What is a sales funnel, and why should companies plan their own carefully?

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a common term used in marketing for the path that potential customers go through when purchasing a service or product from a particular company. The most common stages of a hopper are known as the top, bottom, and middle, although these can vary greatly depending on the company’s sales model. The sales funnel thus covers the entire purchase phase for customers, from the awareness phase to research, comparison and the purchase decision.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re sure to know the feeling of having a good-looking store just behind you. After weeks of prospecting, presentations, sales talks and demos, the lead will jump out of your pipeline, leaving you to lick your keys.

This is perfectly normal. It will happen and you will experience the same hair loss several more times when you sell your product. The funnel models of many small businesses are more like a strainer.

A malfunctioning funnel is full of holes from which prospectuses and leads can leak out. Every poorly tired Excel spreadsheet, a poorly written sales letter, a missed sales appointment, an missed follow-up call, and a lost sticky note are a new hole in your funnel.

It’s a bit like tearing banknotes into pieces. Fortunately, a carefully constructed sales funnel can significantly reduce the likelihood of a trade failure. It’s often a golden tool to help elevate a company’s digital sales to new readings.

Why is a sales funnel important to your business?

A sales funnel will help you understand what your potential customers think at each stage of the customer path. These crumbs of information allow for more effective investment in marketing and communication with customers at different stages. The benefits of the sales funnel are clear - with targeted marketing communications, you can convert more prospects into paying customers.

When you separate the parts of the hopper, you will also see very clearly the purchase path of the customer. When will a customer switch from an interested prospect to a lead considering a purchase? What steps are vital to your sales? How do you log leaking holes, and how do you make extra sales for your customers? Keep reading as you will get an answer soon.

How do you build a sales funnel?

A functioning sales funnel first needs a lot of traffic to the website. Websites talk about traffic, engagement on social media, and impressions and impressions in print advertising. It does not matter. All that matters is how effectively you get the people who saw your ad to give you their contact information and become your customers. That's why you need measuring instruments. And an effective plan, as well as an enticement to get molded traffic leads.

Here are the instructions for building a lead magnet and hopper:

1. Build a landing page

Landing page, campaign page, landing page. All of these mean the same thing - a page where prospectuses land to read more about your business and your offer. When the Prospectus clicks on the ad, signs up for a webinar, or downloads a free PDF guide, they will be taken to a landing page. The role of this page in the sales funnel is extremely important. The page should clearly communicate your company’s core message and value proposition to the consumer. Tell us in your own words what your company does and what unique benefits your product / service brings to the consumer. This may be the only way to make an impact on a consumer who compares you to competitors or is looking for more information about a product.

The main feature of a landing page is to convert leads. So you need a powerful lead magnet to collect the email address of your site visitors and maybe even a phone number (remember GDPR!) To help you communicate with them more effectively.

2. Provide value instead of just sales speeches

No one wants to donate their personal data today for free. Mere sales speeches and a contact form are rarely enough for invitations to bid and trade. Prospectuses must first be converted into leads, and a lead magnet will not work unless it provides something of value. That's why you need a lead magnet. It can be an e-book, a brochure, a “do this” checklist, or even a small, free video course. In any case, you need something effective that your competitors will not give to their customers. You give the lead magnet to your prospectuses for free, for a mere marketing license.

Think carefully about your lead magnet. It should be related to your service or product, and provide really valuable information, without giving too much for free. The downloader of the guide / video series / e-book should be hungry, wanting more. A successful lead magnet increases trust between the business and the consumer, making the sales process easier.

Do you already have an idea for a lead magnet for your business? Congratulations, you can now start collecting contacts for your funnel.

3. Take care of your leads, start selling (solution)

At this point, you can enjoy the amount of leads flowing into your email marketing system. Now that you have the emails for your contacts, you can start automating your email. We recommend the traditional “nurturing” sequence, where you send an email to new lidies every few days. In these e-mails, you can share informative material about your product / service, delve deeply into the problems experienced by the customer and solve them. Of course, by purchasing your company's product.

4. Sell more!

Once you get the first deal, you can ventilate a little. But just a little bit, because that's where the real sales start. It is called for additional sales. Do you know what is easier than getting a new customer? Selling a new thing to an old customer. Now is the time to open the taps, and sell the customer a new solution to the new problem, or an additional upgrade to the old solution.

For example, an entrepreneur who sells an online course to a customer launches a sequence of five emails from which the lead clicks the link. A new landing page for additional sales will open, selling material that supports the old course, with huge bonus offers. Thus, an existing customer ends up buying a new course after attending the previous one and finding it in their favor.

So keep developing new material, after-sales services, and extras, even if your main product sells well. More sales always mean more euros at the checkout.

5. Continue to develop your funnel

Remember that analyzing data is extremely important in digital marketing and especially in viewing emails. If you don’t know which message sells best, you can’t optimize your marketing efforts. Always check the opening and click-through rates for each of your emails, and follow the links UTM monitoring  through.

You can easily see accurate data from Google Analytics as long as your analytics tracking is up and running. You can create your own tags for each email campaign, which you can explore with your analytics tools.

Keep a close eye on your email opening rate to see what headers work for your audiences. See which sequence leaves your email list the most, where your funnel is leaking, and where the most sales are coming from. Always optimize your hopper based on ROI. (Return on investment). Could it be that your upstream Facebook ad campaigns aren’t doing well? Replace the ad image with a video. Rewrite the adoscopy. Change the structure of the handle.

6. Test, test, and test

A / B testing is a digital marketer's best friend. Did you know, for example, that the feed on TikTok's For You page is based on an algorithm that A / B tests the most addictive content for every video you swipe with your finger? And it makes it scary effectively.

By testing your campaigns, you'll always be able to choose the most productive option. Skilled marketers always test every single campaign, whether it’s a lanner, a Facebook ad, or the subject of an email. Fortunately, creating modern A / B tests is easy with modern marketing tools.

Written by Alvar Yrjölä - Guest Pen