There are many tips and tricks on starting a small business, but a smart and efficient way of ensuring its success is by identifying and refining your sales funnel. Without a sales funnel, you waste time and effort blindly chasing every lead and getting few conversions in return.
Whether you’re starting an online business or a small commercial establishment, it is important for you to define your own sales funnel.
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is a simplified visualization of your customer’s journey through your sales process. This starts from the very moment they realize their need for your product up to the point when they are finally making a purchase. A sales funnel best illustrates the entire process because you begin with a bigger number of potential customers and end with less people who actually make a purchase.
How can I use a sales funnel to benefit my small business?
In essence, your sales funnel will help you measure, manage, and predict sales leads; this further allows you to improve your sales process and close more deals. Here are other ways to use a sales funnel:
To understand the customer journey
It is crucial to understand a customer’s decision-making process, often referred to as the customer journey, because it enables you to respond or make an action at the right time and in the right way. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and consider each stage of their decision-making journey.
To understand the sales process
Once the customer journey is clear to you, it is important to establish a sales process that will guide customers into completing a purchase. Make sure that every stage in your sales process matches the customer journey. Otherwise, you won’t be able to respond to your customer’s needs accordingly.
To sort leads and focus on the right ones
Not all sales leads result in conversions, so it would definitely save you a lot of time and resources if you could sift the good ones and focus on them. By having a sales funnel, you can evaluate the leads you’re getting and be able to sort and prioritize those with higher potential.
To understand your conversion rates
With a sales funnel, you can estimate the probability of leads becoming conversions. It shows you at which stage of your sales process the number of customers start to dwindle, and from there, come up with solutions to improve conversion rate at that specific stage.
To nurture your leads
In some types of business, it takes a long while before customers are able to decide whether they’re going to make a purchase or not. That’s why you will need to keep on nurturing these leads throughout the sales funnel. Create multiple points of contact and always follow up until they’re ready to buy from you. Make sure that their trust grows even more as time goes by.
We have a very competitive industry, and it’s not enough to employ online business marketing strategies or gimmicks to win the heart of customers. You should be able to figure out the science behind their purchasing behavior and respond to their needs in the right way.