Last updated 31/03/19
I’ll be honest.
Recently, I’ve been eavesdropping on a few conservations on the topic of how to optimise sales funnels to get the maximum ‘bang for your buck’ as one person phrased it. ( just in case you’re wondering – coffee shops are the BEST places for a good nosey…)
And it got me thinking.
As business owners, we all have some sort of sales funnels (don’t we? please tell me we all do..)
Assuming that we do, the question then becomes how do we go from having a respectable trickle of sales to having so many orders we have to call for reinforcements (a good problem to have in my humble opinion).
The answer lies in your sales funnel or should I say the quality of it. Kinks in your funnel can disrupt the process of turning prospects into customers, affecting your bottom line in the process. So, it’s clear that sharpening up your sales funnel should be a top priority.
So, let’s jump into the 8 easy ways you can turn your sales funnel into a lead generating machine…
1. Keep your word.
Have you ever got yourself siked up, ready to receive a freebie that had its finger right on the pulse of a problem you were facing?
Maybe it was a piece of software that would rid your poor computer of the screaming Trojan virus you’d picked up, to put an end to suspicious stares from your colleagues in the office.
Or perhaps you just couldn’t wait to learn how to write HTML code.
Then, to receive your free gift, you giddily handed over your email and darted for your inbox.
You were ready.
Shame the company sending the freebie couldn’t sense you waiting with intense anticipation as they sent you a video on ‘cats gone wild’ and not the lifesaver of a freebie you were waiting for.
Interesting video? Maybe. But not what you signed up for.
So, you mentally blacklist this business as timewasting spammers and unsubscribe from their mailing list to avoid receiving any more cat videos, warning all your friends in the process to stay away from these low lives, lest their inboxes face the same perilous fate.
OK, I am exaggerating (slightly) but you get my drift.
It’s vital you give the prospect what you promised them or you risk ruining any trust established, and, in this early stage of the funnel, such mistakes can irrevocably damage your brand’s image in the prospects eyes and shatter any chance of the highly-coveted referral.
Word of mouth is great when it’s positive but when it’s negative, it’ll set up big hurdles to overcome before you’ve even started.
So, its best to ensure each prospect’s experience is a positive one from whether they take the action you want or not.
Bottom line is – call when you say you will. Send over what you’ve said you would, and deliver what you’ve promised.
2. View your prospect as a REAL human being, not a lead
Granted – staring at analytics and spreadsheet all day can make it difficult to do this but, its super important that you refrain from the urge to view your visitors as mere leads and choose to view them as the human beings that they are – one’s with wants, struggles, weaknesses, strengths, and wins, just like me and you.
This applies whether to every channel whether they are visiting a:
- Landing page
To find out what these are, you’ll need to get into your prospects frame of mind by dragging out those buyer personas we drafted earlier on. (Remember those? They will be your best friends).
With this information, consider the issues they may be facing, things they are eager to learn and the milestones they wish to achieve in their business and situations they’d rather avoid.
Create a list of these and use it in our next point….
3. Uncover your potential client’s emotional triggers before you start writing copy
Whether your prospect is a corporate high flyer or student they are all bound to have em3tions by virtue of being human.
These emotions are the driving force that causes the prospect to take action and can be triggered with carefully chosen words.
These emotions can be:
and much more. Knowing which emotion(s) to poke at before you write will help you write stronger, more persuasive copy that sounds less like a sales pitch and more like a chat with a good friend.
In turn, this will enable you to establish trust with your prospects and create room for dialogue that will encourage your prospect to take further action, moving them further along your funnel.
4. Align your end goal with your prospect’s stage in the buyer’s journey
Every stage of your funnel plays an important role in engaging the prospect, providing value, and convincing them to take the next step. Anything else is fluff and should be dusted away.
To ensure all parts of your funnel are pulling their weight, look at each stage individually in your sales funnel and position so its cohesive with your prospects stage in the buyer’s journey – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
To check whether you are doing a good job, ask yourself :
- Is this (content) contributing to my prospects life? If so, in what way?
- Does this funnel facilitate the conversion (i.e. webinar sign up) I am seeking? and can you Provide evidence for this i.e. responses to a question in an email sequence, high CTR’s and conversion rates etc. What value is it providing? Is it resonating with prospects enough to inspire them to take the next step?
Once you’ve answered these questions on your funnel will you have the information you need to decide to whether to add or subtract components in your funnel.
When it comes down to it, you’ll need to provide your prospects the assistance they need in that present moment to get the action you want.
5. Test and optimise your sales funnel by asking the right questions
Is the funnel providing my audience with the value they want and more?
Are there any pain points not being addressed by my competition that I can cover?
How can I deliver this information in a unique and engaging way?
Once you’ve got this information, revisit your funnel and test thing whole thing from start to finish it as if you are are a prospect.
Consider what will they be thinking and feeling as they go through your funnel? Is it excitement relief that they are going to have a nagging issue fixed or anxiety because they didn’t get what they signed up for or are being asked to hand over more information than they are comfortable with at that stage.
Be honest with yourself.
Better yet get a trusted friend or colleague to or pay people that meet the profile of your target client to test the funnel and provide the spec of your target customer.
6. Seek brand awareness over sales in the initial stages
When you’re just starting out, no one knows you expect maybe a few friends, your mum and your dog (if you cute furry companion counts?).
Even when you’ve passed the initial launch phase there are still millions of people that are yet to hear about your life-changing brand (oh the opportunities!).
With that said, making it easy for people to discover your company is key to activating the first section of your funnel.
Running Facebook ads (a highly recommended favorite of mine) as well as Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter Ads are all great ways you can expand your Tech business’ reach and get people acquainted with your brand.
Resist the temptation to go straight for the kill and ask for the sale in the first few interactions. Instead, aim to teach, inspire and inform at this stage (just like we discussed in the previous points).
Consistently sharing your knowledge in a way that is unique to your brand, and being one of the first to address prospects new problems are facing is what will set you apart from your competition. So, feel free to experiment with different topics.
Don’t worry, you’re not missing out on an opportunity. The sales will come – just further down the funnels.
So take the time to really engage your audience. No one wants to receive a chain of rambling sales emails from some random company they only just found out about.
And, if they do have the displeasure of receiving them most people will stop opening them. We don’t want this to happen, especially when we haven’t proven our worth to the prospect.
Aim to grab their attention from the start and prompt them to engage by asking them to share their opinion on a topic share stories relating to content you’ve posted, and discuss their failures and successes to develop a comradery.
7.Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
When it comes to sales funnels there’s really no need to go overboard (at least in the beginning) and create barriers to entry so high that the same people you are trying to convert give up and run away.
Remember to test, test, test and opt for continuous improvement over perfection and track your progress.
Facebook will provide you with the basics but to dig deep into the data you’ll need analytics tools offered by companies like Google and Hubspot.
8. Set up retargeting
Try to think of how often you make a purchase right away on a website you just discovered. My guess is very rarely, if ever.
You want to do your research, read testimonials, find out if they are legitimate, where they are based, how they make their products, the list goes on.
This all takes time and multiple visits to your site. In fact, research has shown that people on average visit a website three times before making a purchase.
This is where retargeting ads and lead nurturing email sequences come into play. They ensure you stay top of mind and to lure prospects back to your website.
Running Facebook ads ( a highly recommended favourite of mine) Google ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads are all great ways you can expand your business’ reach and get people acquainted with your brand.
Bonus. Get that email address!
Avoid relying solely on social media or ads to bring you leads. If you are old enough to remember Myspace you’ll also know that it is no more.
What do you think would have happened to companies that used them as their one and only source for lead gen and did not build an email list.
Yes, you guessed it. The end. Give prospects something that will be of benefit to them, not just something that will be convenient for you to create. Make it something not yet on the market.
There are tons of tips, strategies, and tactics available to help you optimise your sales funnel for maximum conversions.
Whether you choose to try the above or something else the important thing is to test, test, and test again. The data gained from even one day of testing your funnel in the real world is 10 times more valuable than hypothesizing results. So get out there and test that funnel!