A Beginner’s Recipe for Creating Your First Sales Funnel 30 Sep 2019
Mint, a budget tracking company, needed to convince people that online financial services were safe. When Mint started, connecting a bank account to an online business scared consumers. How could Mint dispel their audience’s concerns?
A sales funnel. Mint’s sale funnel directed clients to content focused on the benefits of the service. Inbound marketing and a strong visual design helped Mint build a healthy customer base. The resulting increase in clients drove Mint’s revenue up to an estimated $13 million.
An effective sales funnel makes services that could seem alarming, appealing. Mint’s success from leveraging a sales funnel may make you wonder if a sales funnel will help your company grow.
A sales funnel can support your company’s growth, but first, you have to adapt it to your market. Let’s talk about what a sales funnel is and how you can create one for your business.
A Sales Funnel Turns Shoppers Into Buyers
A sales funnel (or sales process) guides your potential customers through purchasing your products. It’s designed to coax shoppers into becoming buyers.
There are many kinds of sales funnels, but the most common type is content that educates and directs people through the buying process. A content-based sales funnel typically includes a lead magnet, introductory offer, and a core offer, which can be hard to create.
One survey found that 48% of companies put improving the efficiency of their sales process as their top sales goal. How can you create an efficient sales funnel?
Start With Customer-Based Content
Every stage of your sales funnel needs to be adapted to your customers. Using content that targets your client’s concerns keeps them interested.
In fact, 80% of decision-makers prefer reading an article series to viewing advertisements. Basing your funnel on content that relates to your audience engages potential clients.
What content topics should you focus on? Your prospective clients have industry-related problems and questions. Creating content around your market’s interests will help you engage customers with your sales funnel.
Find out what your customers are interested in by asking them. Use emails, surveys, and social media to talk to your audience and learn what they care about.
The right topics can engage potential clients, but it’s not enough to just put pen to paper. Your content needs to be in-depth if it’s going to create value in your customers’ minds.
Add Some Comprehensive Content Pieces
You’ve found the right topics, but how can you take it a step further and create a lead magnet?
First, figure out which format works best. Depending on your skill set, you can do anything from an online or downloadable guide to a resource list.
Once you’ve chosen a format, create a thorough piece of content based on your chosen topic. Your content should address a specific concern or problem your audience is facing.
A lead magnet doesn’t have to be large. In fact, a short lead magnet can deliver value to your readers quickly and keep their attention. For example, if your target audience is interested in marketing, you can make a short checklist on evaluating your marketing’s effectiveness.
Producing in-depth content shows that you know the topic and your industry. In fact, 9 out of 10 buyers value in-depth content.
But, what happens after you create the right content to offer your readers? It’s time to set up your sales funnel. Perhaps you’ll create a form for your website and offer your lead magnet to those who sign up for your email list. However you build your sales funnel, make sure to keep prospects engaged for your next offer.
Now that your lead magnet is attracting prospects to your funnel, it’s time to guide people to the next stage of your sales process. Getting people interested in your products and services.
Finish With Valuable Offers
Potential clients have opted in to your email list, but they’re not customers yet.
An introductory offer entices potential customers to sample some of your products or services without committing to anything. Your offer should be relevant to your audience and tie into your previous content piece. An introductory offer also needs to be low cost if it’s going to attract clients.
What can you offer? Your industry determines what kind of offer makes sense for you. Video courses, workshops, and audits of a customer’s company all work as introductory offers. Once a client takes advantage of your introductory offer, it’s time to hit them with your core offer.
A core offer is an even bigger offer than your introductory one. It should be valuable to your market and help clients achieve a specific goal. For example, your core offer could be a membership to your community, business coaching, or software. Whatever you’re trying to sell can be your core offer as long as it relates to your previous content and solves the customers’ pain.
Once your clients say yes to your core offer, your focus can shift from funneling them through your sales process to providing exceptional service. With a quality sales funnel, you can turn interested people into lifelong customers.
Serve With Great Products and Services
Mint used a sales funnel to help clients overcome their fear. Your sales funnel can increase your customer base and help your business grow.
What should your sales funnel look like? Start with content that’s geared toward your customers’ concerns. Create valuable lead magnets that draw people in. Then, offer introductory and core products that highlight how your business can help them solve real business challenges.
A sales funnel can attract the clients your business needs. Mint’s strong sales funnel contributed to their company’s success. What’s stopping you from creating a better sales funnel?
Robyn Kunz is the Chief Compliance Officer at Trusted Employees. She has worked in the background screening industry for over 15 years and holds Advanced Certification in the Fair Credit Reporting Act from the National Association of Professional Background.
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