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.
A couple of chapters ago I said that marketers identify their target market (that’s a good thing!) but then they skip a step and just start jamming out marketing content and sales efforts to that target market. I suggested that they miss an important step in between.
Here’s the step they miss: They need to first identify the mindsets that their target market experiences – mindsets are the evolving thought process that someone goes through, starting with not even knowing they have a problem and changing over time (as they realize they do have a problem or need that must be resolved) all the way to the point where they are happily handing over their cold hard cash for a product or service to deal with their problem.
Once the business knows what these mindsets are, the next have to figure out what activities they can do to move the prospective buyer’s mindset. They’re not looking to force the prospective buyer to make a huge leap but rather to just nudge them from one mindset to the next, moving the prospective buyer through the sales funnel.
Mindsets are the thinking/feeling of the target market. Activities are the things that the business needs to do to move those mindsets forward. (These activities are really just marketing and selling efforts).
And businesses perform those Activities through Channels.
A Channel is a way you perform an Activity. We’re already familiar with the concept. A Channel might be newspaper or radio advertisements, direct mail, website, cold calling, social media, seminars, face-to-face networking, whatever. A Channel is the medium or method your business uses to perform your Activity.
Many times, businesses decide ahead of time what their channels are going to be, long before they even identify their target market or its mindsets. But this is a backwards way to do it. Instead, the target market should come first, then Mindsets, then Activities, then Channels. This is a better order because the target market, the Mindsets, and the Activities will help to inform which Channel to use.
For example, Twitter might seem at first to be a great way to start a conversation with a prospective customer, and indeed it has become a go-to channel that businesses use in an effort to connect with their target market. But perhaps the Mindset and Activity need to be longer-form and educational in nature, or should be very graphic-centric, thus removing the value that Twitter offers and forcing the business to rethink how it performs that particular Activity.
I don’t want to get bogged down by talking about which channels are best for which mindsets or activities. Rather, I want to encourage you to go back to your list of mindsets (which hopefully now includes a list of activities) and consider what type of channel works best for that mindset and activity.
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.