As a digital marketer, it's advisable to populate each sales funnel stage with consistent, quality content. It gives you a great shot at zeroing in on users and their precise needs at each stage of the buying process.
While the sales funnel is very important, it has also seen its fair share of change over time. In truth, it's less like a funnel than it is a maze. The complexity notwithstanding, we'll show how to map your funnel to build your sales funnel.
The sales process consists of several stages. One is preparing cold prospects to adopt the idea of spending money on your products or services. The other involves getting them ready for future purchases, which can prove to be a challenge in the modern business climate of intense competition and nearly non-existent trust.
It can be frustrating to craft an offer that's truly valuable but fails to gain any traction with customers. And on top of that, spending money on marketing and advertising only serves to worsen the impact of a failed campaign. That's why a complete sales funnels can make all the difference.
The simplest definition for a sales funnel is that it's a marketing strategy for turning cold prospects into long-term customers by putting them through a process involving several stages.
The funnel analogy refers to your starting with a relatively large audience of prospective buyers and trimming that down to a focused group of high-value customers with focused targeting.
A sales funnel does not merely aim to make a sale. It has a goal to transform the ordinary prospect into a returning customer with lifetime value.
As you take a granular, stepwise approach to the buyer's journey, you're able to become more accurate about how you present offers and when you present them.
If you own a small business, you'll likely begin with a product or two. Larger B2B companies would likely have multiple offers enabling lead generation and creating new leads via the sales pipeline, sales team, or sales cycle.
Let's say you order a product – any product. The company may request if you'd like a particular add-on along with your product. The goal of the offer is to maximize the size of your purchase. It'll also help to drive subsequent purchases.
Most definitions ascribe three parts to a funnel:
Funneling also happens without having planned sales funnel stages in place. But, the results are not predictable or optimizable. In growing any business online, a templated approach ensures that you can creatively and quantifiably grow your customer numbers.
The hallmark of an effective sales funnel is engagement with your prospects and offering them increasing value in every stage. Complexity aside, sales funnels work when we respect some cardinal rules.
Eighty-seven percent of consumers prefer to do business with suppliers who offer valuable content at every buying stage. More than half of consumers would rather hear your value proposition three to five times to forge the trust that precedes the buying process. And nurturing your leads can net you 47 percent more purchases than if you don't.
Understanding the lead generation capabilities that drive marketing funnels can be challenging. Yet, it's more challenging to determine what the funnel should look like. More and more marketers are relying on funnel mapping software to ease the process. Many of these solutions enable you to thoroughly visualize your funnel before investing excessive time and money in developing it.
The primary purpose of funnel mapping is to provide a map for your leads. However, you need to help them get to a particular location on the map where they'll find the funnel's true value.
A funnel map needs to clarify the entire sales process in detail. The level of detail needs to be just right for your needs. These are eight elements of the sales funnel that you need to plot on the funnel map:
- Source of Traffic
How would you ensure that people get into your funnel?
- Website Content
Would you send them a blog post?
- Effective Landing Page
Your prospect should opt in to your offer. How would you help them do this?
- Valuable Offer
Can you make a compelling offer that can help you get your visitor's contact information?
- Thank You Page
How will you take them further down the funnel with the Thank You page?
- Confirmation Email
Will you provide even more detail that maximizes the value you offer the lead.
- Follow-up Email
You need to follow up so you can steer the lead as they progress through the buyer's journey.
How will you use messaging to continue to guide the lead through the sales process?
Working with funnel-mapping software helps to make your sales process more effective and enhance your ROI. It makes the process more manageable.
If you find yourself pondering how to begin a new campaign, you'll find funnel mapping highly valuable. There are many things to take note of that to make it seem tedious. However, funnel-mapping software organizes things into manageable parts.
Let's begin a walkthrough for mapping your sales funnel.
Understanding what your sales funnel looks like is key to taking about where your users, teams, and tone of voice fit into the sales funnel.
When users first encounter your brand, it's often through the top of your funnel. It may be a blog, infographic, social media, or video. It may also be customer referrals, events, or reviews.
The middle of your funnel happens when your buyers have provided their contact information. They've also indicated an interest in your product or service. This part of the funnel features blog posts, e-books, email marketing, and other content that further educate your prospective customers and remind them that you exist.
Now, you'll have some interaction with your users before they buy from your brand. It forms the bottom of the funnel. It contains your fully qualified leads. The content here is highly personal, and your sales team controls it. Prospects here have specific emails, phone conversations, and other content.
There's also the post-sale part of your funnel. It's imperative even though many companies fail to realize this and apply minimal effort in this stage. The post-sale segment offers many opportunities to create future sales, positive reviews, testimonials, and brand advocates.
So, its a smart idea to include the post-sale in your funnel mapping. Post-sale content will typically feature more content marketing that addresses your audience's specific needs, follow-up emails from customer service or account managers, and content requesting poll or survey feedback.
Now you're clear on the path your user is travelling to encounter your brand, interact with it, buy from you, and refer you. It would help if you started being strategic about every stage in the sales funnel. We recommend some questions to help you understand and create content for each stage of the funnel.
The questions include:
It's essential to know where each content type belongs, the appropriate tone, and where content should lead. But, this is a lot easier if you've penciled out the stages for your sales funnel, your audience, your goals, and user mindsets.
Content marketing strategies should be highly specific, taking user needs and business goals into account. Your company may use a straightforward funnel with clear top, middle, bottom, and post-sale stages. Another brand may develop multiple sales funnels that cater to the needs of different users.
Let's say you're coming up with content for a services company. You'll address the need to create content for all departments, staff tiers, current clients, and prospects. All these audiences have unique needs, and the business will have different needs, and the business will have different goals for each one. As a result, there are likely to be several sales funnels your funnel-mapping software needs to account for, and each might have a slightly different appearance.
Now that you understand your sales funnel, the next step is to map your team to each stage and refine your process. This information is important to improve your service to the user and meet your business goals.
Let's now illustrate a typical sales funnel development phase. You can use any funnel-mapping software of your choice. There are three zones of note when creating a sales funnel plan or actually building the funnel:
The Freebie Zone: this includes your freebie, the sign-up page, thank you page, and welcome email.
The Offer Zone: this comprises your email marketing, sales page, and purchase journey.
The Traffic Zone: this covers your traffic and promotion plan. It includes earned traffic, paid traffic, shared traffic, and owned traffic.
The first step in the process is to be clear about your paid offer. However, the offer must address crucial customer pain points. These might be through:
As the customer becomes aware of the pain point they wish to resolve, they will explore options relative to other customers' experiences and recommendations.
Then, you need to pinpoint the various personas' different problems while showing up with the content necessary to engage them. To do this, you can consider existing customers and observe their target problems.
Now knowing the prospects' pain points, it's time to create content that shows up as customers carry out independent research. That's precisely why SEO matters: it helps people locate the content they want to read.
Keyword lists are essential in creating relevant content. As many top-of-funnel keywords as possible should be part of your keyword lists.
You need to create content now using SEO. High-ranking keywords are crucial for goals. Your primary aim is to educate the customer, so SEO will help them discover the content. Titles, headlines, meta descriptions, and video transcripts are essential for this step.
Social media also requires content. Posts, videos, and infographics are a natural fit for this aspect. They also help prospects to discover content.
Customers are usually looking for case studies or content from real users. It provides a better perspective of how others solved similar problems. It's good practice to capture numbers and examples to help make their claims concrete. In the same way, you can reveal your latest innovations and developments, so the customer understands that they're getting the best possible product available. These are opportunities to provide them the latest information around their pain point by sharing information updates when they register for email updates.
The rest of the process guides the customer through the product purchase and gets them to provide reviews. These may be testimonial videos or social media reviews. How about engaging prospective buyers using webinars and podcasts? The possibilities are endless.
After purchase, the funnel-mapping software should also track usage and continue engagement and marketing via email. That's where customized content is most relevant, considering there's been prior contact with the customer. At this point, your company can prime them for a repurchase and get them involved as brand ambassadors and advocates.
The funnel-mapping process is as easy as mapping out your entire prospect experience within the individual stages of your sales funnel. The right funnel-mapping software can help you capture this in a visually comprehensive way. It's one way you can gain the advantage over your competition.
Sign up and try MarketPlan today to start mapping and tracking all your sales funnels to improve on your revenue and ROI.
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