Sales funnels are the most important part of your business. Get an early glimpse into how they can help your business by reading this early draft excerpted from my Sales Funnel Bible book.
So far, I’ve outlined a bunch of the basic concepts you need to know to get started on your sales funnel:
- Target market
- Paygates and delivery
These are the basic building blocks of your sales funnel and for the rest of the book I’ll be building on these elements. However, simply understanding these elements on their own isn’t going to be helpful. You need to put them into an order – taking all these pieces of information and laying them out into the “path” that potential buyers take on their journey toward buying from you. This path – this journey – that’s your sales funnel.
The nice things is: If you’ve been doing the work in each chapter so far, you already have your sales funnel primarily laid out for you. (If you haven’t done the work from each chapter… Well, let me just say that the rest of the book will be pretty useless if you don’t at least start).
These easiest and fastest way to start is to simply get a blank sheet of paper and fill it out like this:
At the very top, describe your target market in a couple of sentences. Draw a box around it. This is the very top of the funnel – a description of the people who are entering your funnel.
Then, just below your target market description, start listing their Mindsets. List them down the left margin of your paper in the order that you think they have them. The first Mindset (at the top left of the page, just below the target market description) will be a Mindset along the lines of “I don’t have a problem at all.” And those Mindsets will change over time, evolving eventually to the point where they say: “I have an acute problem that needs to be solved urgently. This company has the product that can solve my problem so I’m willing to hand over my hard-earned money right now because the value I derive by solving the problem with this company’s product is far greater than the work I put into earning that money.” (Depending on your target market and the problem they have and the solution you sell, there might be one or two Mindsets or there might be a dozen or more Mindsets). I like to draw a box around each Mindset.
Once your target market experiences that final Mindset shift (“I have an acute problem that needs to be solved urgently. This company has the product that can solve my problem so I’m willing to hand over my hard-earned money right now because the value I derive by solving the problem with this company’s product is far greater than the work I put into earning that money.”) then it’s time to place your paygate and delivery into your sales funnel. Again, your paygate might come first and then delivery, or your delivery might come first and then the paygate after; it all depends on your business. But the delivery/paygate combination happens here. Place it just below that last Mindset.
So what you have so far is: At the top of your page is a description of your target market. Down the left margin of your page is a list of your target market’s Mindsets, in order, as they evolve. And at the bottom of the page is your delivery/paygate.
You will have some room in the middle of your page (the center and right side of the page) which you can then start developing marketing and sales Activities for each Mindset, and then identify Channels for each Activity.
You’ve created a one-sheet at-a-glance sales funnel document that outlines who you’re marketing, what you’re selling, and how you are selling it. It’s a combination of a mindmap, flowchart, and table of your sales funnel. I call it a Sales Funnel Strategy Matrix because it’s really more than your sales funnel – it’s a strategy tool based on your sales funnel.
Now you have a starting place. From here, you’ll make changes and strengthen your sales funnel further. You’ll test your assumptions (i.e. perhaps the Mindsets evolve in a different way than you thought they did). This sheet of paper will become a working document that you can use to grow your business.
(Note: I’ve explained a very simplified format here. Many businesses will have multiple target markets, more than one product or service, and many different Activities and Channels. Eventually, you might find it helpful to do this exercise on a larger sheet of paper or on multiple sheets of paper – perhaps one for each target market or product/service that you sell if they are substantially different).
This chapter is excerpted from an early draft of my book. Comments and constructive criticisms are welcome. Please be aware that the chapter content and chapter order may change by publication.