What Are Sales Funnels and How to Increase Sales with Them?

Posted on
March 15, 2021

The truth is that we think too much about how to attract visits and leads through online marketing (social networks, SEO, Adwords, content, etc.) and how we’re going to retain and convert those leads. But, 100,000 visits per month to your website are useless if no one buys.

If you look for information on how to get traffic to your website, surely in more than one result you'll find sales funnels as a tool to design an effective strategy to attract and keep visitors. However, even if you can find a lot of information on the internet about what a sales funnel is and how to start it, there are still very few companies that work on it in their internet strategy regularly. 

Let's not forget that the main objective of the sales funnel is to support the strategy with actions aimed at influencing the purchasing decisions of our visitors and getting them to become customers.

What is a sales funnel?

We could define a sales funnel as the ideal representation of the phases or stages that users go through from the moment they meet you on the Internet, until (hopefully) they become a customer.

The sales funnel creation is the process that allows you to define the path your Buyer Persona should take from the first time they visit your website until they complete the sales process and become your customer. In short, this method is your first ally to boost your digital marketing strategy.

Advantages of a good sales funnel marketing

Now that you know what the sales funnel is, we will teach you what their main benefits are. Ready? Having a good sales funnel would allow you to:

  • Know your customers better. By applying a funnel, it's possible to observe what the customers' expectations are at each stage. That is, with a funnel, you'll discover which are the factors that the potential customer considers to go from one phase to another of the funnel. A good understanding of such demands makes it possible to carry out personalized campaigns.
  • Potentiate productivity as the development of appropriate timelines and contact strategies encourages the advancement of clients from one stage to another. It’s possible to reduce or even eliminate unnecessary resources and expenses.
  • Improve the relationship with the sales team because before the customer reaches the final stage of the funnel, the entire sales team is ready to make the sale. 
  • Increase traffic to your webpage, the number of leads and real sales opportunities about your products/services.
  • Establish a relationship of trust with customers, improving the interaction, engagement and brand image of your company.
  • And this is only the beginning.

There are many more advantages of sales funnel marketing for you. To benefit from these advantages, you have to show your customers that you are the best choice out there. 

The level of competition on the Internet is high, so why would they buy from you? What is your value as a brand? Your duty is to differentiate yourself from your competitors with something special. What is your expertise? Show them.

Actually, the sales funnel will let you create a "relationship with users" based on the value that you bring to them during the buying process, in which they look for a product or service that you have. If your strategy is correct and works well, the sales funnel will not only allow you to attract customers but also retain them and increase the percentage of them. 

Turn your leads into cash with sales funnels

How to build your sales funnel?

Did you know that users instinctively run buyer journeys? Let's see it.

Phase 1. Need or problem

In this phase, a specific need or problem arises. For instance, your television breaks.

Phase 2.- Research

The user looks for information in the offline world and on the internet about televisions. They look for information, select and begin to get an idea of ​​products and services. 

Phase 3.- Purchase of product/service

In this phase, they already make their choices or selection of "winners" narrowing it down to two televisions.

Finally, they can buy the one that generates the most confidence and security. That's why companies need to know their real interest and provide them with a differential value that makes them consider you as a trusted provider.

When they choose a winner and buy, companies get clients because they managed to convince them that their product meets their needs better than others. It’s also a matter of reputation because 9 out of 10 buying decisions are made due to recommendations. 

So, being the best choice in your customers’ minds is essential for your success. In a few words, you attracted visitors, converted them into leads (and qualified them), and finally, closed them.

The basic scheme of a sales funnel creation

1.- Attract (Top of Funnel)

In this initial phase, users begin to feel interested in a certain aspect or have a specific need or problem, so they start looking for information about it mainly on websites and blogs. As a company, in this stage of the sales funnel, you must know how to capture the attention of users to get them to reach your website.

Your main task is finding out how these users are going to reach you and learn about the solution that you provide. Take into account that around 50% of your leads aren’t a good match for your products So, there are some online marketing strategies that you can use in this first phase of the sales funnel:

  • Positioning / SEO. It’s important to define the best keywords to reach your potential customers. If these keywords are good, they will help us to optimize the content to appear in the first positions of the Google SERPS.
  • Content marketing. One of the best actions you can take is attracting customers through quality content, focused on the interests and needs of the target audience with an easy-to-understand language because a third-grade reading level message is 36% more likely to get a reply.
  • Social Media Marketing. Social networks allow interaction with users in a more natural way, which is why they are the perfect channel to spread content and create conversations and relationships with users.
  • Online advertising. Payment campaigns in both Adwords and Facebook Ads will allow you to reach your potential clients directly and collect them on an adapted landing page. But please, don’t be pushy. Just 17% of salespeople think they're pushy, while 50% of customers think they are indeed pushy.
  • Website optimization. The first thing you should take into account is your web design and its optimization because it will always be your best ally to attract and turn strangers into promoters of your brand through your sales funnel.

Ok, but, they are still visitors... how do I convert them into leads? Good question. Let's move on to the next phase of the sales funnel.

2.- Leads achievement (Middle of Funnel)

In this phase of the sales funnel, users are anonymous, they came to your website but you didn’t know who they were, so now you must convert them into leads with names. As a company, the best way to turn visitors into leads is to give them something special, a lead magnet.

  • A Lead Magnet is a high-value gift for users, in which you invite them to download or try, but in exchange for leaving you their data. Usually, name and email. But just email works fine. The more value that you offer, the more likely they will leave you their data. Try initially with ebooks, podcasts, exclusive videos, discounts if you have an online store, demos, etc. You will see how it works! 
  • Add a Call To Action (CTA). CTA’s are buttons or phrases that attract attention and invite users to take the next step and it increases the chances of getting their personal data to make a business offer.
  • Landing Pages. Landing pages that offer added value to visitors to leave their data is what you need to keep the sales funnel going.
  • Forms. Forms represent how we collect user data. The minimum to ask is the name and the email.

As people advance in the knowledge of your brand, you can also obtain more data about them. With this method, you'll qualify users, which means that you will have to make the appropriate assessments to know if they can become real customers. Once we have your data, we can consider it leads.

3.- Clients (Bottom of Funnel)

At the bottom of the funnel are the users who are already convinced that they need help and are considering purchasing your product/service.

If you have a database made up of all users (and their data) who accepted your lead magnet. Now, you have to work on the interaction with these leads to get them to become customers.

So, the objective here is to influence the purchase decision of the leads with lead nurturing strategies. Lead nurturing is a technique that consists of maintaining continuous high-value interaction with users so that they perceive that your company is the best option and becomes a customer. In other words, it’s a continuous process of maturing leads, in which you must use specific mail marketing tools (mail automation or autoresponders) to reach your future customer.

If you’re working with autoresponders, for example, you can write several emails to send automatically over time and in which you can influence the purchase decisions of your users.

  • The first mail of welcome and thanks, nothing more than leaving your data.
  • A discount on the first purchase, if you are an online store.
  • Access to exclusive videos, online courses, exclusive or related products, etc.

keep in mind that all of them focus on maintaining interaction and adding value until one of those emails shows the offer you have been preparing from all the previous emails and even, you can keep conversation for a long time in case you can convert them later.

Sales funnel builders

Most significantly, you can optimize your sales process through various tools that will help you in the creation and tracking of the sales funnel. Below is a list of the 4 tools you can use to develop your sales funnel:

  • ClickFunnels: It is a software created in 2015 for the development of Online Sales Funnels, implementing a system of lead generation and e-commerce. It offers a 14-day free trial and costs between $25 and $42 depending on the plan you choose.
  • LeadPages: It is a conversion software for landing pages and web applications, allowing the growth of your company through the integration of different tools such as Google Analytics, Zoho, Shopify and more.
  • HotJar: is a very practical tool that allows you to observe the behavior of the audience on your website. In addition, you can obtain recordings of each visit, conversion funnels, data analysis, surveys and much more.
  • Hubspot: is a CRM created with the methodology of Inbound Marketing, which allows you to attract strangers and convert them into customers through your product. You can also create sales funnels and measure the impact of your campaigns with accurate results.

A sale is the consequence of good content!

Sales funnel marketing offers many advantages for your brand and you can design your funnel according to the needs, objectives and goals of your business.

It allows you to monitor your sales process and increases the productivity of your business. Also, you can attract new users to your site as long as you optimize your funnel, have a good design of your website, offer quality content and a responsive design.

Although it may seem complicated, creating a sales funnel will help you not only to achieve measurable and concrete goals but also to give you a much more realistic approach to your product or brand.

Interested in learning more? Contact us. We’ll listen to you and take care of your business.

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