One of the most important things when it comes to digital marketing is having an effective sales funnel. Even if you are new to the world of online marketing, learning how to create a sales funnel should be top priority on your task list.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
Essentially, a sales funnel is the path by which your online consumers reach your website and go through the buying process. It’s easier to visualize it as a marketing funnel because some people may stop at the top while others will roll through until the end. If you don’t want to miss a potential sale, you can build a process for sales funnel automation. This will navigate a potential buyer to reach the end of the funnel and secure a purchase by creating a sales funnel that yields conversions.
You can use the power to directly influence consumers inside the digital marketing and sales funnel. Through each stage the lead nurturing benefits are more prominent when conversions are made from building a sales funnel with sales and marketing tactics woven throughout. This can be accomplished by optimizing the user experience throughout the sales funnel stages.
Sales Funnel Stages
There are four sales funnel stages and each one is critical in guiding a potential customer to complete a purchase.
This is directly linked with lead generation and gaining consumer attention. You can think of it similarly to when you first meet a person in real life. If you are interested in nurturing any type of relationship with that person, you will try your best to impress them. Be clear with your intent. Lead nurturing could even widen the funnel to your benefit.
Increasing your brand awareness online works the same way. You and your digital marketing team need to craft creative content that boosts your brand awareness in a positive way. You need to entice potential customers into engaging with your company and entering into the sales funnel.
There are several ways to get your company in front of the right eyes, such as:
- PPC ads
- Social media posts
- Keyword optimization
- Sponsored ads
Be sure you keep an eye on the customers in this stage. Once you capture a customer’s attention, show them what you have to offer is desirable. This way you know exactly when they have moved from being informed to interested in your product.
Now that you have gotten their attention, you need to pique their interest to keep them inside the sales funnel. If you find that people are leaving your website within a few seconds, that means you are not offering anything they are interested in sticking around for. It may also mean that you’re targeting the wrong audience.
To generate interest, you need to show the consumer your expertise and why they should trust your product or service to meet their needs. This sales funnel stage does not need to be too forward or salesy. If you push too hard for a sale, you could end up turning the potential buyer off of your product completely. Instead, navigate your efforts to help the customer make an informed decision. This can be automated with potentially introducing a chat bot to your site or content that irons out questions.
The decision stage of the marketing funnel is the turning point of making a sale. This is where the potential customer decides that they want to purchase your product or service.
At this point, you can entice them further by offering free shipping or a discount code. To sweeten the deal even more, you could add in a bonus product or service for free. Give them an offer that is too good to pass up. It has to be good enough to convert them to act upon following through with the purchase.
The final section of the sales funnel is when the potential customer becomes an actual customer and makes a purchase. This is referred to as the bottom of the sales funnel. However, once they reach the bottom of the sales funnel, your work is not over. One-time buyers are not the goal. You will want to automate this process during this conversion period to sift out loyal, brand advocates. You want to create a base of loyal, returning customers. In other words, you should continue your online marketing strategy by focusing on customer retention. The sales and marketing funnel will continue to work in tandem for these cycled results.
You can achieve this by doing the following:
- Sending a thank you email
- Offer a limited time trial
- Send a discount to reclaim an abandoned order.
- Asking for feedback
- Offering tech support for services
Taking the time to use an effective sales marketing platform will increase your conversion rate and boost your brand’s online presence. Make sure this strategy furthers the value of your business so you can work on building up the momentum for a potential buyer’s return.
The Importance of a Marketing Funnel
The importance of the marketing funnel framework is to embed an effective marketing strategy into your current processes. Being able to bring in more revenue will come when you can widen the top of your funnel. This way you can generate a higher number of sales and see your customer base grow.
With a marketing funnel, you have the opportunity to make the most of your efforts and even automate to operate at a high level of efficiency. Once you work in your funnel strategy, a retainable customer rate will lead to sustainable business growth. From here, you can tap into other methods that will strengthen the base of your campaign.
You will want to see your marketing funnel:
- Create an ideal level of awareness for your targeted market
- Interact with your audience and provide value to them increasing their trust
- Convert content consumers to loyal brand advocates and buyers
- Deliver a great customer experience for them to return
Measuring the Success of Your Sales Funnel
Knowing where to start with measuring ROI of content can be a bit tricky and sometimes intimidating. To curb this issue, the best way to get ahead with measuring the success of your sales funnel is by taking note of your sales funnel efficiency.
To pinpoint inefficiencies in the varying stages of your sales funnel, find the weak spots that are detrimental to your ROI. Knowing which measure equates to success will clear things up. Start looking at these measuring tools to gauge your sales funnel efficiency:
- Traffic Sources and Engagement Statistics
- Call-to-Action Effectiveness
- Email Click Rates
- Landing Page First-Touch Submissions
- Performance of Email Marketing Automations
With these general areas, you have an organized starting point to focus on what part of your marketing automation process needs altering. Your analytics will tell you what to do. Remember, these are direct results of your customer behaviors so let them guide you in the right direction.
How We Can Assist
SharpSpring, Inc. is a full marketing automation company that can provide your business with the sales funnel automation it needs to develop a powerful marketing sales funnel. For more information or to request a demo, visit our website today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel?
The sales vs. marketing funnels differ with sales filtering through qualified leads to nurture after they have had their first touch with the brand from the marketing funnel, while the goal of the marketing funnel is to guide them from the top of the funnel to the bottom. This funnel teaches prospects about your brand while collecting data to understand what their particular buyer journey will look like.
How do I create a sales funnel?
Creating a sales funnel starts with examining the best practices that work for you. Start with attracting your target audience, earn your prospects, interact with your leads, then re-target those that segment into your audience.
Why is a sales funnel important?
Sales funnels allow you to create lasting relationships with your prospective customers and grow your brand. With a sales funnel you can accurately visualize the entire buyer’s journey from brand awareness to conversion follow through. You will have a unique edge against your competitors while setting up a framework with ideal technique that appeals to your target audience.
What is an example of a sales funnel?
Usual main steps go from awareness, interest, decision to action. The top of your funnel will be open for the customers who fit the buyer persona for your product.
Focusing on the leads already invested in your brand will help you quickly move them through creating a sales funnel and repeat the process.
What is a click funnel vs sales funnel?
For the best breakdown on what are click funnels vs sales funnels, recall the function of a sales funnel first. Sales funnels have a focal point of converting prospects into loyal buyers of your product and advocates for the brand. Meanwhile, click funnels are designed to produce a moment of conversion. However, this does not always lead to a purchase. Now that this individual is in your audience, you can continue to nurture them to the end of the funnel as you aim to convert them into a buyer.