TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Sales funnels introduction
– what it is
– why you need it
– it’s easier than you think
2. Understand sales funnel stages
– the psychology behind its flow
3. Going against your istincts
– start at the end
– business goals
4. Content for each stage of the funnel
– what to use for every step
5. Create your sales funnel
– FREE funnel template
– customise it to your needs
6. Nurturing your prospects
– the art of creating honest relationships
with people you don’t know
– active ‘listening’
– how to know your funnel is leaking
– fixing the cracks
– clearing roadblocks
8. Goals & Learning Curve
– act like a business, observe numbers
– learning, adapting, winning
Sales funnels introduction
It is well known that if you have a business it means you need to keep up with technology. You also need to know modern ways of attracting clients. Whether you are an offline or an online business you’ll still need to design a journey for your new leads. In online terms we call this path a Sales Funnel. The terms itself comes from the upside down pyramid shape. It is a representation of a path which potential customers go through to become your clients.
The top (widest part) of the funnel has unqualified leads. They are people who don’t know you and to whom you have never spoken before. As they progress in the ride you take them on, they go through a series of steps which designed to end with a sale. If the sound of creating sales funnel makes you cringe – don’t worry! It’s easier than you think.
The challenge comes in little tweaks to make it more effective. Even with this in mind, preparing your first one won’t be a problem. Nowadays almost all email marketing providers have options of automation. Many of them will work with your website (integrations). It’s the matter of practice and knowing what to look for.
Sales Funnel Stages
The process starts when prospects hear about you the first time. Then they go through certain stages until they reach a stage in which transaction occurs.
The path will look different for various products and different leads. With this in mind you can design a very simple or a more complex journey for them. No matter the lenght of the process, there are usually four main stages.
These four steps will help you better understand how to design each of the elements of your sales funnel. Once you know what happens it becomes easier and easier every time you do it.
The AIDA Method
Creating a funnel based on four major steps:
Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action
This is the first element of a new journey we want our lead to start. He or she visits your platform: Website, Blog, YouTube or social media channel for the first time. They could have come from an ad, search engine search or a shared piece of content.
Your prospect becomes aware of one of the following two things:
– The problem/challenge she has and options to solve it
– The existence of your solution service/ product
Remember that the aim of any sales funnel is to solve your customer’s problem first. If you don’t inject any dose of humanity, but only focus on sales, you’re likely to miss a crucial observation. You’ll be coming from a needy ‘I want your money’ and not a ‘I can help you’ place.
The real magic happens when you build a product or service perfect for their needs. This only happens when it’s based on research and knowledge about your prospect. The more targeted your solution is the easier it is to attract your ideal customer.
A this stage our lead is looking for solutions to the challenge or problem they have. They know there’s a solution easing their pain. They are learning about helpful available options.
They are in a moment, where the pain is too intensive and often know holding any longer will only make it worse. This is a great moment to capture their attention once again. Once you caught their attention they may start following you on social media. They may become a subscriber (if they haven’t done it in step 1). By doing this they express an interest in your solution.
To start creating an interest use storytelling and email sequences creating relatability factor. There are various types of perspectives from which you can start.
There’s the ‘from zero to hero story’ based on hardships. You can also create an image of a leader. No matter which way you choose it is important to be consistent with your story. Once you know what angle you’ll take, you’ll need to provide it in a planned order. In simple words it is a rate of how often you’ll send your emails.
The key to business success is to master the art of getting prospects to make a decision. It isn’t easy the first few times. It contains complex combo of storytelling, clever copywriting, social proof and ad retargeting. If you’re genuine and come from honest place, with some practice, you’ll have a lot of success.
Practise makes the master
In this third step potential customer knows that they want what you offer. She/he becomes more interested in features of your service or product.
Now we have a warmed up prospect and so it’s time to get them to buy. We can do this through several ways. There are webinars, stage sales, sales pages, phone calls or even meetings.
This step is a space in which a final transaction occurs. Its success rate depends on how well prospects were moving through your funnel. You sign an agreement, exchange contracts. Our new client clicks a Buy Now button on your page. Next she/he transfers money via your chosen payment methods.
Now, you you can deliver your service or product. From here you can move them into other funnel, where the desired end action is different.
You may want to sell more products or maintain a relationship for your future launches. If prospects don’t buy as often as you’d like, it may be the case of having leaks in your funnel. Thus observation of performance for each of the stages is crucial. By paying attention to what happens at each step you’ll know whether it’s well designed.
Going against your instincts
When starting something new it is obvious that you should start from the first step. When it comes to designing sales funnels it is best to start from the last stage, which is your business goal. In general terms sales funnel is a series of steps to turn leads into clients. We’ll be starting from the end. When you know exactly what you want your prospects to do at the end, designing stages is much easier.
The image of a funnel shown in one of the sections above has a typical triangular shape. It doesn’t support this way of thinking. For this reason, when working with clients, I usually use a line. We design stages connecting point A with point B as if they were bus stops. If you wondered how it could look like you can download your own copy of my Sales Funnel Template. Use it to map out specific steps of your funnel. Starting from your platform, ending in your potential customers becoming actual ones. If you have no clue where to start it’s better to have a solid base.
Content types supporting steps
of your sales funnel
Sales transactions happen as a result of consistent marketing efforts. Often entrepreneurs make one huge mistake. They are moving prospects from one stage of the funnel to another too fast. It results in potential customers dropping out of the loop before they have a chance to get to know us. The Know – Like – Trust factor is one of the most important ones. This is why aligning content strategy with your funnels is crucial.
Great to introduce your content to new audience. Creates awareness and interest around your area of expertise.
Helps with engaging your existing followers. Works as a reminder of the value you bring by consistent exposure to your brand.
Send pieces of new content in your newsletters. Promote your older posts and cross link. Ask others to share your posts or link to them.
Videos can serve many purposes: from creating awareness to presenting your offer.
You can use them at any stage of your sales funnel as a supporting tool.
Videos with mixture of you speaking and some graphics keeps your viewers brain interested.
It’s a wonderful way to be a little bit more personal with your audience.
Consistent execution of your strategy forms a special bond with existing followers. This strenghtens as they get to know you better.
Post on regular basis to show you’re still in business and show you’re reliable. Engage with your audience to learn even more about their challenes.
What better way than a Live Stream to connect with your audience. They can see you in all your glory which is organic and much more believable.
They can interact with you which creates a frst spark of connection and authority.
Have structure for all your Live Streams so they don’t become a chat without purpose.
This form of inscentive gives you a chance to introduce yourself and provide value.
Sharing your knowledge raises apetite for your solution. It also increases your authority in the eyes of a potential client.
Focus on the pain your ideal client experiences. Show them the solution and make them believe success is possible.
They have a few good uses. Creating awareness when someone joins for the first time. Sparking an interest and finally selling. It’s a great all rounder solution. They can quickly grow your expert status much faster than other mediums.
Use a series of webinars when launching new product to create buzz and momentum.
Nurturing your prospects
The main role of sales funnel is to sell. Entrepreneurs often forget that a secondary, but important purpose is nurturing our prospects. No one likes to part with their money – especially with bigger sums. We spend them because we have a need for knowledge, pleasure, to soothe our pain (physical or mental). Thus at each of the steps we need to nurture our relationship with potential customers.
People rarely buy on a whim when it comes to premium products or services. The more complex our product or service the more features our lead needs to process. In reality this can be overwhelming and lead to indecision. It’s our role to infuse a dose of humanity and educate them on topics of their interest. This is important whether you are a personal brand or a faceless corporation. Even the biggest giants search for ways to get closer to end consumers.
Poeple buy from people. If you won’t dedicate enough time to nurture relationships you’ll loose.
In modern world where we have a lot of available options relations are an underrated tool. They help to create a tipping point at which customer chooses our product over other solution. Various people will have various reasons for buying and using your product. Customers make decisions in different ways. That’s why it’s crucial to cover your basis in all your communication within your funnel. This is also why you will need different attracting elements. Your options: lead magnets, various visuals, messages, forms of contentetc.
It’s dfficult to ‘listen’ online, but you still need to pay attention. The practice of ‘active listening’ will benefit you in longer term. You need to have your eyes and ears open at every stop your prospects make. What they say, comment, ask for ad click is all helpful information. Use it to create an effective sales funnel.
When your funnel is ready you may have an instinct to simply leave it and relax. Your work is not done yet – this is where it actually starts. Results come to those who can adapt and that’s exactly what you want to do. You need to collect data which will allow you to improve your funnel and get better results.
The weak links in our funnel are often called leaks or cracks and we need to take care of fixing them on time. The list of details creating them contains many aspects (see list on the right). There are aspects such as non-relevant content, not appealing messaging. Others include small or to big of a time gap between stages (you haven’t created momentum) and a few more.
Common reasons of leaky funnels
– non-relevant content
– not appealing messaging
– unclear navigation or website design
– inconsistent branding
– too small or too big of a time gap between stages
(you haven’t created momentum)
– unclear pricing
– use A/B (split) testing method
– use of heat maps
– improve email sequence/automation
– check if links/buttons are working
Right now you may be feeling like this
Goals and learning curve
No matter what digital marketing gurus say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It means that like most things in life and business, you get better with practice. Allowing yourself to get stuck will take you nowhere, so move forward: little by little. Start from a ready made solution and customise it. Fill it in with details specific to your industry, product and expertise.
The easiest way to start is to draw a straight line (as if you were drawing in a timeline). Create two points: A – your starting point (platform/distribution channel) and B – your business goal. Now you see why starting from the end (as earlier mentioned) is crucial. If you don’t know what your destination is you won’t be able to plan the journey.
Automation – Your Next Step
Your sales funnel doesn’t end when someone buys a product. To encourage future business there should be a way for you to stay connected and re engage. There are several ways how you can execute this step. Choose from news, updates, announcements and email sequences can do the trick.
You can program the process in a system which takes the automation off your shoulders. We want to work less amount of time with more results.
You can program the process in a system which takes the automation off your shoulders. We want to work less amount of time with more results. Use this step, even if you have a small number of subscribers. Every one of them can become your customer if nurtured.
Once you learned to design funnels
Hi, I am Axela! I help online bosses level up their business
and grow their income.
I teach business psychology and marketing strategies to #BeFullyBooked, Launch Courses, Programs & Live Happy with more time for what really matters.