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.
Business owners need to invest in their business if they want it to grow. No business can grow without some investment. (An investment can be money, time, effort, or some other asset).
When it comes to your business, there are seemingly an unlimited number of options that you can invest in and there are a million and one gurus who will tell you that you should invest in their solution.
I’ve seen business owners who invest in one branding effort after another; other business owners who invest in a great looking business plan; other business owners who invest in web design; other business owners who invest in innovative tools. I’m only just scratching the surface of potential investments and there is no shortage of opportunities to invest your money.
So where should you invest? In my opinion, the best place to invest is in your sales funnel.
By investing in your sales funnel, you invest in the very system in your business that will generate more customers, more revenue, more profit, and enable you to buy those other things you need to buy and invest in those other things that will grow your business. But invest in your sales funnel first because that investment will provide the greatest and fastest return.
All other investments should be subordinate to your sales funnel. Yes, you might need to buy a stapler and some paperclips for the office, and yes you’ll need to probably spend some money on branding and web design, but if you have limited money to fund your business’ growth and you’re not sure where to spend it, look to your sales funnel for guidance.
Here are some specific things to consider investing in. I’ve arranged them in an order of importance, starting with most important investment opportunity.
- Invest in tools and resources to help you track and measure your sales funnel. No other tool or system or secret will provide a greater return than the one that helps you understand what is happening in your sales funnel and give you the data you need to make adjustments. Often, business owners want to invest in marketing methods that will increase the number of people in their sales funnel but you’ll see faster results, and more profitable results, if you first focus on measurability.
- Invest in systems and processes that help address your sales funnel’s capacity limitations so that your sales funnel can handle more people moving through it. This is one of the most important things you can do in your sales funnel, second only to investing in tracking, to help your sales funnel grow.
- Invest in the parts of your sales funnel that have the greatest contribution to your sales. For example, you might have several overlapping channels that each help evolve your target market’s mindset. If you have measured and tracked the results of those channels, you should have an idea (even an approximate idea) of which ones have the biggest impact. Invest there.
- Invest in improving the percentage of people who advance from one step in your sales funnel to the next. (And if possible, start by investing closer to the point of sale and moving “up” your sales funnel toward the top).
- Invest in aspects of your business that will increase the amount of money people spend in your sales funnel (i.e. by investing in up-sells, ancillary sales, and follow-up sales).
- Invest in an evangelist program to get your happy customers telling other people about your business and you helped them.
- Invest in techniques and methods that get people moving through your sales funnel faster.
- Finally (yes, this is the very last one) invest in new marketing methods that put more of your target market into your sales funnel.
Surprised by the order I’ve put these in? Here’s the thinking behind it: Before you start dumping more and more people into your sales funnel, there are many ways that you can optimize your sales funnel to sell more to more people. So that when you do finally get to the point where you start putting more people into your funnel, you’ll sell more to more of them (more profitably!).
Resist the urge to invest in some other aspect of your business that is not directly related to your sales funnel. I’m frustrated when I see business owners with limited funds and a desire to invest in their business but they spend money on some aspect of their business that won’t have the contribution to their business that a sales funnel investment will have: One of the most common bad investments that businesses make today is investing in social media training and tools. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with social media training but because they are so popular right now, they become a big investment and business owners put their limited funds into that one thing, and they miss out on the benefits they could derive from first investing in their sales funnel (and later using the increased income to invest in new marketing methods.
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.