and on average, most websites have a conversion rate of only 2-3%. This means that for every 100 people that come to your website, only 3 may contact you. Re-targeting is really important as it is unlikely that you will capture every prospect’s information That does however, not mean that they are not interested or you should lose hope on them. Develop your retargeting campaigns, this will allow you to be displayed on more popular websites and it will be shown only to people that have visited your website. It is a reminder that you exist to them. If you set this up well, this will give you another chance to bring them into your sales funnel.
- People listen to authority, most people would have listened to their teachers in school, and listen to authority figures when they speak. This is where you want to be, become the industry expert. What this will do is have prospects searching for you rather than you searching for prospects and ultimately this means when they find you, the chance of them buying is much higher.
If you enjoy public speaking or workshops, consider holding a learning session workshop or arrange a webinar session. You will however, need to do this consistently for it to work. As people get to know you more, they will respect your brand and this could bring inbound links to your website which again has massive benefits for your SEO- which then brings prospects into your sales funnel.
8. Everyone is after a fast sale, the true successful do not push and push and push, rather they nurture and look after their prospects. The last thing you want to do is give up on your prospects, they may not be ready for you right this second, but what about in 6 months? You can nurture them by giving them your newsletters, let them see who you are, what is your story? Email campaigning works well here as well. The chances are, if they have visited your website, they are looking for something. They may not know that you have that particular solution, yet, but with allowing them to do things in their own time, you can educate them on who you are and what your company message is. Who knows, they may even be referring you because they love what you do without you even realising it.
9. The biggest step to improving or creating your sales funnel and marketing is to take action now! If you wait until next week, or next month, or even next quarter, the chances are that you will end up waiting a year or two. You certainly do not need to address everything at once, but this sales funnel will transform your business. You need to create your strategy and have specific and clear due dates of when everything should start and then start making progress straight away.
If this is all far too much, then use a good digital marketing company to help you. I hear Englander Davis is great!
Jokes aside, let us help you with your first step.
One of the best first steps you can take is to write a list of what you are currently doing with your marketing. Physically write this on paper, this helps your brain take it in more than as opposed to typing it (this is science). Once you have done this, you want to put these into the 4 sales funnel sections we discussed earlier on:
Once this has all been clearly written, have a look for gaps in your current marketing campaigns. We all have gaps in our marketing but by spotting them and making changes, you are doing better than 90% of businesses worldwide. Once you see the problem points write them down, do this in order of priority so you can see where the focus needs to start.
Then what you want to be doing is going a digging a little deeper and make a clear note of what your improvements could be for each stage. For example, the first thing you may want to do is improve your Calls to action on your website with a ‘giveaway’ such as a ‘10% discount’ or a ‘How-to’ guide, it could even be as simple as a ‘free consultation’.
Once you are satisfied with what you have done, the next stage is to create a campaign to capture the leads to come to your website.
Naturally, if you are an Englander Davis client, we are your digital partners so we will help you with all these steps as well as with the campaign.
Otherwise, have ago yourself, the priority here is to get your marketing acting like a sales funnel.