In its simplest terms, a sales funnel is a capture mechanism that is set-up to capture leads. These leads are visitors to a website, blog or capture page who, when they sign up, become a part of a mailing list. From your marketing strategy to customer retention initiatives, each component of your business is influenced by a well-constructed sales funnel. Let us examine the sales funnel analysis below to understand the basic components you need to have in place to build long-term profitability into your business. However, keep in mind this is a guide only. The progression from prospect to client as depicted in the chart might not necessarily follow in this order.
Prospects are essential to any growth-focused business. From potential customers on LinkedIn to fans on Facebook, filling your funnel with prospects is crucial for long-term success. But even more important is the shift from prospect to client or buyer. Prospecting new customers for your business is a never-ending venture.
Moving potential customers from the prospect stage to the contact stage is the next natural progression in sales funnel development. Beta testers for your app, subscribers to your email newsletter, virtual attendees to your online webinars; these are all examples of transitioning prospects to contacts and is concerned with people who have expressed an interest in what you have to offer.
Leads can be acquired from a campaign you run with a bonus incentive. This could be an e-book, mini video tutorial, contest or gift card to name a few. Your offer should be perceived as high value. When potential customers transition from interested observers to the decision making stage, they have made the move from business contacts to sales leads. Whether they’ve requested a customer catalog, signed up for a product demonstration or received a bonus incentive, your team’s ability to deftly escort leads to the finalist stage is an exciting and enviable position to be. Keep in mind that your product should fulfill a powerful need. Let this be your focus. You are in a business to be of service to others. Be genuine and sincere and the financial rewards will follow as trust is established.
When customers are contemplating your business offerings, your sales funnel is at its most fragile stage. Failure to satiate the needs of a potential customer at this stage can send a sales lead spinning out of your sales funnel and into the waiting arms of a competitor.
At the client stage, you have now arrived at the most important stage because your hard work has paid off and now your prospect is a buyer. This is a time for celebration, yet this is when the real challenge begins with regards to customer retention. Your number one task is to turn your buyers into brand ambassadors. Your ability to make brand ambassadors out of loyal clients ensures your sales funnel will never lack potential prospects again.
Are you ready to start filling your sales funnel and grow your business?