If you’ve ever heard of a funnel in a kitchen and then the word sales placed in front of it then you put that together and you get “Sales Funnel”. So if you think of an inverted pyramid and or a kitchen funnel it is exactly what you think with creating a sales funnel you need to have your potential customers start out at the top and then move down through the funnel to the end point which is making the purchase and instilling confidence in them enough for them to take out their wallets and buy your product or service.
I’ll make it a little bit easier and break down the process of what a sales funnel can do for your business and how it can work for you. Right from the beginning you will come across people that are either: Potential leads, prospects or Customers, and each is different in their own way.
For instance a customer someone who has purchased through your company or business and has confidence and has built a rapport with you, so they will more than likely refer friends and family to you via word of mouth or give an excellent testimonial of your business via social media.
Starting at the top of a funnel which is the widest part of it and will include leads which are potential customers who become aware your brand either online or hearing about it from someone. Moving onto the next section of a Sales Funnel is the prospects and the term is different for each company.
The word prospect is interchangeably with qualified leads but they are usually someone who has had some form of contact with your business and are possibly interested in the next step of being in a sales funnel.
A company’s goal to make sales is to bring as many people into the top of the sales funnel as possible and they are called leads, Not everyone who interacts with your business will turn into a prospect, as it is a numbers game and the more qualified leads you bring into the sales funnel the bigger the chance you have of converting them into purchasing customers.
Having a sales funnel is all good but if you don’t know how people will move through your sales process then you’re not going to be converting leads into customers. There are steps to a sales process to make it more efficient and easily to convert leads into cash.
If you think your leads will easily turn into cash then you’re certainly wrong because your leads need to be aware of your business in the first place to be even placed through the sales funnel for your business. Leads will be aware of your online business through different facets such as social media marketing, email marketing, advertising,
Leads won’t be fully informed of your business and what you offer in terms of products & services so you will need to educate them on what you have. In this stage it is still early but you can promote sales but not get too aggressive with it because you don’t want these leads to disappear.
Potential customers need time to evaluate what value you will be giving them by purchasing your product or service. Depending on the industry you are in you could consider giving them a demo or free samples to help them along with the evaluation process.
Being an Engaging salesperson or a non engaging sales person can make or break your business, some people need a little nudging closer to buying if you think the timing is right to help them along. Which takes me to my next point is Commitment and if you’ve done your nudging well than you’ve helped them commit to the purchase. You’ll find some people will make a verbal commitment to you to buy and then never return to actually make the purchase.
Personally I’ll recommend if they’ve committed to making the purchase then help them make it now as they may lose interest and or forget to actually come back and purchase the product. If you think just because they’ve made the purchase your job is done.. WRONG there are TWO more steps to this sales funnel and that is Loyal & Repeat customers which can come from giving them much more than they expected and so they’ll return the next time you have a product or service to offer.
If you’re thinking of how to create loyal & repeat customers then try offering a high value item for FREE such as a PDF, E-course or worksheets.. etc depending on the business you have.