No business in the context of modernity can do without marketing. The competition has become higher, and consumers are more demanding. Now every entrepreneur should know at least something about what a sales funnel, personal brand and objection handling are.
In the article we will talk about one of the main tools of any businessman and marketer.
Any sale is a certain sequence of actions of the buyer and the seller. These actions lead to a sale if the system is set up correctly, or to the fact that the entrepreneur loses a client if the tool was useless.
Therefore, a competent sales system can, firstly, enrich a businessman. On the other hand, its absence will lead to a senseless waste of the budget and bankruptcy. This can be avoided by analyzing the results of the funnel and adjusting your actions.
What is a sales funnel in simple words?
The term "sales funnel" was proposed back in 1898 by American advertiser Elias St. Elmo Lewis. The bottom line is to create a consumer-facing marketing model. In other words, it is something that illustrates a potential consumer’s path to buying something.
Most importantly, if you understand the needs and steps of the client, you can control his behavior. This tool allows you to control the deal, and those who do not have it usually rely on the quality of the product and luck.
The funnel itself starts with the advertisement that attracted the person and ends with the payment of the offer. The standard stages of a sales funnel are customer ignorance, awareness, interest, desire, and purchase.
This model of consumer behavior was called AIDA. Such a scheme appeared quite a long time ago: in 1989, in 1989. It was created by the same Elias Lewis. AIDA is an abbreviation that stands for:
- Attention – the attention of a potential client;
- Interest – the appearance of a potential buyer’s interest in the offer;
- Desire – the appearance of his desire to buy a product or service;
- Action – a person’s purchase of a product or service.
In practice, people can return to previous stages, skip over them, lose the opportunity to pay for goods, etc. Despite the non-linearity of consumer behavior, the sales funnel still works effectively. It allows you to find problematic issues and correct them.
Functions and Examples of Sales Funnels
We figured out what a sales funnel is and explained it in simple terms. Now let’s take a closer look at the main functions of funnels.
The main function of a sales funnel is to build a customer route. Accordingly, auxiliary functions follow from this:
First, monitoring the performance of employees. Among them are sales managers, SMM specialists and so on. Knowing all the stages of sales, it will be much easier to analyze the effectiveness of different actions.
Secondly, the analysis of the effectiveness of the implemented tools. For example, if at the first stage most of the people were weeded out, and on the second, on the contrary, they went further, it is the first stage that needs to be corrected.
In addition, the sales funnel allows you to build a clear sales algorithm and make forecasts.
Sales funnel example
Imagine that you have an offline store. You have compiled a sales funnel that looks something like this.
- Informing. Salespeople make cold calls, you place outdoor ads, and you run ads online.
- Benefits. Someone starts to be interested in your offer. Managers talk about the benefits of the product, reviews and promotions.
- Commercial offer. Lead to action. Some potential buyers who are still in doubt are offered more favorable conditions for them.
- Agreement and invoicing
- Action, that is, payment for the purchase.
Imagine that 1,000 people learned about you through advertising and the work of a manager. Consequently, 500 of them became interested in the proposal and received more detailed information about the benefits. Advantages, however, interested only 150 of them. 130 people agreed to the terms of the commercial offer. As a result, only 110 people reached the payment stage.
We draw conclusions: most of all people were weeded out at the first stages. This means that the ways of advertising are inefficient, the benefits are not good enough. Accordingly, it is these stages that need to be worked on.
Another case: the photographer wanted to get new clients. He created a lead magnet, that is, a cheap offer to attract potential buyers. Then he launched social media ads.
First, he made small shoots of 500 🪙 for 30 people, spending a total of 2 working days and earning 15,000 🪙. But that’s not all! Secondly, of these 30 people, almost half ordered other shootings from him. For example, wedding, reportage, etc., which cost much more.
How to build a sales funnel?
First of all, the principle of creation is universal and suitable for any business. As a result, only the content will differ. You can build a sales funnel both in excel and using Google spreadsheets, special services like MANGO OFFICE or through any CRM.
Define channels for attracting a client, for each of them there will be a separate funnel. Among them may be social networks, outdoor advertising, cold calls, a website, and so on.
Imagine a portrait of your target audience, think about how you will close the pain of these people. Find out all the benefits of your product or service. Create a sales funnel – this is done in 6 steps.
1 Prepare an offer that will draw attention to you
Of course, it must reflect competitive advantages and benefits. Give arguments that help get rid of consumer fears. If, for example, people are afraid for quality, tell us about certificates, experience in the industry.
Use triggers like “want to make more money? Learn a new profession … ". Be relevant: “Want to lose weight by summer? Come to our sports club at competitive prices"
2 Define promotion channels
Here are some examples: e-mail newsletters, auto webinars, SMS mailing lists, TV advertising. Pay attention to where your audience spends more time, and to the specifics of your products or services.
It can also be advertising on the radio, flyers, leaflets. In addition, you can try advertising through a blog, guest posting, at trade shows and other events.
3 Think of a way to interest
Tell us about the quality of services, the possibility of fast delivery, installments, discounts, etc. If you offer a person to buy a suitcase profitably, he will leave to compare with competitors. If you say that only this week leather suitcases are at the price of leatherette, the likelihood of a sale will increase.
4 Deal with objections
Rarely can you sell right away, and the more specific the product, the more questions the customer will have. The most popular objections are: “you are expensive”, “I will think about it”, “I am not sure that you have a quality product”, etc. There are obvious objections that are easier to deal with. In addition, there are hidden objections that require a fruitful dialogue with the client to identify. Scripts for working out some objections are available on the Internet.
5 Close the deal
Here we are thinking about what to do if the client agreed, but delays with payment. Most often this happens due to the fact that the manager did not finalize at the previous stage.
On the other hand, the Internet business is different. For example, a person adds a product to the cart on the site, but something distracted him. In the meantime, we come up with a reminder mechanism. Additionally, you can give a small bonus.
6 Analyze your funnel and improve conversions
First of all, we check the effectiveness of each stage and tool, measure the conversion and overall performance. Of course, sales analytics is important for those who want to improve business results.
For example, sales funnel analysis uses perceptual maps, benchmarks, and other tools. First of all, problems arise due to choosing the wrong advertising channels, bad reviews, complicated ordering methods.
In the meantime, we are improving conversion, adjusting stages, tools, and team work.
First of all, don’t be a perfectionist. Even an experienced marketer will not create the perfect funnel the first time, almost everything needs to be tested. Avoid unnecessary steps that don’t make much sense. Improve each stage, not just the incoming stream, and value each client.
Creating a funnel is not difficult if you know your product and your audience. The most important thing is to start!