In a previous blog post, I listed 99 ways to optimize your sales funnel and grow your business. One of the tips I gave was to “Look at businesses you’ve bought from who share a similar business model. Map out their business plan to see how it compares to yours.”
Here’s how to do that:
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR BUSINESS MODEL
First, you need to know what kind of business model you have. If you already know your business model, you can skip this step. However, it might be useful to do it anyway. Although there are different ways to define a business model, here’s a few ways that you can narrow down the search:
- Do you sell products and or services?
- Do you sell something you, yourself, provide or are you a broker/agent/affiliate?
- Do you sell a one-time purchase (i.e. an ebook) or an on-going purchase (i.e. a subscription)?
- Do you sell primarily to consumers or businesses?
- What problems does your product/service solve or what needs does your product/service fulfill?
- What does your target market look like? What does it NOT look like? (i.e. who do you sell to versus who don’t you sell to?)
STEP 2: FIND OTHER COMPANIES THAT YOU’VE BOUGHT FROM
Now that you have some notes about your business model, think about other companies you’ve bought from in the past that are similar. You’ve defined a sort-of “mosaic” and you probably won’t find a company that is exactly the same. Try to find a company that fits parts of this model. In fact, try to find a few companies like this.
And, I’m advising that these be companies you’ve bought from, simply because you’ll have gained a great view into their sales funnel – you’ll have seen every step of their sales funnel from the “inside” of their sales funnel!
STEP 3: COMPARE SALES FUNNELS AND TAKE NOTES
Now, compare their sales funnel with yours and take notes. Use the Sales Funnel Worksheet to track how you entered their sales funnel as an Audience member, how you moved through the Lead and Prospect stage, and finally how you became a Customer. And, if you became one of their Evangelists, track that, too. In particular, take note of:
- How you entered their sales funnel as an Audience member.
- What they said or did that convinced you to listen to them as a Lead.
- What sales techniques and marketing collateral they used to sell you as a Prospect.
- What objections you had and how they overcame those objections.
- How long it took you to go through each stage.
- What actions (“triggers”) you performed to move from one stage to the next.
- How you responded to the product/service when it was delivered. (Was it quick? Did you sense the value you hoped would be present?)
STEP 4: MODIFY YOUR SALES FUNNEL
Draw inspiration from the successful ideas that worked on you – the techniques that moved you through their sales funnel from their Audience stage to their Customer stage – and apply them to your own sales funnel.
If your sales funnel is completely different, consider setting up and testing a sales funnel that is very similar to theirs to test against your existing sales funnel.
Or, start smaller by integrating some of the more successful tactics on a regular basis.
STEP 5: REPEAT
This is one of those exercises where it doesn’t hurt to do it again from time to time. Depending on how often you buy, consider doing this at least once a quarter or even as often as once a month. You’ll progressively improve your sales funnel!