Creating a sales funnel is essential for moving prospects from initial contact to the final sale. You can then track the level of behavior and engagement at each stage to see where the prospect is in the sales funnel and determine how well it is working.
There are many ways to create a sales funnel, and different businesses and industries have their own types of sales funnels. Follow these steps to create a sales funnel for your business:
- Create a landing page.
The landing page is often the first opportunity for a prospect to learn about your business and its products and services. Users will arrive at your landing page in different ways; they might click an ad or link on a social media page, download an e-book, or sign up for a webinar.
Your landing page should clearly describe your company and the unique benefits of your product or service. The landing page might be your only opportunity to impress prospects, so the copy should be strong and compelling. It should also include a way to capture the prospect’s contact information so you can continue to communicate your value to them.
- Offer something valuable.
For a prospect to provide their email address, you must give them something in return. For example, you might offer a free e-book or whitepaper with useful and informative content.
- Nurture the prospect.
Now that the prospect has shown enough interest to provide their email address, nurture the prospect with content that educates them about your product or service. You’ll want to stay in touch with them regularly (once or twice a week) but not so frequently that they get bored or turned off by all the content. Make sure the content addresses their key needs and overcomes any potential objections.
- Close the deal.
Make your best offer – one that is difficult for the prospect to ignore or turn down – to close the deal. For example, you could provide a product demonstration, a free trial, or a special discount code.
- Keep the process going.
At this point in the sales funnel, the prospect has either become a customer or decided not to make the purchase. In either case, you should continue the communication and relationship-building process.
If the prospect becomes a customer, continue to build the relationship by educating them about your products or services, engaging them regularly to build loyalty, and offering them great service to retain them as valued customers. If the prospect does not make a purchase, stay in touch with them through regular emails. Continue to work on converting them into customers by using different email nurturing series.
- Optimize your sales funnel.
Even though you’ve created a sales funnel, your work is never done. You should continually look for ways to improve and optimize your sales funnel, and determine where you are losing prospects. Focus on the areas where prospects move from one stage of the sales funnel to the next.
Begin at the top of the funnel. Evaluate how well each piece of content is doing. Are you capturing enough prospects with your initial content? The goal of your content is to get prospects to click the call to action (CTA). If they are not doing that, or one piece of content is getting fewer clicks on the CTA, then rework that element or try something new.
Evaluate your landing page. Your offer and CTA should mirror the content (e.g., blog post, Facebook ad) that brought the prospect to your landing page. Are prospects trusting you with their contact information? Test every part of your landing page (e.g., headline, images, body copy, CTA) to find out what is working and what is not.
Test every offer in the action stage of your sales funnel. Compare the results of different offers (e.g., free shipping versus discounts). How many purchases are you getting with your email nurturing campaigns and other marketing efforts? If one offer gets much better results than another, focus on using that offer to close prospects and see if you can improve upon it.
Track your customer retention rates. Determine how often customers return to purchase your products or services. Do customers come back more than once, and are they buying other products or services? Keep track of how often they refer others to your company.
Key takeaway: To generate sales funnel leads, create a landing page and use digital content to drive users to your website. Then, capture their contact information to continually market to them throughout their buying journey.