What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the process of narrowing, evaluating, and analyzing potential buyers for your business. In simplest terms, a sales funnel pools all potential customers together and then filters, and categorizes people into leads, prospects and customers.
Your sales funnel can be fully customized to your businesses needs and wants, but for the sake of simplicity, here is a generic sales funnel that is a good starting point for anyone or any business to work with.
Top of the Funnel – Leads:
Leads are people who are just being introduced to your company, or people who you decide to pursue for a sale. It is the first point of contact for your company, which makes is extremely important to make a good first impression to lay a good foundation for leads to transition down the funnel.
Tips for a Generating More Leads:
- Quick Follow Up:
A recent study found that leads are 9 times more likely to convert if you follow up within the first five minutes of the them expressing interest (filling out a form on your website, downloading an eBook, signing up for a newsletter etc). The way to contact your leads in this window of opportunity is through automation services and customer relationship management systems. Why not take advantage of all the great perks technology has to offer and implement an automation service? Lets face it, without it you’re losing leads, and your sales funnel won’t be effective. Find out about automation services and other CRM’s tools here.
- Attend Trade Shows & Networking Events:
Meet people, gain referrals , build up your brand and get your hand on a ton of business cards that could turn into leads
- Create eBooks, Newsletters, Blogs:
Content that will engage viewers and entice them to submit their email, name, and phone number in exchange for your free services.
Middle of the Funnel – Prospects:
Also known as a qualified lead, a prospect is someone who has made initial contact with your company and is still interested in your company’s products and services.
Turning Prospects into Customers:
- Ask questions to understand challenges, wants, needs, objections and trigger points.
- Offer incentives or time sensitive offers
- Free trials / Product Demo’s
- Make the relationship and the sale personal
Bottom of the Funnel – Customers:
You won the sale and secured a new client! You have now turned a prospect into a customer which is great but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to do. The goal is now to turn these customers into repeat customers to help you build long term relationships and increase your bottom line. This is where a good customer relationship management strategy comes into play and is important to implement.
Ways to Encourage Repeat Customers:
- Remind them of how you benefit them and what you can do for them
- Up-sell and cross-sell your products and services
- Pass on information about new products, offers, company news, or content they would enjoy (blogs, ebooks, etc)
- Reward / Loyalty Programs
- Offer free additional resources / services