In my years of experience working as a sales manager and head of multiple businesses, I have encountered and utilized several sales tactics.
It is usually easier to build a sales system with multiple touch points from advertising to hiring top notch sales people when you have a big budget.
However when you are a small business owner with a limited marketing budget, you are continually looking for smart ways to grow your business revenues.
I discovered sales funnels some years ago when I wanted to start a business with a little budget. I wanted to identify a system that would help me get new prospects constantly so I could convert them to customers.
What is a sales funnel? A sales funnel is a sales system usually represented by the shape of a funnel by which you move your prospects or leads through a system of qualifying action until you eventually convert some of them to sales.
Just like the funnel shape, the number of people who will eventually buy from you are much smaller than the ones that started the process at the beginning of the funnel.
Why does this happen? Because 73% of the people who become aware of your products the first time have no intention of buying.
And usually at the first encounter, only 2% buy! That means if you don’t have a sales funnel to nurture your prospects, you will be losing 98% of the people who learn about your business for the first time.
What are the steps in creating a sales funnel that will scale your business revenue?
- Awareness: these are the ways in which people get to know about your business. The awareness stage is usually the most tricky for many business owners especially those that are not sales minded. Some ways to create awareness are social media marketing, word of mouth, referral, content marketing, and advertising in traditional media and public relations.
- Interest: at this stage, you get the attention of some people who begin to explore your products. They can do this by clicking the link from your advert on social media or reading content you posted on a blog and clicking the link you put at the end.
- Consideration: at this stage, some of the people who were interested decide to engage a bit more with you or your products or service. They might pay a visit to your premises, visit your website, send you a message on social media or call you or your staff.
- Evaluation: at the evaluation stage, some people who have gotten all the information they need at the consideration stage evaluate your product or service. They think about value for Money and affordability. At this stage, they are mostly making a financial and emotional decision.
- Sale: after evaluation, some customers make the decision to buy your products. This is the goal of having a sales funnel.
Your goal should be to find the most cost effective way to create awareness about your products or services.
A sales funnel is a process you should have in place on a continuous basis so that you can constantly create awareness, nurture your lead and convert them into sale.
A practical example of how a sales funnel can help you is this:
Your business needs 20 new sales a month to make a profit. To enable you meet this sales target in your industry that has a 20% conversion rate, you need to bring 100 people into your sales funnel every month.
Your goal is to develop a sales activity plan that combines various means to get 100 people aware of your business in a month. That plan can include word of mouth, social media marketing and existing customers’ referral.
Once you reach 100 people, you need to apply the steps in the sales funnel to convert at least 20% to customers so you can meets your target.
If you want to grow your revenues to 200 new sales a month, you should aim at reaching at least 1000 people in a month!
Automating your sales funnel
One of the ways to scale quickly is automation. You can leverage technology tools to drive traffic to your website or landing page that contains information that will capture the interest of people.
Usually people will give you their information in exchange for a freebie known as a lead magnet. This freebie should be something that adds value to your prospective customers and should make them want more of your products or services.
Once you get their information, you can nurture them through phone calls, text messages, broadcast groups on applications like WhatsApp and email.
If you use a technology system that is synchronized, you can even automate the emails to go out once new people register their interest.
When you properly implement your sales funnel, you will see a major increase in sales. However this will happen if you have the right business model, right systems to support it and the right people to follow up throughout the process.
Before you excitedly start building your sales funnel to scale your business revenue, find out if your business is ready to scale by taking the ready to scale quiz HERE.