What Is a Sales Funnel, Exactly?
A sales funnel is a series of checkpoints a customer passes through on their journey to purchasing your product or service.
Beginning with brand awareness and ending with a sale, a sales funnel takes your customer on a journey of information and persuasion. It eliminates objections until they are confident enough to financially commit.
All successful businesses have a sales funnel. Let’s take a look at three reasons sales funnels are key to growing your business. Here’s how to build one that makes you money while you sleep.
1. Sales funnels do the work of pursuing leads
Putting together a sales funnel requires intentionality. Though, once you have it established, it’s an ongoing tool used to communicate with customers that rarely needs overhaul.
Instead of chasing down leads, pouring money into a dozen ad campaigns or searching for an audience, a sales funnel allows you to speak directly to your customer base and guide them through a series of informative checkpoints that build assurance and sharpen interest.
At the earliest stages of a sales funnel, customers know they have a problem — but they don’t yet view you as the solution. They only know of you, and know you’re an option. Convince them you are the best choice by speaking directly to their pain points and positioning your product or service as the answer to their frustration.
This could look like gathering their email in exchange for a free resource, sending out a series of follow-ups after a cart was abandoned, or delivering deals via text message. Once you’re in their inbox, strategically drip them media that encourages the sale by overcoming objections, delivering value, and showing how products can be used.
2. Sales funnels provide clarity
A truly superior sales funnel answers questions before they are ever asked. Customers have a thousand reasons not to part with their hard-earned money; are you giving them a thousand and one reasons why they should?
When it comes to converting a customer, clarity is king. Explain the features of your product, how it will make their life easier, and paint a vivid picture of their ideal outcome. Help the customer feel the relief they would experience if only they invited your product or service into their life.
Video is a terrific medium for this stage of the sales funnel; in fact, studies show that 72% of customers shared they would rather watch a video than engage with any other form of marketing.
Assemble and deliver videos on product reviews, product highlights, and customer testimonials, and watch your click-through rates go through the roof.
3. They increase customer retention
At the start of this article, we said sales funnels help guide a customer from the moment of discovery to the close of a sale. That’s true — but the buyer’s journey shouldn’t end there.
In the past, sales funnels looked like this:
Engagement < Awareness < Sale
Now, a successful sales funnel takes it several steps further:
Engagement < Awareness < Sale < Retention < Advocacy
The goal of your funnel shouldn’t be to abandon your customer at the moment of sale; rather, it should continue to provide value and create curiosity around your other products and services.
Retention is key, and so is customer advocacy. Transforming a customer from a one-time buyer into a brand evangelist isn’t easy, but a good sales funnel will motivate and inspire product evangelism until you no longer have to rely on paid advertising to attract buyers.
Following their purchase, send customers a short survey and ask them to provide feedback. A little while after that, surprise them with a discount code, special offer, or invitation to try a similar product at a reduced price.
Once you have their email and attention, nurturing your connection with them is critical to becoming their preferred supplier.
Invest in a sales funnel that doesn’t run out at the close of a sale, and watch as customers devote their loyalty in the days, weeks, and months to come.
At Goalpost Group, we help our clients break the cycle of bad marketing using strategy, structure, and killer content that drives sales and wins the day. Get in touch with a member of our team to learn more about how we can help transform your marketing.