A high-converting sales funnel is your path to a fulfilling and profitable career.
Ask anyone in a sales role, and they’ll tell you they would love a high-converting sales funnel. Even if they already have a leading conversion rate, the best salespeople are always trying to improve it.
That’s to be expected. Whether it’s a desire for a better income or simply the challenge of figuring out how to improve, a high-converting sales funnel is a concrete way to gauge your effectiveness as a salesperson. There’s a definitive outcome, one way or the other, for every part of a sales funnel.
Ideally, of course, that outcome is closing a deal. And while we know that a 100% conversion rate is pretty darn unlikely, we’d all like to get as close to that as possible. So, then, the question is: How do you make your sales funnel better and more profitable?
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What does a sales funnel look like?
To briefly review, a sales funnel is the process your prospects go through on the path to becoming your customer. The process begins when they come across your business. That could be through a recommendation, a social media post, or a cold call. It’s not how they find out about you; it’s that they are now aware of your product or service.
From there, the journey continues through growing more acquainted with your business, deciding to pay for your product or service, and taking action to complete the sale.
Some businesses like to break down the funnel into smaller sections, which you certainly can do if it’s helpful. That might include things like joining your email list, signing up for webinars, getting the free trial, or setting appointments with a salesperson.
It’s also worth noting that some prospects will go through the journey quickly, while others may take time. They might circulate through parts of the funnel, and some may decide to exit your sales funnel altogether at any point along the way.
For a high-converting sales funnel, you want to limit the number of people who exit, and nudge them toward completing the journey. That’s no surprise. But how does that happen?
The 7 ways to create a high-converting sales funnel for your business
1. Start at the start. Where does your sales funnel begin? Are you working toward that early awareness stage? How? A few ideas to spark that awareness fire are developing a referral program, making more targeted cold calls, or adding a blog to your website with helpful information about your product or service. For example, if you sell insurance, you could write blog posts about the questions to ask your insurance provider or how to get the most coverage for the least money.
2. Define your audience. It’s one thing to cast your net and pull people into your awareness funnel, but if you want a high-converting sales funnel, it’s vital to define your audience and actively work to reach them. For example, if you have a real estate business specializing in vacation condos or timeshares, your target audience will be different than if you specialize in working with first-time home buyers.
3. Solve a problem. Once you define your audience, it’s much easier to determine what problem you need to solve. That’s the end point of your funnel, of course, but you still need to move your audience in that direction. In fact, this is how you build awareness in the first place – you promise to solve a problem. Then you fulfill that promise to close the deal. Taking the real estate example above, if you want to bring first-time homebuyers into your funnel, you might solve the problem of navigating the complexity of the process.
4. Call to action. Once you solve the problem to your prospect’s satisfaction, you still need to direct them to the next step. What do you want them to do? Call you for a consultation? Set up an in-person or online appointment? Hand over their credit card information? Once your prospect decides they want to buy your product or work with you, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. For every second they have to go looking for your email address or phone number, that urgency is waning. Whether it’s a button on your website that says, “Click here to buy now,” or you’re on the phone with them, make it clear and easy for them to take action.
These are your basics, but if you really want a high-converting sales funnel, put these advanced techniques into the mix.
5. Capture contact info. Once you have your prospects’ contact information, you can take a more active role in engaging them and moving them through your sales funnel. How do you do this? It’s simple, really. Invite them to be on your newsletter list or call list. Here’s the tricky part, though. No one is going to just hand over their contact information. No one is looking for more sales emails and calls. You have to provide something valuable in exchange. That might be a white paper, software trial, insurance quote, or good old-fashioned useful information that you send out with your email newsletters. The point is that once you have that contact information, you can continue engaging with your audience.
6. Don’t overdo it. Do you need to continue nurturing your prospects to keep them in your sales funnel? Yes. Do you need to email them every day? No. Your timeline will depend on the product or service you’re offering, as well as how much content you produce. That might range from once per week to once per month for emails.
7. The sale is not the end of the funnel. One issue we see regularly is the assumption that a high-converting sales funnel begins with awareness and ends when a deal closes, or a sale is made. But your customer is still your customer. They may make future purchases, sign up for additional services, and refer friends or colleagues your way. Your job at this point is to ensure satisfaction and promote loyalty.
The beauty of a sales funnel is that it gives you and your customers a path toward building a relationship. And that’s always a win.
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