28 May What is a Sales Funnel and Why Your Business Needs One to Survive
You know your business needs sales to stay open and grow. It’s common for businesses to think they are selling when they are actually marketing – posting on social media & creating a fancy website. The leads are sure to come when you do this, right? Right…? What your business really needs is a sales funnel to survive. We’re breaking down the key elements that make up a sales funnel and why your business needs one to survive. Let’s get to it.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a step-by-step process that guides your potential customer towards buying your offer or service through a series of marketing actions. This often includes automated emails, clever copy, videos, resources, tips and landing pages. The key is to systematically organize these marketing tools so users are converted to buyers. This is done with the hook, the lead magnet, an email nurturing campaign, and for some, a sales campaign.
Why a Sales Funnel is Essential?
Simply put, a sales funnel is an effective and passive method to generate sales. Once in place it runs automatically. It also builds a list of emails that you own – and can communicate with at any time. Sales funnels are especially important during a time of crisis or market upheaval because you can always communicate with your customers.
Creating Your Sales Funnel
Action #1: The Hook
Your sales funnel starts with a hook – a catchy, clever, all-encompassing statement that gets people to go “Tell me more”. Different from an elevator pitch where you recount “what it is you do here”, a hook speaks directly to specific and relevant problem that you can solve for your audience. It’s a written version of a trailer to your business, answering the 3 most important business questions – who do you serve, what problem do you solve and why should someone care. Then it calls them to act. For example, “You’re feeling lost, overwhelmed and need a better plan to book more clients. We help small businesses by creating thoughtful, customized marketing plans, offering implementation support and business coaching to help you along the path to creating a successful business. Schedule a Discovery Call to get started.”
Once you have your hook, you need to get a user on the line (aka signed up for your email list) – this is done with a lead magnet.
Action #2: The Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a freebie that you give to interested users in exchange for signing up for your email list. This can be a variety of offerings – a downloadable e-book or guide, bonus track to a recently released album, a template or checklist or the first few chapters in your book – but it needs to relevant to your paid services or products. Lead magnets that are relevant do two things. They qualify your leads and they position you as an expert, someone they can turn to solve their problems (remember, that’s what businesses do best). Now on your mailing list, you have the opportunity to begin building a relationship and nurture this new lead. This is done through the email nurturing series part of your sales funnel.
Action #3: Email Nurturing Campaign
Nurturing is more important than you think. Businesses are too quick to pitch their offer and then way too quick to give up after a couple of emails with no response. People need to be courted and you need to show that your business can be trusted to show up and do what it says it will. Email nurturing campaigns are a great, low-cost way to do this. After signing up for your email list, you will send a series of onboarding emails (we recommend 3-4 emails over 3-4 weeks). These emails should build upon the value of your lead magnet – offering additional tips, ideas and resources. They also will introduce all your applicable services and offerings. Once users have completed the onboarding series they move to your regular email newsletters – again the focus here being on giving people value while peppering in links to products and services.
Bonus Action #4: Sales Campaign
Similar to the onboarding email series you sent to your list, this is another series of emails. The key difference is here you are pitching a specific offer or service and the campaign often includes corresponding social media posts, launch events, webinars or press features. Sales campaigns work best for companies that offer signature programs or time-sensitive products – your online course, an annual retreat, membership program or upcoming workshop series. They can also be used to launch a new service or sister company. You will send out content more often (first weekly, then daily as you get closer to the cut-off date) and much of the content is repeated. The focus is all about the service or product you want to sell – nothing else. Sales campaigns are about creating a sense of urgency or FOMO and closing the sale.
Are you feeling stalled in launching your sales funnel? We are here to help you DIY it with our 1:1 business coaching or our team can build out your entire funnel (and manage all the tech stuff). Contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.