Drawing attention to your business is easy. Attracting leads is a little harder. But the hardest step of all is closing the sale. So often, you reach your target audience, garner some interest in your products and services, and then the interaction sort of fizzles out. What went wrong? And how can you do better to make sure you close the deal next time?
If you find yourself running into this issue, it may be time to consider your sales funnel. Let’s break down what a sales funnel is and how to make it work for you.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel depicts the journey that a customer takes from becoming aware of your brand all the way to making a purchase. Like a funnel, the first steps are wide and tend to catch a vast number of potential customers. As you get closer to the sale, however, some will begin to fall off.
To some degree, that’s normal. Your business may not be for everyone, which is why it’s important to have a target audience. However, there is definitely room for improvement. In 2022, reports showed that the average conversion rate for e-commerce sites as a whole was only 2.5%. your goal should be to bring as many of those potential customers as possible through to that final step. The trick is to hold their interest all the way through the sales funnel and continue to show your product or service as the solution to their problem.
The Steps of a Typical Sales Funnel
There are four steps to every sales funnel. From there, you can work to build your own sales funnel and bring in new customers. These steps are:
- Discovery. Your target audience becomes introduced to your brand through your ads or other marketing strategies.
- Interest. The potential customer recognizes that your product or service may be relevant to their needs and begins to take an interest, though no decision has been made. They may screen or contact you to ask for more information at this step.
- Decision. The customer makes a decision to purchase your product or service and prompts the beginning of the purchase process.
- Action. This step occurs when the customer actually purchases the product or service and the deal is closed.
In a best case scenario, however, there is one subsequent step: Loyalty. If the sale goes well and customers are happy with your products and services, they will hopefully come back for more.
How To Make a Sales Funnel Work For You
Once you know the steps, you can build a sales funnel that will help you drive potential customers to that final step. Here are a few things you can do to boost your sales funnel:
#1 Create a Target Audience Profile
If you want your sales funnel to be effective, you have to know who you’re marketing to. Think about your target audience. You can even build a persona to put a face to your ideal customer. Fill out a profile that answers these questions:
- Family or living situation
- Technological know-how
- Social media preferences
Once you have a developed idea of this target audience in your head, you can more effectively reach them through marketing and lead generation.
#2 Hook Audiences With Content Marketing
Engaging content marketing — whether it be blogs, video content, or imagery — is a great way to hook your target audience from the get-go. Your content marketing should offer helpful information relevant to prospective customers, with an encouragement to follow up in order to learn more. While your content marketing should have its home on your website, make sure to cross post or promote on social media.
#3 Build a Solid Landing Page
Your marketing, advertising, and content can lead back to a landing page on your website. On the landing page, potential customers should find everything they need to know about your brand and the service you offer. Your landing page should answer the question of why your brand offers the solution to the problem facing your target audience. It can also invite them to follow up or get started with your services.
#4 Incentivize Signing Up For Email Lists
An email list is a great way to keep your brand on the mind of your target audience. You can keep them in the loop of special offers that might suddenly make your products or services within their price range. You can incentivize signing up for your email list by offering gated content such as exclusive ebooks or PDFs in exchange for signing up.
#5 Focus on Customer Experience
Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye on both desktop and mobile. Ensure that customers have an easy time purchasing your product and that they receive prompt and helpful customer support. This focus on customer experience will help push them from interest or decision to action, and it may also help them get to that bonus loyalty step. If your customers feel taken care of, they’re much more likely to come back.