Anatomy of a Sales Funnel

Most, if not all, successful entrepreneurs utilize the concept of a sales funnel in their business. To sum it up quite simply, it is a journey that you carry your prospect through that ultimately leads to a sale. Most entrepreneurs don’t implement a sales funnel even though it is the number one driver of sales. Why is that? Well a few reasons:

  1. They don’t understand what it is and why it’s important — These people just aren’t aware of this vital piece of the successful business puzzle which is no fault of their own.
  2. They don’t know how to effectively implement one -These people know they need one but just aren’t sure of the winning strategies to do so and get caught up in the latest tactic thereby suffering from analysis paralysis.
  3. Implementing a sales funnel is an art and a science wrapped up in one and some people don’t want to put in the work -These people aren’t serious about their business and want “a get rich quick“ solution.

If you fall into the first two categories then read on, if you fall into the third, so sorry I can’t help you and you can stop reading right now because in order to build a profitable and sustainable business, you are going to have to put in the work. Now don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to take forever, but it will take dedication and perseverance.

Ok let’s start with the fundamentals — Understanding the sales funnel.

If you picture a funnel it starts with a wide opening at the top and gradually becomes more narrow and ends with a small opening. That’s essentially how you filter leads through your business. Most people will enter at the top with some exiting through the cracks and only a fraction will go through to the end. That’s actually what you want.

You see, it’s not about getting all persons interested in your product or service to buy from you. It’s about getting your ideal client to buy from you. Remember you are evaluating them just as much as they are you.

Why? Pay attention, because this is where the sales funnel starts to work for you.

As a business owner you need to know where to spend your time and energy and if a prospect just isn’t going to buy from you, then great! Let them put their hands up in the air and say that’s me, so that you can move right along and not waste your time trying to convince them to buy something they don’t need or want.

After all, you know that you have a great product/service and it was meant to solve a specific problem for a specific type of person. A person who will get the most value and results from it. The worst thing you could do to your business is have the wrong people utilize your product and diminish its value because it wasn’t meant for them.

The next thing you need to keep in mind is that the majority of your profit is NOT at the top of your funnel, it is at the bottom.

To explain this concept better, let me give you an example of a typical sales funnel structure:

Step 1: You get the attention of your target audience by offering a lead magnet (some free offer that seeks to solve a particular problem they have — this can be a report, book, video series etc)

Step 2: You send them to your landing page where you capture their email address in exchange for the free lead magnet.

Milestone: They are now a lead with whom you can correspond with via email.

Step 3: Present them with a low price point offer such as a more detailed report or training series to help solve the problem they have. This low price point can be $7- $27. This is called a tripwire, where you qualify this lead as a buyer.

This act of purchasing the low priced offer is a micro commitment because the prospect doesn’t have to make a serious monetary investment. They’ve made a baby step that tells you they are definitely interested in what you are offering and will probably buy something else from you.

Getting that first purchase is that hardest part, so the idea here is to make the initial offer (also called a tripwire) so irresistible that it doesn’t take much thought to buy. Selling to that same person gets easier later on, provided that your product does add value to them.

Step 4: Nurture the relationship with an email auto responder sequence. This should be a series of emails filled with great content that help to solve your prospects problem. Many people fall flat here because they don’t offer enough value. Your objective here is to build a know, like and trust relationship, where your prospects get to know and like you then begin to trust you as a reliable source or expert in your particular niche.

Step 5: Carry your prospect through to the next purchase which is a higher tier product. Perhaps $97 — $297.

Step 6: Continue to provide massive value through your free content.

Step 7: Move them through to your next tier or back end offer, which is usually the high price point. Perhaps $997 — $2000

I think you see where this process is going now. Do you see why I say the sales are at the bottom (also called the back end) and not at the top (front-end)?

If you do, good job but if you don’t let me break down the math.

Lets’s say you get 1000 prospects into the top of your funnel, 10% purchase your tripwire at $7

That’s 100 x 7 = $700

Then a further 10% of that 100 purchase your second tier product at $97

That’s 10 x $97 = $997

Then 10% of those 10 purchase your high end offer at $997

That’s 1 x $997 = $997

Would you rather be making $997 from 1 client or $700 from 100?

So what’s the lesson here?

The front of your funnel is meant to acquire leads. The back of your funnel is to make the profits.

Now that you know how the sales funnel works, what do you need to make it happen?

  1. An email auto responder such as mail chimp which offers a free subscription, especially for those of you just starting out.
  2. Ensure you are crystal clear about who your target audience is and what problem you are solving for them
  3. Create a lead magnet which provides lots of value and gives your ideal client results immediately.
  4. Create a landing page to capture email addresses. Leadpages is pretty good for this, especially if you don’t have a website as you can host the page directly on Leadpages’ server. Otherwise, you can also create your own on your website or even integrate Leadpages with it.
  5. Write a sequence of about 10 emails that go out automatically to your list. These should be used to help your prospect to get to know you, provide value with content related to solving their problem and of course selling your products/services.
  6. Ensure you have products/services to sell.
  7. Decide on how you will drive traffic to your landing page whether it will be via PPC ads, FB ads, referrals etc.

Want to learn more about how sales funnels work and how you can implement winning strategies and techniques yourself? Join me as I interview 25+ successful internet marketers, sales funnel specialist and copywriters at http://thesalesfunnelsummit.com.