What is a Sales Funnel?
It’s no secret that quality lead generation is what fuels any business and keeps it going. The question is how you convert these leads into customers.
Most businesses to date are still attracting members by giving away flyers on the streets or even placing ads in a local newspaper. There is nothing wrong with this type of marketing as long as this method works for them.
Some businesses have nice websites highlighting membership plans, trainings to attract new members and hopefully convert them into members in future. But the question is how well the website as a tool works for them to attract and retain their ideal customers?
And, some businesses started looking outside their website as a main lead gen tool and using sales funnels to keep fresh leads flowing in and feeding the business with new potential prospects.
First, let’s understand the difference between a website and funnel. In no way one substitutes the other. They have various roles and functions.
Think of website as a building on the street and online presence of your business in the market. Most people pass by, few enter the building to check out stores inside and leave them without any intention to buy on that particular day.
Now, let’s imagine we could bring these people who have intention to buy on the specific floor, units, offices within this building. Think of sales funnels as specific floors, units or suites within the building where those who enter have some specific intention to take action.
In other words, let’s project this analogy back to websites and sales funnels. With website, we don’t know who is going to land there, and what they are going to do on our home page. They come, click around and leave. And the odds are they will never come back. So, we lost them as a potential customer forever unless we bring them back through retargeting but this is another topic for discussion.
Yet on sales funnel, we know exactly who we’re talking to, where these people are coming from and what they want. They have a specific intention (ideally intention to buy) in their mind. More than that we know exactly what stage in the journey they are and we know what message resonated them to come there.
Websites vs. Sales Funnels
Keeping all this in mind let’s dig deeper and make a clear distinction between a website and funnel.
Website is static. It consists of web pages about company, services or products with a goal to indoctrinate a visitor.
Sales funnel is dynamic. It is a series of landing pages tied together with upsell and downsell pages with a sole goal to sell something to a visitor.
Like in other sales environment, let’s take a retail store as an example; a visitor feels like someone takes and holds their hand by showing around a store and helping out. This is what sales funnels are exactly doing; they are like modern day sales people working 24/7 online.
Whereas websites are similar to display windows where people pass by, stop for a second or two and leave. No one approaches them and offer any help. This is the money left on the table.
With funnels, you start building relationships by offering something valuable for free in exchange for their email. This gives you the right to continue building rapport with your prospects. As long as you provide them value at some point in future they may consider your products or services.
Sales funnels enable you to start the first interaction with your prospects by offering them something valuable for free (e.g. free book, free consultation, etc.).
To conclude, sales funnels and websites are not mutually exclusive. Each has its own goal and role. You just need to know how to leverage them separately.
Why Do Businesses Need Sales Funnels?
In today’s highly competitive and overcrowded marketplace businesses are fighting for every customer and this trend is not going to slow down any time soon.
The question is how do you stand out and what’s more, how do you persuade prospects that your services and/or products are better than the competition’s?
This is where innovation, technology, creativity and marketing strategy come into play. This is where sales funnels specifically come to rescue.
Here is one way to attract your ideal members for your business using sales funnel. Offer a book or a consultation or real value for free. Let them come in and experience your products or services. To take advantage of this free offer they need to go through sales funnel and start their journey by leaving their email address on the first landing page of your funnel. Then on the second landing page you have another no-brainer offer, which will be hard to resist. And then your call-to-action follows and prompts a prospect to take immediate action or the exclusive offer is gone!
Why can’t I do the same with a website you may ask? Well, the biggest difference is that unlike a website, sales funnel has a chain we want prospects to follow through. We know exactly the scenario and the end result we want to get them and we know how we want them to get there. There are not too many options for a prospect on the funnel. It’s a kind of “black & white”, you’re either “in or out”.
Benefits of a Sales Funnel
- It has a specific end goal and result;
- It collects prospect’s contact information;
- It increases lifetime value of a customer;
- It pixels the audience that visited a landing page for further retargeting;
- It increases the so-called “cart value” of a visitor meaning they started with lowest cost item at the top of the funnel and they bought more expensive products or services as they move down the funnel;
- Funnels are modern day sales people working online 24/7
How to Build a Sales Funnel For Your Business
How do you attract customers and clients and retain them on a monthly basis? Do you have automated well-oiled machine that consistently generates your business qualified leads online 24/7?
To achieve this you need to build a funnel. Here is an example of how lead generation funnel for local businesses looks like:
All starts with any type of traffic source. Then you show your prospects your attractive offer that will be difficult for them to resist. A prospect provides his/her contact information and gets access to your offer.
But the funnel does not stop here. You want them to take action and you give them another compelling reason to call you. So instead of you chasing them, they are calling you and inquire about your services and products.
In my business I use ClickFunnels to build all my and my clients’ sales and marketing funnels. ClickFunnels gives you EVERYTHING you need to market, sell and deliver your services or products online. This tool builds entire sales funnels.
If you have a ClickFunnels account you can download our our pre-built, highly converting Home Page funnel that you can start using in your business today to attract and retain more customers in your business within 30+ days without losing to a competition.. even if you had no success in the past..