Whether you run a brick and mortar business or sell online, having a sales funnel in some capacity is essential to your success. Bringing prospects into your funnel on a regular basis that you can then market and promote your products/services to over a period of time is critical for any business.
Failing to incorporate a system that is continually being optimized and tested to maximize value from each customer severely limits your business’s ability to increase its revenues and may very well result in leaving the majority of its potential earnings on the table.
In other words, integrating a sales funnel into your marketing plan isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity.
Before we dive into the steps necessary to create a successful sales funnel, it’s important to define what a sales funnel is. In short, a sales funnel is defined as a series of steps intended to lead visitors towards a buying decision. The steps are constructed of marketing assets that aid you in selling, like landing pages and emails.
Sales funnels have been around for ages, because even in a world without the internet, businesses still had to find dependable ways to entice buyers. However, as time has passed, they’ve just become simpler to construct and operate.
Now, with the abundance of tools available online, small businesses — such as yours — can measure and optimize the buying process — or greatly reduce the sales cycle.
This is exciting news for you as a small business owner – you now have a robust marketing tool (used by large organizations like Amazon, Google, Twitter, Sephora, and Visa, for instance) at your disposal.
You just need to learn how to use it. Below you’ll discover a simple 5 step system to create a high converting sales funnel that will serve your business well for years to come.
Step 1 – Formulate a Strategy
Every successful funnel has the ultimate objective. When constructing your sales funnel, this is a crucial decision: identify your end goal. Contrary to what many people believe, it doesn’t have to be a sale. Perhaps you operate a law firm, and you want potential clients to ‘book a call’ or ‘schedule a consult.’
Or maybe you run a service business like an insurance agency, and you want prospects’ emails. Regardless of what the goal is, determine it. Then highlight it. Your end goal is critical to this process.
Consider this intriguing quote by Scott Adams:
“Focus on creating systems, not goals. Goals are for ‘losers’ because you are literally failing 24/7 until the moment you reach the goal…Systems, on the other hand, are strategically designed to output a consistent result — achieving an objective in a predictable and repeatable way.”
Yes, your end goal is paramount in creating the system, but you’re not pursuing that goal by itself.
You’re concentrating on designing a system.
Your ultimate objective will direct you in designing a high-converting sales funnel since every step you execute moving forward will push traffic toward this final goal.
Consequently, before you proceed down the list in planning the remainder of your sales funnel, identify and note the final outcome you want to achieve with your sales funnel.
Step 2 – Design your Primary Funnel Structure
This is when you begin laying the foundation. In the same manner, you planned your existing sales process, now map out the basic framework of your upcoming sales funnel. Don’t fear — we’ll guide you through exactly what that consists of.
Begin at ground zero — your website. Examine your website for any gaps:
What does the homepage achieve?
Where could it be losing customers?
Where does it guide potential customers?
(If you’re still unclear how to determine leaks, take advantage of a user testing tool like UserTest.io)
Now it’s time to focus on elements such as acquisition and onboarding. Consider how one page transitions into the next.
Test your Call To Action (CTA) buttons — if applicable — and see where they take you. Are those transitions logical? Now, think about your end goal from the last section. That represents your “conversion goal.” (You’re beginning to discover some interesting marketing lingo!)
This next phase in creating your sales funnel — determining its appearance and how you’ll convert customers at every turn — isn’t easy to pull off alone.
There are many things remaining to be done: copywriting, building an email list, creating a follow-up email sequence, writing ads, generating CTA buttons — for example.
Which brings us to the next step.
Step 3 – Carry out the Highest Priority Items First
Now that you have a basic sales funnel plan in place, you can start assembling the various components. To expedite results, you need to implement the highest priority items first.
Before you do anything else, it’s important to make sure all pages of your website have the correct content, CTAs, and logical flow to lead prospects to the next stage.
Now, you can take advantage of your solid foundation and create your follow-up strategy (email autoresponder sequences, re-targeting, etc.).
Next, after incorporating the foundation and the follow-up items, you need to decide on how to push traffic to your website — inbound traffic or paid advertising.
Here are a few helpful tools to save you time for each stage:
WordPress — Provides a tremendous platform for constructing a website. (assuming you don’t have a current website) It has ample support among developers and makes it simple to manage pages and blog content.
Leadpages — Creates rapidly created-to-convert landing pages by simply filling in the blanks.
Active Campaign — Includes email marketing tools, marketing automation strategies, and an integrated sales & CRM system making it ideal for following up with clients.
You’re almost at the finish line!
Now, let’s discuss how to track your results.
Step 4 – Track and Receive Feedback
You have the basic funnel structure in place, but you still need to establish tracking.
Overlooking this crucial step will result in a lot of wasted advertising expenses and no feedback for your efforts. Tracking the numbers is vital as it will allow you to analyze then tweak the sales machine you’re developing down the road.
Set up your Google Analytics Funnel Goal — you will receive a complete graphical display of your funnel and valuable insight into your conversion rates.
Get feedback, so you can regularly make modifications — this is huge. If you don’t receive advice from specialists, you are simply speculating. At Maxburst, we give vital feedback and reviews, so you can meet your funnel goals quicker.
Acquiring specific feedback can be the quickest way to close profit leaking holes in your sales funnel.
It can save you from some expensive miscalculations. For instance, discovering, after already spending hundreds of dollars on ads, that switching the CTA button’s color to yellow would significantly accelerate your conversion rate.
Just be certain, before you activate traffic, you have a strong foundation and all of your tracking is set up
Step 5 – Turn on the Traffic
Needless to say, you need to get traffic so that you can convert it. This final step is all about getting visitors to your website.
To send traffic to your sales funnel, there are two routes you can follow:
Paid Advertising: this comprises display advertising, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or social media ads. Facebook, in particular, is a popular advertising option. However, while Facebook ads will get you leads fast, it will cost more in the long run.
Content Marketing: this means publishing interesting content (through a blog) to steer additional traffic to your website. This will pay off more in the end but will take a greater amount of time to build.
Utilizing either of these options will boost your sales engine and drive you forward.
But as discussed in step 4, regardless of how you draw traffic, it’s imperative to have tracking set up first so that you can measure it.
Finally, Never Stop Tracking the Numbers!
The key is to analyze the gathered data and capitalize on what it’s showing you. Trust the numbers and they will guide you like a compass.
Remember those gaps we previously mentioned? The data will always disclose where they lurk.
It will also give you opportunities to enhance your funnel. A brief glance at your company’s Google Analytics page can be a revelation. But don’t despair if the figures look lackluster in the initial weeks.
Explosive growth doesn’t happen instantly. In fact, it seldom does.
One major thing to recognize regarding this process: your long-range sales funnel approach is to frequently fill smaller holes and test methods to convert additional customers.
You’ll add elements to your sales funnel, eliminate ones that aren’t effective and constantly revise your funnel to get better results.
So yes, constructing a sales funnel really isn’t rocket science.
Follow this guide, step-by-step, and you’ll see results.
Be aware that while this article is just 5 steps, each individual step might result in weeks of work.
Good luck and remember, creating a sales funnel is the most dependable long-term business strategy you can create.