Perhaps your highly-trafficked site isn’t getting adequate conversions. Or maybe customers click through your emails but fail to commit. Possibly quarterly sales goals are routinely missed. Clamping down on customer churn is a great way to keep your numbers looking good, but it’s only one part of the equation.
If your business is suffering from these or other sales woes, then it may be time to examine your sales funnel and make some changes based on more effective strategies. A solid sales funnel is the result of a comprehensive analysis of each stage of the process, not just a singular focus on one component. Adopting this all-embracing approach helps attract and retain quality leads and promote customer loyalty—which can trigger referrals from happy customers.
Why Your Business Needs a Sales Funnel
Whether offering web development services or physical products like tube socks, all businesses require a sales funnel. Most customers don’t buy upon first look at a product or service. First, they realize the product or service is available. Then they consider it–or forget about its existence until later. They may demonstrate some interest without being confident as to how the product or service works for them.
Getting from first contact to actual purchase can be a long journey. Most experts say it takes between seven to 15 interaction points before a customer makes a purchase.
A sales funnel is the plan to get customers to buy—a systematic series of touch points that build awareness, draws interest, and finally lead to a purchase.
All businesses require a sales funnel, particularly because of fierce online competition. Without one, customers will see your offerings and then buy from a competitor who has influenced them with a sales funnel.
The following contains five key tips for building a good sales funnel.
1. Adopt Traffic Boosters
Primary contact with leads involves drawing traffic to your website. Hence, tracking the effectiveness of the methods used to generate traffic is important.
Sponsored ads are worthwhile only if they convert to quality leads. Affiliate ads with partner sites can have more impact. Affiliate ads work by awarding a portion of each sale to a host site. For example, if a stock photo company promotes your web development business on its site with an affiliate ad, the business would get a cut of the sale. You only pay if the leads they generate actually become paying customers.
To properly evaluate affiliate ad impact and pay out for good referrals, adopt a system for tracking clicks and commission. Affiliate software can track clicks and calculate commission to help with streamlining the process. This way you’re only paying for clicks that actually convert.
Boosting your content can also grow organic traffic to your site. Blog posts, webinars and other high-quality content can add value to products and increase lead and customer engagement. You can also boost SEO with guest blog posts on other sites that drive links from trusted sources back to your landing page.
2. Enhance Lead Acquisition Efficiencies
When leads click through to your site, they should see a clear description of your offerings and a direct Call to Action (CTA). Don’t risk losing quality leads at the landing page level with confusing copy or no clear way to engage.
Incorporate eye-catching branding and content that explains your offerings. Leads want to feel appreciated. And they want to know exactly what your product or service is. This means giving them the opportunity to speak with a team member, which can happen with live chat software or messaging apps. Leads are three times as likely to become customers when they trust that a company is receptive.
The best way to boost engagement is to choose a platform with unified messaging capabilities, so sales communications across various platforms all come together in the same location. It gives you a clearer picture of lead activity and centralizes all your past communication with the client.
3. Grow Lead Conversions
The next step is establishing lead magnets on your landing page. Lead magnets collect lead data in exchange for a product or service sample.
Convincing leads to do this is a great first step. But transitioning from attraction to conversion takes persistence. When leads sign up for a mailing list or free trial, don’t let up outreach. If they don’t willingly sign up for a paid subscription after a free trial, engage with discounts or limited specials.
Generate a thank you page for any leads who follow your calls to action. The page should offer more relevant services and engagement opportunities. Constantly assess your affiliate ad performance, which can pinpoint the source of your quality leads and conversion stages.
4. Trigger Your CRM Software
Without a system to integrate customer data, lead conversion and acquisition can be tricky.
That is where customer relationship management software becomes invaluable. CRM systems streamline sales and support channels to track customer data all on one platform.
Maximize this data collection with personalized engagement through targeted ads, email marketing segmentation, and other tools for an individualized experience. Your company can track performance and adjust accordingly with A/B testing.
5. Build Long-Term Loyalty
Loyalty retention is crucial once you’ve converted leads to customers. Repeat customers deliver 40 percent of all sales on average, and become brand ambassadors.
Building customer loyalty is the first step in achieving this goal. Start with special customer perks and rewards. Some companies launch a reward system while others offer special benefits for an annual membership fee.
As long as your company has a system to reward its loyal customers, the model your company uses is your decision. This choice will be an essential aspect of your sales funnel.
Trust and communication are central to customer loyalty. Use support articles and blogs posts demonstrate your commitment to customer success. Blogging also aids brand positioning and visibility with potential leads. Update your content to showcase your company’s current best practices.
Nevertheless, Review Your Sales Funnel
Analyzing each stage of your sales funnel can help develop dynamic strategies for lead conversion and customer acquisition. Your organization can better determine acquisition successes and risks.
Successful organizations constantly review various approaches at each stage of the sales funnel. So, don’t stop at traffic generation or customer loyalty programs. Use the aforementioned tools throughout your entire sales funnel to bring about growth for your business.