Many of our clients sell products or services online. But most of them find it hard to sell their best-selling products. I’m going to share what sales funnels are and why you should rethink your current sales and marketing strategy.
Before a visitor becomes a client, there are a few steps they need to take:
- They visit your store
- They view the product
- They read the description
- They assess the price
- They add the product to the cart
- They purchase the product
As you can see that’s quite a bunch of steps visitors take before becoming a client.
This is why sales funnels are important. It helps you understand the actual journey customers need to take before converting. Each step a visitor takes is a potential drop-out moment. Once you have this journey sorted it will eventually help you to optimise each stage of the funnel. Especially if you find out where and why visitors are dropping out.
What are sales funnels?
Sales funnels are essentially a series of steps that attract potential clients and have them convert into becoming a client by purchasing a product or signing up to service.
The reason they are referred to as funnels is that at the top of the funnel represents all visitors and at the very bottom, the customers.
In the image below, we’ve depicted the sales funnel steps, a visitor will typically take before purchasing a product or service.
You also need to understand that at every level of a funnel, the majority of the initial visitors (entering at the awareness level) will leave at some point. At the purchase level, in most cases, only 2 or 3 per cent of the total amount of initial visitors will purchase. The rest, at some point, dropped out.
This is why it’s essential to frequently monitor, analyse and optimise your sales funnels. As an entrepreneur, your biggest concern is improving your conversion rates. Improving your conversion rates will increase revenue, lower your marketing spend and improve your work-life balance. Ain’t that a pretty picture.
Successful ingredients for sales funnels?
Digital shoppers are savvier than before. Potential clients won’t just purchase from any store they visit. You will need to nurture them. Offer them a certain level of trust. Help them feel comfortable enough to share their credit card details with you.
The first step is to have the basics in sorted, such as a fast loading website, no dead pages, the grammar, product images and description need to be impeccable. Last but not least, the price needs to be competitive.
To begin with pricing: If you’re selling a commodity product such as a washing machine or TV, you don’t need to be the cheapest to win customers. There are always going to be price hunters which will drop-out if you’re too expensive. But many customers are willing to pay a few bucks more as long as they trust you offer excellent service.
Think about buying an Apple or an Android phone. Apple, by far, is much more expensive, but many purchase an iPhone because they are well aware the service is perfect. If the customer service doesn’t meet customer expectations, people will leave the iPhone and move over to an Android phone. It can be this simple.
Email current clients
Many marketers are always finding new ways to attract visitors to websites. They spend thousands on marketing spend and with an average conversion rate of 2% they’re wasting a lot of money. Off course advertising works in some cases, but each and every new visitor will ‘walk’ through the steps I’ve mentioned above. One way to improve sales is by nurturing the clients you already have.
They don’t need convincing if you’re trustworthy because they have purchased products in the past. All they will need to do is decide if they need the product or service you are selling.
The number of prospects may be much lower, at the top of the funnel, but you may expect higher conversion rates in return.
Upselling (not cross-selling)
Have an upsell strategy in place. What’s upselling? Upselling is encouraging customers to purchase a higher-end product compared to the product they’re viewing. Let’s stick to the iPhone for a moment. If you’re on the page of the iPhone 11 and considering to purchase, the upsell product is the iPhone 11 Pro.
By presenting the iPhone 11 Pro as a great alternative, some visitors may suddenly change their mind and decide to purchase the more expensive phone. Which means more revenue for you.
Cross-selling is selling related items such as a screen protector for you iPhone. Although, cross-selling will improve your average order value, research conducted in the past, proves upselling converts 20 times better than cross-selling. Read about it here.
Nevertheless, at some point, adding cross-selling products is a proven sales strategy that works. So don’t remove all of your cross-selling products. Instead, make sure your upsell products are promoted more prominently than they are at the moment.
How to create a sales funnel?
You now know what sales funnels are and why they’re important for you to improve your revenue and more importantly, your work-life balance. In the next step, I will explain how to create a sales funnel.
Step 1: Your current clients
If you want to create effective sales funnel, you will need to understand your audience. Especially if you’re retargeting the clients, you already have.
I firmly believe it’s better to test your (new) sales funnel strategy with the clients you already have. If you’re completely satisfied, you can then decide to advertise with services such as Google and Facebook Ads.
To assess the funnel, you can view your users’ behaviour by login into Google Analytics. Specifically monitor the behaviour flow analytics. This graph visualises which pages your clients are visiting, where they are dropping off and so on. The insights will help you understand which pages are leaking traffic. In other words, are disrupting your conversion rates. To cut the number of drop-outs, you will need to optimise the page. You can optimise your pages by a/b testing.
Google created a special free service a/b testing. All you need to do is follow the instructions; click here to create an a/b test.
Step 2: Landing pages
Let’s say you have sent out an email to your current clients and created a few compelling ads. You don’t want to send these people to a general page on your site. You’d want to direct them to a specific landing page. Before you create a new landing page, you need to decide who’s going to be viewing this page. Are they clients you already have or are they new visitors triggered by ads.
Depending on the type of visitor it is we would like to advise to create a separate landing page for known visitors and unknown visitors.
For the known visitors you can create a landing page which covers the specs and the pricing, but for the unknown visitor, you need to build trust (we talked about this at the beginning of this article).
It could be a better strategy to generate leads on this landing page than trying to sell the product or service. New visitors will need time to consider the product you are selling. They will probably want to find more information such as reviews posted on other sites etc.
Keeping this in mind, it could be more useful to generate leads by placing a newsletter sign-up or a ‘request more information’ button than a ‘buy me now’.
If they sign up – you can nurture them and feed them with the information that helps them make an informed decision. In fact, building a level of trust.
Step 3: Optimising
You may have spent hours designing and testing the page, ensuring everything looks perky and fine. However, as soon as real visitors visit the landing page, you must monitor conversions.
You don’t want to monitor or evaluate traffic after the campaign has ended, you should analyse the traffic during the campaign. If you’re expecting heavy traffic, make sure you check your conversions at least three times a day. The goal is to improve your results, not cry about them after losing a mountain of money.
Don’t just look at the content (images and text) but also monitor technical website-related information such as pagespeed.
Find out with the behaviour flow analytics if visitors are altogether leaving your site or are they navigating to other products.
Creating effective sales funnels takes time, hard work and quite a bit of analytical and technical skill. But we strongly believe it’s the best way to improve your revenue and especially your work-life balance.
The main issue with sales funnels is; the devil is in the detail.
So take your time to build your first sales funnel, monitor your traffic carefully and if you need some help with that, well let’s just say: just give us a call.