Why some businesses need two sales funnels

Most businesses have one sales funnel and they run contacts through that single sales funnel. But some businesses have two sales funnels. There are a couple of reasons for this:

A good example is a freelance writer. A freelance writer might sell his or her services to a customer who will be using the content to promote their business. The freelance writer’s first sales funnel might look like this:
Audience: The freelance writer captures attention with web articles.
Lead: The contact (potential customer) posts a project on a site like Guru or Elance.
Prospect: The freelance writer submits a proposal.
Customer: The contact hires the freelance writer.

But the freelance writer might also have another sales funnel to sell his or her articles to a magazine:
Audience: The freelance writer looks at all of the potential magazines out there.
Lead: The freelance writer identifies a potential editor to pitch an article idea to.
Prospect: The freelance writer sends a proposal to the editor.
Customer: The editor accepts the proposal and the article is written and published.

Multi-level marketing businesses have two sales funnels because they’re selling two completely different things. Usually, they sell the product or service that the business is based around (say, cleaning products or phone cards or whatever).
So their first sales funnel might look like this:
Audience: This is anyone that the MLM rep knows or talks to.
Lead: The MLM rep gives a catalog to someone.
Prospect: The MLM rep follows-up with a phone call.
Customer: The contact buys the product.

But what makes it a multi-level marketing company is that they are also selling a business “opportunity”.
Audience: This is anyone the MLM rep knows or talks to.
Lead: The MLM rep “talks up” the opportunity.
Prospect: The MLM rep invites the contact out for coffee and presents the opportunity.
Customer: The contact signs on and joins the MLM rep’s downline.
Frankly, this doesn’t always work, and MLMs are notorious for churning through people who are sold an opportunity that they cannot achieve. (Read more about the problem and how MLM reps can easily solve it and get more people in their downline).

If you have sell the same product/service in different ways, or if you have more than one product/service to sell and it needs to be sold in a different way, you might need multiple sales funnels. They can help grow your business, but there’s the risk that they can also keep you from succeeding by diluting your efforts.

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.

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