There is so much to do if you want to run a successful business. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to become overwhelmed with the amount of marketing opportunities available, and sales activities required, for a business to succeed.
Each new marketing opportunity or sales activity pursued can help to drive revenue but can chip away at the limited time available for an entrepreneur to run a business. And just when you think you’ve got on top of your marketing efforts, a new marketing channel appears that you need to think about integrating into your marketing efforts.
Here’s a money-making, time-saving tool you can use to take control of your business, reduce the marketing/sales overload, all while increasing profit and saving time.
THE SALES FUNNEL
Your sales funnel gives you a bird’s-eye-view of the relationship your business has with prospective and existing buyers. A sales funnel looks and acts similar to a real-life funnel: Leads go in the wide opening at the top of the funnel and the funnel narrows to the point where only a few prospects hand over their money and buy something from you.
Many business owners view the sales funnel as a nice-to-know concept rather than what it really is: A practical strategic tool to control the business. As a result, many businesses end up with haphazard marketing and sales efforts that are not always as efficient or profitable as they could be, developed over time through organic growth rather than intention.
HOW TO USE THE SALES FUNNEL AS A STRATEGIC TOOL
Start by drawing out your sales funnel. Create lead profiles of the people who are entering your sales funnel and buyer profiles of the people who become your customers.
Next, identify what marketing channels they encounter between becoming a lead and becoming a customer. There’s a path that most people follow. For example, maybe they learn about you on Twitter then click to your website’s home page then click to your product page then click on the Buy Now button. Make note of that in your sales funnel drawing.
Then look for opportunities to optimize the process.
- Perhaps you are using other marketing channels that aren’t driving traffic to your website in the same way. By becoming aware of its role in your sales funnel and tracking the results from each channel, you can streamline your marketing efforts.
- Perhaps you could skip a step in the process and achieve the same results. (From the example above, you might send them from Twitter directly to your product page, for example, and test whether that improves the number of people who click the Buy Now button).
- Perhaps you could add a step after the Buy Now button to offer an ancillary product or service to your new customer.
- And, of course, you should test the copy at each of those “steps” in your sales funnel and see if one type copy converts better than another.
The sales funnel provides a way to add some structure to your business and provides more clarity to you as you find ways to get more people to buy from you in a more profitable way.