Sales Funnel 101

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What is a Sales Funnel? Many people define it differently, and it’s interesting that there are various concepts of a Sales Funnel. Traditionally, a Sales Funnel is a process that takes a person in the “Awareness” stage and moves them into the taking “Action” stage. This process is generally not a two-step approach and sometimes requires “massaging” or specific types of incentives and various tactics to drive a person to want to take action, such as make a purchase or even click a link. You would be surprised at how much planning and research goes into this overall process, especially as it translates to the world of the internet and social media.

Why is a Sales Funnel important to your business? Because if you do not have a clearly defined process to take someone from “cold to warm, and then to hot” when it comes to your products or services, you have a loosely guided approach that is vulnerable to the times and changes. This vulnerability is enormous and hinges on the ability to survive in business.
Generally, if you are in business and have clients, you have a few of the steps already covered. You may need to define them clearly and articulate how your process and approach is in alignment with the traditional sense of a funnel.

The first step in creating a funnel is to identify who it is you are targeting. Is your audience young, old, both? Male, Female. What are their interests and behaviors? Now you want to start asking some questions to best “Qualify” your audience. What competitive products do they look for when they search online? What are their budgets? What pains do they have that you can solve?

Once you begin to apply these principals and start answering some of these questions clearly, then you can learn what drives their decision-making process and ultimately what drives them towards your products and services. With this knowledge in hand, you can then start to build out an online sales funnel.

You may be wondering what goes into an online sales funnel. It’s pretty simple in concept, but the execution is where all of the magic happens and where the skill is required. The ingredients of a successful web funnel are the following:

1. A front-end, prospect facing landing page
2. A compelling offer to purchase or take action on something (Call to Action)
3. An upselling or upgrading offer
4. A downgrade or deduced offer
5. Testimonials and successes
6. Retargeting and Conversion process

Sometimes landing pages can be used for lead generation and could include a freebie or an eBook, then the “upgrade” could be an actual purchase as they continue through your funnel and turn from a warm lead into a hot one.

What makes them want to buy and take action you may be wondering? It has a lot to do with human psychology and how the information comes across to different types of personalities within your audience. For example, some people may only care about your testimonials while others will care more about things like a “money back guarantee.” The psychological aspect of a Sales funnel can become somewhat complicated and mystical to anyone who isn’t into marketing products or services. In some cases, a powerful headline that is captivating is all you need while in others, the color of a “Buy Now” button can make a whole world of a difference in the mind of a potential consumer.

If you need more “hands-on” help with setting up a funnel, we do offer services to help.

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