Sales funnel phases
To understand how to use this concept to increase your sells, take a look at the sales funnel phases.
Awareness – During this stage, the potential customers (also called prospects) become aware of your brand and your product. To be able to start with this phase, you’ll need an online presence and a strategy that will help you reach a new audience, regardless if you’re counting on the organic reach with outstanding (and viral) blog content or different types of paid advertising.
Interest – The second stage is where the prospects are trying to find out more about you. They explore how they can benefit from your business, how you can help them, and generally, they make a decision whether your business is something they’ll be interested in. In essence, they analyze their interest and take time to evaluate your business.
Decision – This stage is where the prospects make some kind of decision. They either decide to subscribe to receive updates from you, they reply to your email, claim your offer, join your competition, etc. Basically, any action you’re doing to engage your prospects should yield results in this third stage where they either lose interest or make a decision to take part.
Action – The final stage is the purchase where the prospect becomes your customer. A series of activities in your sales funnel is designed to achieve this goal, to encourage customers to complete the purchase.
How to create a sales funnel?
To create an effective sales funnel, you’ll need to go through a process of examining your business, your product, your audience and to come up with the best way to create a strategy that works.
Understand your customers
Your prospects are people you have something in common with. Those are the people who are likely to be interested in your business, primarily because they can benefit from it in a certain way. Now ask yourself this: Who are your potential customers?
Try to define this group being as specific as possible. Also, think about how they feel when they are at the moment of purchase. Are they desperate because their laptop has died, and they’re reaching out to you for a new one? Or are they looking to treat themselves by booking a spa appointment in your salon?
Then think about your past experience. Have you had any particular problems or challenges to reach customers? How effective your strategies were in the past?
In the end, defining your buyer persona can additionally improve your understanding of your audience and help you with creating a campaign that is more focused and thus more efficient.
If you want to explore the topic of buyer personas and how to create them, check out this guide: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business.
Strategy to increase traffic and lead generation
The next step in the process of creating a sales funnel is to determine how you’re going to reach online prospects. Strategies defined here are used to build awareness and spark interest in your business. These might include:
- Organic traffic
- Paid traffic (search engine and social media ads)
- Outreach campaign
Each of these methods of generating traffic has specific activities and processes that enable you to apply and use them. For example, if you go for paid search engine traffic, you’ll need to explore Google AdWords and the process of setting up a campaign through this platform. You’ll also need visual and written content for the ads you’re going to run with Google AdWords.
If you want to take the time and find out more about paid search engine advertising, you’ll benefit from this Search Engine Marketing course.
Through these activities, you’ll start attracting traffic and generating leads. Eventually, a part of those online users will become your prospects. They’re the ones starting the journey towards the other end of the sales funnel.
You should also explore different lead generation strategies and how each of them could be applied to your business, and here’s a helpful resource: 14 Lead Generation Techniques.
When you attract new visitors and start generating leads, you’ll need engagement strategies to take those prospects further down the sales funnel. It’s helpful to know that there are various reasons to engage prospects first before you offer them a product to buy.
- Strengthen your authority and credibility by establishing a relationship
- Remind your prospects of the benefits they could get with this product or service
- Convince them that yours is the right product (or service) for them, not the one your competitors are offering
- Provide something they can relate to, such as free samples, sneak peek, free webinar, anything really that can help them experience and see your product (or service) in action
What these strategies do is indirectly convince your prospects to buy from you.
Look at the situation this way. These prospects are already in the funnel, so they do have some interest in your brand. However, they still haven’t decided to buy, which means you need to help them reach the end of the funnel, using these engagement strategies.
Most communication and interaction with your prospects will probably go through email. Still, in this engagement stage, you’ll use multiple platforms to increase authority and offer content that is relatable. Consider various platforms such as your blog, live video, social media, etc. to maximize the reach of your content and to offer a diverse type of content.