You can never stress enough the fact that understanding your consumers is vital for any kind of business. Without understanding your customers and business, it will be difficult to identify the underlying areas of your business strategy and find solutions. So how do we solve this problem? The first step to tackle this would be to understand the funnel design of your business.
In this article, we will talk about:
- What is a sales funnel?
- Why is it important & how to build a sales funnel?
- Funnel design examples
What is a sales funnel?
The entire process that a customer undergoes to purchase your products or services is what we call ‘sales funnel’. But why a funnel? The reason behind this is the fact that the entire sales process illustrates a funnel design from top to bottom. First, you have the awareness step, then there is a filtration process and some people move to the next step which is interest, after which there is the decision and finally action.
Each of these steps involves some or the other form of filtration process which means that some people leave the funnel at every step. This ultimately means that there is a decline of numbers from the first step to the last step of the funnel.
These funnels are not fixed and can look quite different from one another according to the industry or business type. Our goal as a business is to always strengthen the funnel design and optimize it in the best possible way.
Why is it important & how to build a sales funnel?
Remember how we spoke about some prospective customers leaving the funnel at different stages? How can we know for sure, why are they leaving? Analyzing your funnel helps to understand how customers behave at every stage and exactly are the problems areas are.
It helps us to understand why they are leaving and what can we do to solve this problem. For example, If you notice a major chunk of customers leaving at the decision stage, maybe it means that there are problems with the follow-ups.
The main idea is to have some reliable data that can easily be analyzed and worked on and this is possible with the help of a personalized sales funnel design. A sales funnel can also help you design your 4Ps of marketing efficiently based on customer behavior and practices in the funnel.
Steps to building involve an efficient sales funnel
Start with the landing page
The most important part of your sales funnel is the existence of potential customers, after all, they are the ones who will go through the funnel.
An excellent way to build the first touchpoint with your buyers would be to invest in a landing page. An efficient landing page should contain relevant information about your brand and a way for customers to get in touch with you. If your landing page is created with a strong call-to-action, you can expect strong leads who are ready to enter the awareness stage of your sales funnel.
After you have your leads, the next step would be to push your leads towards the interest zone of the tunnel.
This means that you have to build their interest. You can do that with the help of educational and relevant content about your business. The more customers learn about you, the more they are interested in you.
Brands can use various channels for this step like relevant blogs, emails, text messages, videos or even downloadable pdf files.
This step is crucial for engagement and to convince the customers why they need to invest in your brand. You have to highlight what are your brand’s unique traits that make it better than the competitors.
The next and final step is the conversion stage. This last stage involves the consumers purchasing the product and completing the transaction. There are a couple of ways where we can improve this step-
- Shortening the selling process.
- Easier signup procedure or eliminating the signup step.
- Simplifying the steps in the purchasing process
If the payment process is not simplified, it might lead to leaks. It is ideal to offer flexible payment options to the consumers and an easy signup procedure.
If in case, the leads are not converted at this stage, you can invest time to form an effective follow-up strategy.
This final stage also lets you inspect the leaks and the strong factors of your funnel design.
Funnel design examples
We have discussed the sales funnel, understood its importance, and also discussed how to build a good sales funnel. Let us now look at some real-life examples of funnel designs to help us visualize the theory that we have just discussed.
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools in the market. Their strongest awareness stage tactic is adding their name to every email sent via MailChimp. In this way, their customers become their strongest promoters. They also focus on informational blogs and messages to attract buyers to their brand.
Interestingly, MailChimp follows a freemium approach. This means that they create interest by asking their customers to sign up and try their product for free. A lot of popular brands are following this freemium tactic to gain consumer interest.
Finally, a flexible and easy pricing landing page helps to seal the deal as the last step of their funnel with different plan options.
Netflix is a video streaming giant and offers a similar ‘free trial’ option like MailChimp. Netflix’s strong point is a simple website and easy payment options.
Their homepage emphasizes the ‘no commitment’ and ‘security’ features of their pricing plan. The pricing landing page auto-selects the premium option which can be altered according to the user preference. The pricing page also features an FAQ section that can solve customer queries instantly.
Netflix has brilliantly made the purchasing process short and simple by offering various payment options like digital payments, credits cards, and gift cards.