4 Key steps to create an effective sales funnel
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
An airtight sales funnel is essential for maintaining a steady flow of customers.
Tell me what’s in your sales funnel, and I will tell you what type of success you have in store for you. An airtight sales funnel is essential for maintaining a steady flow of customers.
If your business sells a product or service having an airtight sales funnel can provide great value to you and your business. Now with that said let’s take an in-depth look at what a sales funnel is, why you and your business should have one in place, and how to set up a highly effective and airtight sales funnel.
What's a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is a series of steps you want to lead your potential customers through, guiding them from the awareness stage through to the rest of the stages of the buyer’s journey (interest, decision, and action).
If you look at a sales funnel in diagram form, it looks like a funnel, wide at one side – the beginning or awareness stage. This is where you have a lot of prospective customers entering as you move through it. Then, as you move your buyers through the interest and decision stages – which is where you can educate them with content and give them options that will appeal to their unique needs and expectations – the funnel gets smaller.
At the final stage, the action stage, which represents where you have your existing customers, the funnel is a fraction of the size of the other end – just like your number of paying customers is a fraction of the number of prospects your business has.
The whole idea of having a sales funnel is to guide prospects from one stage to the next, making it easier for them to end up at the purchase stage with little effort on their part. Otherwise, you’d have a lot of different marketing channels going, but they wouldn’t be aligned – they wouldn’t take the buyer by the hand and walk them down the path to purchase.
With a sales funnel, a prospect naturally flows from the awareness stage through to the buyer stage, and if your funnel is well-constructed and air-tight, you won’t lose a lot of prospects and leads along the way.
How to make an effective sales funnel
The key to success with creating a sales funnel is to use human emotions to guide the buyer, helping them reach their end goal – the solution that your product or service offers. As you construct your funnel, you’ll want to answer these questions:
What value do you provide your target demographic?
What do you have for sale that can offer a solution to their problem?
What information does your target buyer need to motivate them to take the desired action you need(purchasing a product or service from you or your company, subscribing to newsletters, subscribing to services, downloads, etc.)?
Does your product or service benefit them – how?
Does your product or service offer something more, better, or different than your competitors?
You’ll use the answers to these questions, along with the 4C’s of a sales funnel, to guide your buyers along. The 4C’s involve your customers’ emotional responses. Each C works with a different stage of the sales funnel, drawing them and motivating them to keep moving through:
In the awareness stage, you are introducing your audience to your product or service and how it could help them solve their problem or benefit them.
This is where you use engaging content to spark their interest so they’ll keep moving along with your brand, not a competitor. It’s where you use vivid images, quality video, and an engaging website to capture their attention. And make it interesting! According to Topo, 24% of sales emails are ever opened. If you want people to pay attention to your content in the Interest stage, be consistent, entertaining, and relevant.
Now regarding the decision stage of your funnel, you’ll want to provide statistics, data, testimonials, and other solid information that will convince them that your product provides value. Keep in mind, 20% of buyers want to talk or interact during the decision stage – so this is where you want to make sure you aren’t leaving any holes in your sales funnel. Make sure you have the resources to answer emails, to respond to queries on social media, and you’re paying attention to questions your prospects may post through the comments sections of your blog posts.
This is it – it’s time to close the deal. This is the action stage where you motivate your buyer to make a purchase or take some other action. To do this, you create a sense of urgency or scarcity for your product or service. You can also use exclusive perks to encourage them to buy now.
Learn how to build your very own sales funnel website today!