Learn How to Improve Your Sales Funnel
Jan 25 2023
You want your ideal customers to be interested in what you’re selling, request more information, sign up for your email or newsletter campaign and, most importantly, spend money with your brand. That’s why you focus on building a strong sales funnel that strategically leads your target audience to conversion.
Any business would love to convert everyone who sees an ad or promotion, but the likelihood of that is unrealistic. In fact, the average number of conversions for businesses is actually around 3%. If that number seems low, there are things you can do to improve it – all it takes is identifying and plugging sales funnel leaks.
The Sales Funnel Is Essential
Marketing should be approached as an ongoing, ever-evolving process that adapts to the needs of your target audience. The strategic funnel approach to marketing is an effective way for companies to maximize their potential. By focusing on both attracting prospective customers and nurturing existing customers, businesses are able to capitalize on all possible revenue streams. With this approach, businesses can create a comprehensive marketing plan that prioritizes short-term and long-term goals. A sales funnel can help you monitor and measure each stage of the buyer’s journey from initial interest, to conversion. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar or ecommerce business, a well-built sales funnel can be a powerful tool for driving conversions and increasing your customer base.
The sales funnel helps you visualize the steps people go through on the way to becoming a customer. Analyzing your sales funnel will give you an in-depth understanding of the factors that drive your success. You’ll also be able to spot any weak points or holes in the different stages of your sales funnel (i.e., where prospects drop out and do not convert into customers). At each stage of the sales funnel, your content should be tailored to engage the prospective customer and move them further along their customer journey. Carefully evaluating tactics used throughout the funnel can help you make better-informed decisions about allocating resources.
By examining your sales funnel, you can get the most out of your marketing efforts and sales process.
Understanding the Stages of Sales Funnels
A successful sales funnel is made up of a few essential steps, each one providing the opportunity to increase ROI and maximize conversions. Each step is designed to build on the previous one and bring you closer to achieving your desired outcome. To improve your sales funnel, you must understand its core components.
There are six sales funnel stages in an average sales funnel:
4. Negotiation and decision-making
6. Repurchase and renewal
In the awareness stage, your goal is to familiarize the audience with your product or service. This stage has the widest audience and is most likely to move people to the next stage.
The second stage focuses on interest. This is when certain audience members will want more information and enter deeper into the funnel. For example, they may spend time browsing your catalog or reading customer reviews.
During the third stage, the funnel tightens as prospective customers decide if they’re interested in getting even more information from you directly. They might fill out a form on a landing page, chat with your automated chatbot online, or sign up for your email list.
The fourth stage is especially crucial because it’s when you can negotiate with the audience and encourage them to make the decision to buy. There’s at least some intention to purchase at this level, requiring strong calls to action and negotiations to make your sale.
In the fifth stage, you make a sale and can officially say the funnel has done its job. However, there’s one more important step you shouldn’t overlook.
The sixth stage is when you get previous customers to come back again. Offering subscriptions and renewals, offering sales or other promotions, sending strategic emails — you’ll need to consider each of these tactics for generating repeat business.
All sales funnel stages are important because they move customers along closer to the purchase of a product or service. If any one of these stages isn’t working as intended, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities. In short, the funnel has a leak, and that could be hurting your business’s bottom line.
Locating Leaks in a Sales Funnel
The first step to identifying leaks in the sales funnel is to make sure your team understands the entire sales cycle and funnel strategy. What KPIs matter and signal that a customer is ready to move forward?
Ideally, your marketing and sales teams can work together to align on what success looks like at each stage. This can help you determine where the obvious problems are (such as a broken link or landing page that isn’t loading) as well as make sure everyone is monitoring and measuring data correctly.
Next, consider using Google Analytics to start tearing down the funnel to find the leak. Look at information such as bounce rates and conversion analytics to find out if a landing page or email has high traffic but isn’t converting as expected. You want to know the exit numbers at each stage, so you can see which parts of the funnel are least effective.
Once you identify those leaks, you can put together A/B tests to run variations and “patch” the leak for better results.
Strategies for Plugging Leaky Sales Funnels
Once you identify the part of the sales funnel that’s leaking, you’re ready to take action. Plugging a leaky sales funnel can be accomplished by using the right tools and behavioral analytics.
Web tools like Google Analytics can tell you where the leak is, but behavioral analytics tell you why. Once you figure out your “why?” you can:
Update the content on that page. For instance, if the information on the page isn’t converting readers and is leading to a high bounce rate, you may want to investigate why that is. Is there a clear CTA? Does the content offer useful information, or is it all filler? Changing the approach to the information may lead to greater conversion rates.
Change imagery to better reflect what you’re offering. Ecommerce customers need to be able to envision themselves using the product, so feature images with multiple angles and highlight the product’s uses.
Fix slow loading times or problems with the landing page itself.
Make terms clickable, so people have an opportunity to get more information or visit other parts of your site from your landing page when they want more information. Making a clickable link pop up in a new window will make sure the user doesn’t leave the funnel’s landing page but still give them an opportunity to get more information.
A well-crafted sales funnel is the key to any successful marketing campaign. It’s an essential part of your overall strategy and marketing efforts, as it enables you to capture leads, nurture relationships with potential customers, and ultimately drive conversions. By identifying and fixing a leak in your funnel, you can see a big difference in your sales funnel conversion rates and, potentially, your monthly revenue.
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