It doesn’t matter how well-made or valuable your product is. If nobody knows about it, sales will be low. The sales funnel is a marketing strategy that uses different techniques to attract attention and convert prospects into paying customers.
An effective sales funnel is an essential part of any business, whether you’re just starting or have been in the game for years.
The sales funnel usually starts with cold leads at the top of your customer pipeline who don’t know anything about what you do but are open to hearing more. At this point, they might be interested in learning more about your company or even making a purchase based on what they’ve read so far.
As visitors move down the sales funnel, they become more familiar with what you have to offer and are ready to take a leap of faith and buy something.
Let’s dive into the details of a sales funnel and how it can help you in your business.
What are a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is a strategic marketing process designed to transform leads into sales. It can be made up of different sales and marketing materials you use, such as sales letters, product descriptions, and videos.
A typical sales funnel comprises three main steps: attracting cold leads, creating sales-ready leads, and converting sales-ready leads into customers. Each one requires a different strategy aimed at reaching them with your product in new ways.
You want your sales funnel to start wide and gradually move down in size as with any sales process. The biggest part of the sales funnel is attracting cold leads. These are people who know nothing about your business but might be enticed by what they read.
Components of the sales funnel
In general, the sales funnel has three main parts: attracting cold leads, creating sales-ready leads, and converting sales-ready leads into customers.
Attracting cold leads is the widest part of any sales funnel because you want to attract as much attention to your business as possible to give people a chance to learn about what you do. You don’t need sales materials at the top of the sales process since it’s just getting started.
Creating sales-ready leads means trying to move them closer to making a purchase. Depending on your company, you might start by emailing sales materials or building links that redirect them straight to sales pages where they can buy something immediately. When visitors reach this stage in the sales funnel, they’re ready to buy your product.
Converting sales-ready leads into customers means turning interested visitors into paying customers. This is often done by adding sales on top of sales during the sales process to get more people buying. For example, you could add an upsell or cross-sell that offers another version of what your visitor was considering buying.
A successful sales funnel will allow you to attract more people’s attention to transform them into paying customers while decreasing the amount of time it takes for them to finally reach the funnel’s end where they make an actual purchase. You want your company’s name and logo out there. Still, it would help if you had good sales materials and strategies to generate leads interested in what you’re selling.
Getting started with sales funnels
When creating sales funnels, you want to start at the very beginning by attracting cold leads. These people know nothing about your business but are enticed by what they see or read on sales materials. You can try testing out different sales material types to see what works best for your business.
Determine what your goals at the start of the funnel are. Getting the emails from the visitors is usually the start of most funnels as that allows the business to do warming up of the leads.
After you have determined your goals for the start of the funnel, map out the process needed to help convert the cold leads to paying customers.
The funnel can include sending out educational emails, sharing more about the products/services the business has, and giving out free samples.
Types of sales materials in a sales funnel
In general, there are three types of sales materials in a sales funnel. You can use them as it is or combine them to form a huge funnel.
Educational: Educational materials are popular materials, and millions are made using this type of sales material. It’s important to ensure that sales tools are not sales-y when it comes to sales material types. The focus is to educate and even convince the leads that their product/services solve their needs.
This material will be useful if the product requires user education before they are convinced to buy.
Upsell/Downsells: Upsells/Downsells are sales materials that offer something in addition to the purchased product. They are sales material that helps sales-ready leads to get the most out of what they’re buying via the upsells in the backend.
Downsells are sales materials that offer something less than the product being purchased. They are sales material that helps sales-ready leads to saving money on their purchase.
Cross-Sells: Cross-sells are sales materials that offer something related but not the same as the purchased product. They are sales material that helps sales-ready leads to get more for what they’re buying.
This material will be useful to give sales-ready leads more of what they want to get them to buy. This sales material will have the least sales resistance.
Tips for implementing your sales funnel
The sales funnel will allow you to attract more people’s attention to transform them into paying customers while decreasing the amount of time it takes for them to finally reach the funnel’s end where they make an actual purchase.
You want your company’s name and logo out there. Still, you also need good sales materials and strategy to generate leads interested in what you’re selling.
Before adding sales material, determine what is your goal at that specific stage of the sales funnel. Then, map out what you think needs to be done to help move sales-ready leads closer towards making a purchase.
There’s no way to be 100% sure that people will go from one step to the next in a predictable manner. Still, you should think about all of the common paths people might take and make sure they know what steps are ahead of them.
Start at the very beginning by attracting cold leads to the sales funnel. Once sales material is created, promote it via marketing tactics like social media and email campaigns.
At the end of the sales funnel, ensure that you include a strong CTA (Call-to-Action), which will prompt sales-ready leads to make a purchase. The CTA should denote that now is the time for them to buy your product/service, or they might miss out on something special.
Having a sales funnel for your business allows you to increase the possibilities of getting more sales-ready leads on board with your company’s name and logo out there. Having useful sales materials along every step of the sales funnel will allow sales-ready leads to get the maximum benefit from their purchase.