Everyone has heard about a magical sales funnel that supposedly just oozes out gold.
The idea is that the more prospects you get into the top of the sales funnel, the more clients (and ultimately revenue) is squeezed out the bottom of it. But how do you go about creating a funnel, and how can you make sure that your funnel is creating actual customers?
It all starts with identifying your audience. Too many times, eager salesmen or enthusiastic entrepreneurs launch their newest great ideas without taking the time to sit down and identify who their real target audience is. Some people either go way too general in identifying their target audience, claiming that they will be targeting all Americans from age 18 to 40, or something equally vague. Don’t be afraid to be specific! Trust me, you will not lose out on revenue by going after one specific group, as opposed to any moving creature. Having a well-defined target audience will give your marketing efforts direction and efficiency.
Rake in the Crowds!
The top of the sales funnel is the widest part, which means the objective of the first step is one thing only: exposure. You are going after as many impressions and traffic to your site or store as possible (within your target audience, of course). There are many tools good for this. The Google display network can serve hundreds of thousands of impressions faster than most networks. Social media platforms also can get your ads in front of thousands of people, but with much more rigorous targeting methods than the GDN. Email marketing, PPC, billboards, and organic content strategies can all help with this first part of the sales funnel.
Once you get your audience’s attention, it’s time to refine it. If you were smart enough to collect email addresses, send an email message with a strong call to action. Using gated content on your website is a great way to filter out those with real customer potential from those who just liked your advertisement. Gated content is where you offer high-quality content (white papers, case studies, etc.) in exchange for a bit of personal information, such as an email address or phone number. Make sure the content you offer is highly desirable and something that your audience will not be able to get anywhere else!
Once you receive your potential customers’ information, it’s time for some brief contact. You definitely want to send a thank-you email or phone call immediately after you receive a person’s information. The email should thank them and have a strong call to action included in it. These people are not yet your golden lead, but you can now get in touch with them. Use retargeting ads to keep your company in the forefront of your mind. You can also reach them with their email address via Facebook, twitter, and AdWords. Make sure they don’t forget about you! After a few days (no longer than one week!) it’s time to call them or send a personal email and see how your service or product could benefit that person.
Make sure you talk in depth with the person of and identify all their needs. Talk about how your product or service can solve each of their problems, and make sure to stress the value that you can provide. Points of differentiation are also important to mention: why are you better than your competitors? You need to believe in your product or service and let that do the talking for you!