A sales funnel remains a critical aspect of the sales pipeline, moving a prospect from their initial contact with a company to their eventual conversion to a paying customer.
Understanding what a sales funnel is and the different stages of the sales funnel are essential for a sales team to create an effective conversion funnel, as described in this article. With that knowledge, small business owners are ready to design their own sales funnel that drives sales and increases profits.
How to build a sales funnel for your business
Will an effective sales funnel help your small business acquire more customers and close more deals? Have you learned the four stages of the sales funnel and looked at several examples of the sales funnel, and are you now ready to build a sales funnel for your business?
The following steps will help you create the right sales funnel to support your marketing strategy:
1. Collect data about your target market
Information is essential to understanding your potential customers, and the first step to building an effective marketing funnel is collecting data about your current customers and target audience. What interests your current paying customers and what attracts them to your brand?
Conduct competitive research to better understand why potential customers choose other brands. The more data you can collect about your potential market, the more effectively you can build your sales funnel.
2. Grab attention with value
Your sales funnel can’t be effective if you don’t attract a potential customer to it. Offer something of value to grab attention. For example, a restaurant might offer a coupon for a free dessert to customers who sign up for the email newsletter.
Other ways to grab attention include SEO strategies, social media posts, and customer referrals. A diversified sales funnel will use multiple methods to attract prospects.
3. Provide prospects with content
It’s one thing to have the interest and desire to build a sales funnel for your small business, it’s quite another to design a conversion funnel that attracts prospects and closes deals. Once you’ve attracted customers with a valuable offering, where do they go?
One way to feed prospects with content is to build a landing page that other marketing efforts can link to. There, customers can be offered an engaging and useful blog post, videos, and ebooks to further educate them about a brand, its products and services. Another method of nurturing prospects with content is to set up an email campaign, where information is sent to customers’ inboxes over time.
4. Encourage people to take action
Once you’ve added sales funnel stages to spark interest in your company, products, or services, it’s time to encourage prospects to take action. Continue your marketing efforts along the sales pipeline, attract website visitors with a landing page and compelling blog posts, and gently lead prospects from the interest stage to the finish line.
Don’t assume that your prospects will automatically make a purchase decision based on the content you provide them. Make sure your content includes a clear call to action, asking for a sale or requesting a follow-up appointment.
5. Close the deal and stay in touch
Your sales funnel doesn’t end with a call to action. Whether the sale takes place online or in a brick-and-mortar store, the final stage of the sales funnel occurs with the cash transaction. Only then is the customer fully converted into a sale.
Of course, a successful sales process doesn’t just accept a customer’s money and forget about it. It’s important to promote repeat business and retain hard-won customers. Connect with customers throughout their customer journey and provide more content to encourage additional sales.
6. Optimize your sales funnel
Just because you’ve built your sales funnel doesn’t mean the process is complete. It’s vital to continuously monitor your results and look for weak spots in the funnel where more prospects are dropping out. If you manage your sales funnel properly, you should optimize it for continuous improvement.
Not sure how to optimize your sales funnel? The following tips should help you on your way:Evaluate your content at each stage of the sales funnel. How does each piece perform and how many prospects does the content capture? If some content is performing worse than others, or if potential customers aren’t clicking on the calls to action, it’s time to review your marketing content. Check your landing page. Does the content reflect the offer the customer brought there in the first place? Is there a call to action and is the page collecting the contact details of potential customers? Compare the results of different offers to better understand which value grabs customers’ attention and which value doesn’t. How many purchases are the result of different email and other marketing campaigns? If none of them are gaining traction, it may be time to overhaul your sales funnel. Keep track of your customers’ retention rates. How many conversions result in upsales, cross-sales or even repeat sales? Are existing customers referring the small business to new customers? If not, it’s time to focus on communicating with current customers to increase all-important retention.
Best Sales Funnel Software
Still unsure about building your own sales funnel? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many small business owners seek help developing effective conversion funnels and they use sales funnel software tools to help them design, implement, and optimize the best sales and marketing funnels and improve the buying process.
Looking for the best sales funnel builder? The following five software tools provide some of the best options for building effective sales funnels:
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The all-in-one sales funnel software is popular because it offers a complete marketing solution, including help with everything from social media campaigns to landing pages to email automation. Users can even sell products through GetResponse or integrate the software with their existing e-commerce solution.
Pricing: $49 to $165 per month for 1,000 to 10,000 users
Perfect for agencies, Kartra offers an all-in-one solution to improve your sales cycle. The comprehensive software helps design a company’s sales model with a website and landing page building, CRM lead database, email marketing automation options, opt-in forms, video hosting, live chat, and even checkout forms.
Pricing: from $79 to $249 per year
Entrepreneurs can collect unlimited leads with the Leadpages sales funnel building software. The popular unlimited plans allow users to build their own mobile responsive websites, landing pages, sales pages and popups using a simple drag and drop editor. While the software does not include email marketing tools, it is also a cheaper option than many alternatives.
Pricing: from $37 to $321 per month
The software offers a free plan with many features, making it a popular builder of sales funnels. Systeme.io helps users manage and automate their email campaigns, sell products, offer online courses to capture attention and gain credibility, and set up their own affiliate programs to boost their marketing efforts. The service even offers a free sample sales funnel template.
Pricing: Free for 2,000 content, then $32 to $116 per month for more
Sales teams can manage their sales funnel process for an unlimited number of contacts ClickFunnels software. Designed for small business owners with little to no coding knowledge, the easy-to-use tool includes features such as a landing page builder, pop-up editor, and plenty of helpful sales funnel examples.
Pricing: $97 for unlimited contacts to $297 per month for unlimited everything
How much does it cost to build a sales marketing funnel?
An effective sales funnel can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000, according to the experts at Stashlr. These costs can vary depending on the number of funnels, what they do, and how many tools are in them. Sales funnel software, on the other hand, can be used to build your own sales funnel for less than $100 per month.
How to create sales funnel stages in Excel?
You can design your own sales funnel stages in Excel using the popular software’s funnel chart. Excel users can even create the built-in funnel chart in a few easy steps:Create a chart with a column for the phases of the funnel and a second column for the values. Highlight all data. Open the ‘Insert’ tab. Choose “Insert Waterfall, Funnel, Stock, Area, or Radar Chart.” Select ‘Funnel. †
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