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businessman planning his sales funnel

Are you struggling to get sales for your business consistently? It’s not as easy as most people think and if you have ever tried to sell anything online, then you probably know just how difficult it could be. You may be able to get a sale or two with no effort but consistently generating enough of it every month is no easy feat.

To be successful, businesses need to be able to hit their sales targets consistently and generate enough profit despite hiring a stable workforce and other upfront expenses. To accomplish the latter, businesses need to build what is called a “sales funnel”.

In this article, we take a good look at what precisely a sales funnel is and the different steps to creating one for your business. Only then can you expect to achieve steady growth and revenue for your business.

Sales Funnel: What Is It?

 

A sales funnel can be described as a series of stages that outlines the process in which a business draws in prospective customers to a particular offer to trigger a purchase decision. The latter is facilitated through several promotional strategies, which include sending emails, articles, websites, videos, or just about any media that businesses can use to do the selling for them. In layman’s term, you can think of a sales funnel as a digital salesman. One that works around the clock promoting and selling your business to interested parties online.

Generally speaking, business owners have two options when it comes to growing their business. One is to depend on “hope” marketing and believe that word of your business will ultimately spread through referrals or word of mouth. The second option is for companies to put in the time and effort to create a system that automatically draws in prospects and convert them into sales. As you might imagine, a sales funnel belongs to the latter option.

So How to Create a Sales Funnel For Your Business?

 

A sales funnel pertains to a strategy for regularly obtaining customers at a profit and scaling it for growth. Many successful businesses do this exceptionally well by profiling their target leads and coming up with strategies for how and where to reach them effectively. A sales funnel also include specific strategies for nurturing said leads and encouraging them to buy into a product or service.

Creating an effective sales funnel is generally a 4-stage process. These stages complement and are built on top of one another. Hence, it is essential for business owners to obtain a good understanding of what each step entails and how it can effectively be implemented.

Stage 1 – Creating Awareness

 

The first and perhaps the most critical step towards creating an effective sales funnel is making your prospects aware that your business is out there. Business owners need to ask themselves – what can you do so that more people know that your business exists?

There are several strategies that you can use to build awareness for your business:

  • Content marketing – creating quality articles that push traffic to your business site through organic search and social media. This also presents an opportunity for business owners to be seen as an expert in their niche.
  • Videos are another invaluable resource for building awareness and enable your prospects to establish a connection with your business. You may have seen videos of successful companies demonstrating their products or services and discussing news relevant to their niche.
  • For businesses that can afford to spend a significant amount of money upfront, paid ads can be a good way of building awareness across a targeted audience depending on demographics and preferences.
  • Referrals from happy customers (word of mouth)

Stage 2 – Building Relationships With Your Audience

 

Now that there are people who are aware of your business, the next step is to create good relations with them. At this point, you would want to ask yourself what needs to be done so that more people trust your business and more likely to buy into your product or service? To accomplish the latter, you need to be able to communicate with your target prospects effectively.

Perhaps the most effective communication channel that businesses can use to reach their targeted audience is through email marketing. The latter is inexpensive, and you can keep sending emails to followers who’ve joined your mailing list using automation platforms like ActiveCampaign.

Other channels that you can use to build a relationship with your audience includes the following:

  • Social media

  • Webinars

  • Sponsored videos

Don’t Forget About Buying Beliefs 

Regardless of what channel you use, it is also essential to decide on a “buying belief” that you’d like to instill to your audience as you interact with them. For example, if you sell organic skincare products, then you would want your audience to believe that switching to the latter is better for the body and the environment. You can do just that by educating your audience about the potentially harmful ingredients found in most commercial skin care products and how organic skin care products are better for the body.

Simply put, buying beliefs are vital as it presents an opportunity for business owners to integrate the right preferences and inclinations that customers have concerning their product or service. Get this right, and you will have leads that are eager and ready to purchase once they get to the next stage.

Stage 3 – Sales Generation

 

After going through the upper part of the sales funnel, the next step is to drive prospects somewhere to seal the deal. At this point, the primary concern among business owners is to implement the best solution for accepting payments for their product or service.

While you already have people interested in purchasing your product or service after the relationship stage, it doesn’t hurt to have a good sales page to aid in the conversion process.

Businesses implement different strategies for crafting an effective landing page. One popular approach is to create one with videos and a list of featured testimonials. You can also list several key benefits and advantages of using said product or service.

Another strategy is to introduce a sense of urgency or scarcity to encourage people to make a purchase. The latter is optional and only useful for businesses that have managed to build confidence and authority during the awareness and relationship stage. Anything less and your target audience may perceive the urgency as fake and may hinder people from purchasing instead.

Stage 4 – Generating Upsells

 

The last and perhaps most crucial stage of the sales funnel is what is known as upselling and has the potential to generate additional revenue on top of the initial sale. Many successful food chain businesses are exceptionally good at this and have been able to create more income by merely recommending additional products. You have most likely experienced this yourself when eating at Subway or Burger King with offers such as extra fries or upsizing drinks.

Of course, upselling is not just about selling more products or services, but it can help improve buyer experience as well. Hence when creating upsells, business owners need to carefully ask themselves what relevant products or services their customer needs. The last thing you need is for buyers adopting a negative perception of your business by trying to sell them things that they don’t need.

Conclusion

 

So there you have it — the 4 stages of building an effective sales funnel! As you may have already realized, it is not as simple as most people think and can take months if not years to fully implement. Nevertheless, it’s the only way for businesses to obtain customers and profit on a regular basis.

If you’re having trouble generating enough sales every month, take a long hard look at your website or the product page. It is likely that your business simply lacks the benefit of a complete and fully automated sales funnel. You can start building one today with tools like Click Funnels and before you know it, your business will have a system for automatically attracting leads and turning them into paying customers.