As a salesperson, one is constantly fighting an uphill battle to attract attention from leads and prospects.
The harder it is to sell, the harder the job becomes.
The sales funnel provides a relationship-focused framework to follow, preventing the pitch from giving.
Instead of trying to sell prospects on products or services, a sales funnel educates potential customers to make a qualified, educated buying decision.
While the exact stages of the sales funnel can vary dramatically, it generally follows the same process: awareness, interest and evaluation, desire, action and re-engagement.
At each stage of the sales funnel, a specific piece of information, content, or answers needs to be provided that helps move prospects closer and closer to making a purchase.
Research and Preparation:
Although research and preparation are not the original steps in the sales funnel, it is still very important to create future success.
Start by identifying the own brand values.
Understanding a company’s bottom line lays the foundation for creating long-term, more valuable customer relationships.
Also, get to know the target customer rather than just a potential payday.
Creating buyer personas helps to understand who the ideal customer is, what problems they face, and what solutions one can offer to make their life easier.
A buyer persona makes it easy to identify what content is needed at each stage of the sales funnel.
Understanding the prospect’s goals, frustrations and personalities enable the information provided to be better addressed.
The top of the funnel is awareness.
The main purpose of this phase is to improve the visibility of the brand and start collecting leads.
Make sure it targets the right group of people.
During awareness, focus on the brand but not push any particular product or service. Focus on sharing ideas, solutions or advice.
Ways to increase brand awareness are:
- Sponsored social media posts
- Guest posting or guest podcasting
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Independent research
- Personal events.
Content at this stage of the sales funnel should be informative, but also fun and interesting.
Buyer personas to identify areas where target audiences congregate.
Know the social media platforms they use most often and target those areas.
Run ads on non-traditional platforms they use, such as dating apps or video games, that fit the brand personality.
While not “best practice” platforms like Facebook or Twitter, the key here is to create content that captures the attention of the target audience they are already spending their time with.
If the target audience is not active in those areas, don’t waste time or money.
Determine a specific process or action that leads to the next stage of the sales funnel, such as signing up for a newsletter or registering for a webinar.
Have tangible conversions, such as social media followings or email newsletter signups, and measure how people are engaging versus how many are converting.
If the conversion rate is low, revisit the content being created.
Look for better posting opportunities or content that is more appealing to the audience.
Interest and Evaluation:
Once a lead moves from the awareness stage, they enter the interest and evaluation stage of the sales funnel.
The main goal is to establish a relationship with the new lead to determine what their ultimate goals are.
Create a consistent brand voice and message relevant to the target audience and share it through various content channels.
Content Ideas for the Interest Stage of the Sales Funnel:
- Email campaigns
- Blog posts
- Main magnets
- Social media accounts
- Free trials
- Retargeting campaigns
- Pricing pages
- Case studies
- Discount codes
- Customer reviews and product recommendations
- Live demonstrations or tutorial webinars
- Product comparisons
- Internal or customer success tips
- Special offers
- Product implementation or training webinars
- Bundle packages
- Follow-up email campaigns