Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or new to the world of online marketing, you may have heard the words ‘sales funnel’ in your online travels.
In this post I’ll explain what a sales funnel is and why you need one (even if you think you don’t).
In short, a sales funnel is the way you lead your potential customer on a journey to becoming a paying customer.
A sales funnel in the online marketing world will help turn website visitors into email subscribers, and email subscribers into customers or clients.
What is a sales funnel?
As mentioned above, it is the way you are guiding your customer through your business to becoming a paying client.
The word funnel is often used to describe this journey, because when you create a visual representation of this process it looks like a funnel.
This is often what it looks like:
The top of the funnel is the widest, because this is where the beginning stages of awareness happen, while the bottom of the sales funnel is for paying customers.
The goal is to “funnel” down your prospective customers into those who are serious about buying.
How does a sales funnel work?
There are various steps, or stages, of a sales funnel that your prospective customer goes through.
We’ll go through those stages below:
The first stage is when your prospective client becomes aware of a need they have, for example they are looking to solve a problem and search for the answer to that problem. They might become aware of your solution through your blog or a video.
The next stage is where they are becoming interested in your product, as you have shown them that you have a solution for them. They might decide to join your email marketing list for further information.
In this next stage your prospective customer will compare you with others who offer a solution to see who offers the best solution to their needs.
The decision stage is where your prospective customer is ready to make a purchase. They have evaluated the options and now they have made a decision on what’s right for them.
This final stage is where the prospective customer becomes a paying customer. They have committed to purchase.
Depending on your offer, your sales funnel might be a longer process than others. Products and services that have a higher price point may need a longer sales funnel and more frequent points of contact than lower priced products or services.
Do you need a sales funnel?
Yes you do!
Everyone needs a sales funnel, whether it’s an online sales funnel or an offline sales funnel. A sales funnel is essentially a step by step process of guiding your prospective client through a decision making process to becoming a paid client.
It’s important to create a strategy for your sales funnel so that you are making the most of every marketing activity in your business.
You’re there to guide them to take the next step in the purchase process.
You want to nurture your prospective clients to the point where they realise they can’t live without buying your product or service.
Why do you need a sales funnel?
I think we discussed some of this in the previous point but I’ll elaborate on why you need a sales funnel.
Having an online sales funnel (or multiple funnels) gives you the opportunity to not always be chasing the next sale. It allows you to automate parts of your business so that you can focus on working with your clients or delivering a stellar product.
Great sales funnels build trust and credibility over time by providing incredibly valuable content to your readers. Gaining trust will give your prospective customers an incentive to buy from you, as purchase decisions are often based on the know, like and trust factor. A sales funnel facilitates this know-like-trust process.
A well thought out sales funnel is crucial to scaling your business. It helps you with building authentic relationships with your prospective customers and nurture them to become long-time customers and advocates for your business.