Sales Funnels: Revealing the Secret Strategy to Success

In today’s era where everyone attempts to top market shares and profitability, stories of success and failures are all around you.

Successful are those who, if not increase, at least manage to sustain their break-even levels. On the other hand, failures are those who fail to cover up their costs in the shorter term and are unable to survive the competition in the market.

In this context, entrepreneurs and the effectiveness of their strategies is the distinguishing feature between successful businessmen and ordinary businessmen.

Behind every successful execution, there is a planned strategy. To understand this, let’s take the example of a football match. Successful football teams, prior to a match, make up at least two strategies. One for implementation and the other as a back-up.

Similarly, in order to make a business step worthwhile, you will always need an effective strategy. If you’re a new business operating in this world of highly digitalized market, a strategy that would lead you to success is this: Sales Funnel.

This technical term may seem like something beyond a layman’s understanding but, it is not too complex to be understood. Sales Funnel can be considered as one of the initial steps to setting the foundation for a successful business, especially if it’s a new one in the market.

So, if you’re a small-scale business freshly operating in a highly competitive market, take a look at how you can flourish as a business through the Sales Funnel strategy.

What is Sales Funnel?
Sales funnel is a fundamental principle of digital marketing. In this technologically advanced business environment, no businesses can truly flourish without effective digital marketing.

Let’s understand Sales Funnel with a simple example as follows:

Suppose you plan a visit to the shopping mall to buy a pair of trousers. While shopping, you stopped by several outlets for window shopping. Will you buy every product?

No. It is because you never intended to buy every trouser in the mall- you just want one pair of trousers that fits your need.

Wherever you were looking for ‘window-shopping’, that particular outlet or brand initially deemed you as a prospective customer even though you were simply a visitor.

Similarly, sales funnel aims to convert website browsers (according to our example, visitors) to prospective buyers. However, it isn’t as easy as it seems. From the step when the browser intends to make an online purchase, visits the homepage and finally makes a purchase, it is a long process consisting of multiple stages.

Successful marketers are successful only because they understand and acknowledge the human psychology. They know that no browser would click the purchase button at the first step. This is why, due to several relationship building experiences that occur during the stages, sales funnel is a multi -modality process.

Let’s go through these stages:

1. Establishing your Identity
To convert a prospect to a potential buyer, they need to be aware of your brand. Social media, in this context, plays a vital role in marketing you out to a large audience or making the prospect aware of your existence.

Take the example of Facebook and YouTube ads. Sure, nobody pauses a video to watch an ad, it is not completely unlikely to actually be able to market yourself within a few seconds. To make sure the prospect is aware of your existence (if you’re going with YouTube ads) make sure that within a few simple seconds, you’re able to present enticing and tempting offers- offers they simply can’t refuse!

It requires extensive effort, but if your prospect has entered the funnel and your website answers even a little of their query, you’ve made your name to them.

If a prospect Googles you then you’re in a dominant position. In fact you are on the next step in the funnel process. However, what you always need to remain associated with is your aim to convert the prospect to a buyer.

2. Develop Interest
As mentioned earlier, in order to grab the attention of your prospect, it is important for you to appear interesting. Whether it is an offer or a multi-color ad, whatever you present should instantly spark their interest.

Another effective strategy is to relate narratives of a story or relative pickup lines in your ad. Let’s look at an example:
You’re running a financial institution and your business motive is to provide loans. A large bold heading questioning your prospect could to an extent do the job for you.

“Are you a hardworking and determined individual? Are you constantly fretting over the future? Are you facing difficulties in raising finance for your educational expenses? If yes, we’re here to help you out!!!”

Something like this would definitely engage someone who is actually in need of financial support. In this way, you will be moving forward with converting the prospect to a customer. However, such an implementation is actually quite difficult because people have trust issues, especially if it is an organization that they aren’t familiar with. Therefore, you need to be very careful with your headings and choice of words.

3. Make Them Choose You
If you’ve engaged them to your website, the next step would be to make your prospect actually contemplate about your offer. This is the point where they will be deciding whether to buy your product or not.

This shows that they are in a confused state which means that you can always convince them through the right tools. Since you want the prospect to choose you and proceed with their decision, ease their decision-making process through positive customer reviews.

People depend a lot on reviews prior to buying a product as it builds their trust knowing that previous customers had good experience with a certain product or service. So, the following are a few ways you can use to assist them in reaching a decision:

  • Provide video testimonials and customer reviews
  • Paid Contents on Facebook and Google
  • Paid affiliate marketing through bloggers and vloggers
  • Website ads attached once the visitor leaves the website

Apart from all this, there is an additional element of exposure which, if existing and highlighted, plays a significant role in helping the visitor to make a decision i.e. media publication write ups.

4. Final Execution
Once you come here, you need to know that you’ve come through a long way. The ultimate action of the visitor depends on how they came up to this point through all the stages.

What’s more important is to remember that all the efforts vested in by you previously will go in vain if the visitor doesn’t turn into a buyer. Therefore, you need to work cautiously and smartly.

As discussed earlier, this is exactly the stage that differentiates smart entrepreneurs from simple businessmen.

Smart entrepreneurs have in mind the conversion rate of visitors to customers. For example, you invite 10 people to your site and this costs you $100, but you get two people to convert at $200 each, then you have a $400 return on $100 invested. This is exactly 4 times the amount invested. Conversion rate is an art and it is just all about knowing it.

This is how the world’s smartest entrepreneurs scale up businesses. A simple businessman would think a thousand times before taking a risk of investing. On the other hand, a smarter one would already be thinking about the return on it.

Smart marketers know what conversion value is. Moreover, they are also aware that once the visitor has entered the sales funnel, they are in a dominant position. This is particularly why, such entrepreneurs do not hesitate in investing a dollar for a 4 times higher return.

As mentioned over again, reaching to stage 4 and successfully concluding all the stages you’ve been through requires substantial efforts. However, a lot can be simplified by installing a sales funnel software as follows:

  • Write a Copy
  • Implement tracking pixels
  • Create Email sequences

Tips to Improve Your Sales Funnel Strategy
New businesses deal with the challenges of establishing an identity which is a time-taking process that delays their ability to engage in effective digital marketing.

However, once you have read through and understood the secrets of succeeding as a business through sales funnel, it is time that you improve your sales funnel for higher returns and greater profitability:

1. Entice visitors through several channels
Digital marketing is vast. It encompasses a number of different channels and forums that you can use to attract visitors, present enticing offers and convert them into prospects. From the many options, engage in SEO marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC) ads, affiliate marketing, and email marketing.

2. Evaluate the most effective forum
Data and metrics will provide you with the important information you need in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a certain channel or forum. Once you have the analysis, invest more time and resources into improving that particular method of marketing to attract visitors and convert them.

3. Maintain an active online presence
The online world has rapidly changing trends that you must keep up with to become a successful business. At present, the trend of content marketing is quite popular. So make sure to maintain a strong and active online presence by posting regular content to generate traffic to your website. Helpful content generates traffic, attracts visitors, converts and on an overall basis, improves your sales funnel.

4. Cater to Questions
Receiving questions about your products or services is a sign for your business; it means that you are being considered by your potential customers. If you receive questions in such regards, always make sure to offer detailed, useful and thoughtful answers to help them.This is important because if there are questions being asked by your customers, there is quite likely that others do as well which attracts visitors to your website.

5. Use several CTAs
Call to action is the digital form of the traditional ‘closing’ with sales. When you operate as a digital marketer, while you provide useful sources and guides to attract visitors, your goal is to convert them into prospects which is why you present them with the offer. That is your Call to Action (CTA).

However, with this detailed guide on sales funnel, we came to an understanding that there are several stages of buying for a customer. This means that not every customer is ready to make purchases; while some are, others are just weighing their options and looking for the best to choose.

This is why, it is important for you to incorporate several CTAs on your website. SEO marketing or offers of free eBooks would be better for customers who are in the process of research and are looking for the best one to choose.

6. Become a Valuable Part of your Industry
Even in today’s highly digitalized world, offline marketing can be successful if employed and executed in the right way. To improve your sales funnel, become a valuable part of the industry you operate in through expertise. You can do so by conducting seminars and sessions that allow you to engage in with customers and other businesses, guide them, and provide them with useful information for their personal or professional lives.

Conducting regular sessions will help you establish yourself as a salient part of your industry and instead of seeking out the prospects, you will be sought by the prospects for your entrepreneurial expertise.

Sales funnel can be your route to success if you use it the right way. So, make sure to learn according to your audience and industry, and adapt accordingly!

Originally Published on www.anthonyvallonejr.com