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.
Your sales funnel is the journey that someone makes to solve a problem or fulfill a need by buying your product or service. They start at the top of your sales funnel having never heard of you before and perhaps not even realizing that they have a problem. They finish their journey by handing over their hard-earned money because they believe that your product or service can help them with their problem or need.
This journey is a journey of mindsets – starting with not being aware of their problem or need and ending with a desire to solve a pressing problem or need with your product or service. That is not done in one mindset jump. It’s made up of several small steps on a mindset evolution.
Smart business owners map out their sales funnel by figuring out that mindset evolution. The sales funnel should address each change in mindset as a distinct step – with the business owner helping to evolve the mindset with various marketing and sales activities.
In a previous chapter I wrote about how each step requires some commitment from the target market (perhaps spending some time to read your marketing or sharing their email address to receive your newsletter). I also said that you need to reduce the level of commitment in each step because that will help to encourage people to move forward in your sales funnel.
By necessity, reducing the level of commitment in your sales funnel might mean increasing the number of steps in your sales funnel. However, there is a flipside to this idea: You should aim for the smallest number of steps as possible in your sales funnel so that the people in your sales funnel don’t grow weary at their unresolved problem or unfulfilled need and move on to someone else who can help them.
Yes, it’s a conundrum and there is no easy way to predict the exact number of steps you need in your specific sales funnel. Ultimately you want the largest number of steps that will make your target market comfortable but at the same time you want the smallest number of steps as possible to help your target market quickly resolve their most pressing need.
Moving people through your sales funnel faster should be a key priority for you. Because the faster they go through your sales funnel, the more people you can put through your sales funnel. (There are exceptions to this rule, of course). As well, a short sales funnel is one that requires less effort from you to manage, thereby making each sale a little more profitable.
So it’s in your interest to reduce the number of steps that your potential customers have to take – however, the “trick” is to avoid reducing the steps to the point where your potential customer feels that too much is required of them at once.
In your sales funnel, try to gauge the comfort level of your target market to determine how urgent they perceive their problem to be and how quickly they’re willing to move forward to resolve it. Your marketing should increase the urgency and highlight the pain they are experiencing and that will help them proactively push through your sales funnel as quickly as they can.
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.