Revenue is the heart and soul behind the idea of any business’s survival.
Having an automated sales funnel allows the business owners to create that sound sales architecture.
Businesses that want to survive the tough competition must have a sound sales process that enables them to create a profitable revenue cycle.
Let’s ask you a simple question first.
Are you aware that the sales funnel includes four crucial stages? No, we are not going to ask you, “what’s a Sales Funnel?”
If you are a business owner then you will know that your leads must go through the thinning process to become interested prospects.
Sales funnel creates a series of steps.
In these steps, the leads get to know about your offering and based on the level of interest they show, are turned into paying customers.
Sales funnel generally has three to seven stages.
However, we will be explaining the three basic components of the sales funnel here.
All your potential customers will be starting their customer journey from this part of the funnel.
As it is located at the top of your sales funnel, it collects a lot of prospects.
At the awareness stage, your audience is getting to know your brand and your company while finding the solution to their problem.
Every sales cycle kick starts with the awareness stage.
A business must make sure that their solution is recognizable in the market before starting the selling process.
Every prospect that is present in the awareness stage of the sales funnel is unqualified.
They are unaware of your brand, and the best way to make them aware is by sending out content that is relevant to your offerings.
82% of customers viewed five or more pieces of content from the winning vendor before making a purchase (Forrester).
Once the audience or your prospects realize that your offering is the best option for solving their problem, they will proceed to the consideration stage.
Here, the funnel narrows down a bit to filter the prospects out based on their urgency or intent of purchase.
From the customer point-of-view, this is the stage where there are various alternatives available to them, who are providing the same solution to their problems.
At this stage, prospects are generally doing their own research by evaluating your solution against the problem they are facing.
Free demos clubbed with a limited time offer often helps in converting prospects into paying customers.
Demos help prospects in their consideration process as they can get the first-hand experience of how your solution actually works.
A limited time offer creates the fear of missing out on a great offer!
The final stage introduces your sales process to your ideal customers who are really interested in making the purchase.
The decision stage narrows down to filter the most interesting prospects and sends them into your sales pipeline.
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Traditional sales funnel
The traditional sales funnel typically has these steps.
The online visitors who show interest in your offerings by signing up for newsletters or by filling in their details in your online contact form.
Your leads are considered prospects when they have shown the intent to make the purchase.
When your online visitors take a specific action like making a purchase.
4. Referral Customer
Every customer who brings other prospects into the funnel is considered as a referral customer.
The goal of a sales funnel
Still, building a revenue-boosting sales funnel without discovering what your sales funnel’s goal is?
Having a sales funnel goal means you are not going in the dark on a mission to make a profit for your business.
Ask yourself a simple question, “What do I want my prospect to do once they are through my sales funnel?”
The answer to this question might be something like this: ‘book a demo’, ‘subscribe to the newsletters’ or ‘make a purchase’.
Business owners need to decide which product or service they would like the lead to buy.
So, define the product, and the problem it’s going to solve.
Businesses can benefit more if they have a system in place that can evaluate the current data inside the sales process.
Before we head towards the next chapter, let’s understand a few more important components of the sales process.
The purpose of the marketing department is to reach the customers in those moments where they are open to the idea of accepting or experimenting with the product.
Marketing sought these moments or touchpoints where consumers are open to getting influenced.
Touchpoints are simply understood through a “funnel”.
Customers start by choosing a number of potential brands in mind.
This is the wide end of the funnel as shown above in the image.
The marketing team starts implementing their strategies to stay at the top of the consumer’s mind as they methodically reduce the number of brands.
The consumers keep moving through the funnel and narrow down to a single brand.
Consumer decision-making process
Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group).
The dynamic state of today’s market is not hidden from anyone.
Technological advancements have made brand interaction really easy for the modern consumer.
Your prospects are making impressions of your brand every minute of the day based on various touch-points such as
- Peer conversations
- Personal product experience
Your marketing team’s efforts to gain exposure from the buyers will not matter if they are unaware of your existence.
Consumers have a system where they narrow all of their initial considerations based on the options available to them.
The system has these steps involved:
- Weighing the available options
- Taking a decision
- Making the purchase
Once the customers make their first purchase, the post-sale phase starts.
In this phase, the sales funnel helps business owners decide the consumer’s loyalty to their brands and the likelihood of repurchase.
The decision-making process now has become more circular as shown in the image below.
There are four primary phases that are present in this circular decision-making process.
- Initial consideration
- Active evaluation
This funnel allows business owners to understand their brand’s strength against their competition at various stages. It also highlights various bottlenecks.
All these factors help marketers to understand and focus on different aspects of the marketing challenge.
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We hope with these tips, you will create an automated sales funnel and focus on all the different aspects of your business while managing sales.
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1. Creating content that pulls potential leads
95% of buyers chose a vendor that provided content to navigate each stage of the buying process (Demand Gen Report).
The sales funnel needs its fodder to provide a stable inflow of revenue.
We mean to say leads. However butchered the term fodder may be, it is a necessity for the sustenance of every business.
Creating an informative and attractive pool of product or service relevant content is the first step in automating your sales funnel.
This step is important for your sales funnel as it coincides with the awareness stage.
Share your ebook or whitepaper on the official website of your company.
Make it downloadable once the visitor shares their basic information in the online form.
You can use a CRM system that integrates with your online contact forms and create contacts automatically.
CRM systems can do much more than that.
They can schedule an email (pre-written by you of course) including the downloadable content and a few spaces mentioning your company and its background.
With email tracking enabled, you can easily know if the visitor actually opened the email to download a copy of your content or not.
This helps you identify the leads to potential buyers of your product or services.
Customers purchase a certain product or service because they want to solve a certain problem they are facing in their business process.
Want them to purchase your product or service?
Show them the customer reviews.
This will help them understand how your offering has helped or is helping customers like them.
2. Using a powerful lead-magnet
70% of purchasing decisions are made to solve a specific problem (Impact Communications)
This is the most important step in the sales funnel process because it is interlinked with the consideration stage.
Once online content attracts the visitor to read about your product’s problem-solving capacities it is time to give them a live demo.
Or at least request them to get a demo of your product in action!
When they see how the offering is allowing them to solve their problems first-hand they will definitely go for the purchase.
Lead magnets are not a foreign concept.
You know them as
Businesses can use the power of CRM and its automation feature for monitoring website visitor behavior and have the lead magnet pop-up at the right moment.
When we say automation, you will be thinking ‘pricey’.
Actually, it is quite simple and cost-effective.
Intelligent sales CRM of this modern business era collect the data that is fed into them and help in generating various reports such as
- email opened
- links clicked
- pdf downloaded
- calls made
- sales forecast
- completed tasks
- hours spent on certain deals
- the deal stage
- duration a deal spends in a certain stage
When combined, this data allows businesses to see the basic patterns of various types of visitors follow while browsing through your website.
Let us share a simple instance of a sales lead magnet.
Your prospect is a loan insurance company.
They are struggling to keep a tab on the number of contacts and the loan amount associated with their account.
You are a service provider that enables such prospects to automate every data inside the database in a well-stacked fashion.
When the prospect is visiting your page and gets toward the bottom or decides to exit the site, a pop-up comes on the screen.
The popup generally encourages website visitors to share their email addresses for gaining access to something free.
“Free” in your marketing copy encourages better downloads from your visitors and enables you to share the most relevant content copy with them.
Although the word free is used, it is a win-win situation for both the business and the prospect.
There are various sequences that allow you, as a business, to setup an automated sales funnel.
It helps in getting a regular share of leads directly from the internet.
The leads then are followed up by the sales team who use the sales process tactics to convert them into paying customers.
They just need to successfully move them through your sales pipeline.
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3. Setting up the split tests
In order to create a good and working sales funnel, you must remember this simple rule. You will always need to keep reinventing the factors of the sales funnel.
Doing so allows you to get rid of the process that is not working and re-invent the way you convert your prospects into paying customers.
Use the power of automation inside a CRM system and save all the contact information without any manual labor.
Business owners can rest assured that the sales funnel architecture does not need unnecessary intrusion from their end.
Setting split tests help your cause as it pushes random pop-ups for random visitors.
For instance, one of the pop-ups offers the visitor a free ebook while another pop-up has a 15% discount on the first purchase.
Once you test these pop-ups for at least one week, you can have the result of which one did better.
Creating an automated sales funnel is not a simple task.
You regularly need to keep a tab on the results, recreate the steps involved in the entire process.
But once you get the hang of it, the time and resources vested in building such a funnel will allow you to boost your profits.
Creating an automated sales funnel for boosting revenue
Let’s go through the sales funnel process one last time. Your marketing team creates a content pool and shares it over your website.
This is done to spread awareness of your brand and help it reach the intended audience.
Your target consumer base then interacts with the online content, reads it and fills up the contact form.
The CRM then created them as a contact and using automation assigns them to the sales professionals.
After they are assigned to their prospects, the salesperson tries converting prospects into a buyer.
Once they are in your data pool, you can always bring them back to your website using a product update newsletter, promotional emails.
These tools include special discounts or price cuts or target specific problems the businesses from certain sectors might be facing.
As you start moving the leads through your sales funnel you get an experience of handling prospects and their queries.
Sales funnel automation enables your team members to collect crucial consumer data. This data can be later used for understanding the basic consumer psyche.
To conclude …
Create an automated sales funnel.
It allows businesses to focus their time, money and resources on other processes and tasks that allow them to move their business forward.
We discussed how important it is to develop an automated sales funnel for a revenue boost.
Sales development reps use on average six tools (Sales for Life)
There is one more major component that allows businesses to focus better on their sales and that component is a smart and intelligent sales CRM.
CRM software enables businesses to let the busywork stay away from their business process.
Two-way email sync, built-in calling, task and deal tracking, reports, and other such features allow them to save more selling time.
The average annual spend on sales technology is $3,894 per rep per year (Sales for Life)
Sales is the fodder for every business, the more successful your sales team is, the better the revenue your business will generate.
That is why you must give your business the best small business CRM that supports you through your business journey and grows with your success.
The most popular sales tools include CRM, social prospecting, data and list services, email engagement, phone, and sales cadence (Sales for Life).
One such intelligent sales tool available in the market today is Salesmate CRM.
Salesmate CRM is budget-friendly with tonnes of features. This smart sales tool allows business owners to automate their important processes without taking too much of their selling time.
Curious to know more about Salesmate CRM? Want to see how the software is capable of solving your problems?
Then do get in touch with us or book a demo with our team.
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