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.
Channels are the various media and methods that you use to deploy your marketing and sales methods. It might be a billboard or a telephone or a radio or direct mail or face-to-face conversations or Twitter – a channel is any media or method you use communicate your message.
Not all of these channels are going to be appropriate for your business. Your business might do really well with some channels and really poorly with other channels; there might be regulations restricting you from using certain channels; your competition might dominate one channel, which could inspire you to seek out another channel for a particular marketing effort. And you should always consider this question: “What channels will my target market interact with, and be likely to respond to?”
With all of these considerations, I’m going to add one more for you to remember: Trackability. As much as possible, you should implement your marketing and sales messages into channels that allow you to track the people inside your sales funnel.
I’m not just talking about measuring responses. Click-throughs, for example, measure responses to online ads. It’s good to monitor those metrics in your sales funnels. But I’m talking about actually tracking specific people in your sales funnel, and preferably tracking each person all the way through your sales funnel.
An ideal sales funnel gathers the name of someone from your target market as they enter your sales funnel in response to some of your attention-getting advertising. Then, it tracks that person all the way through the sales funnel, paying attention to what actions they take, and when, and how long they spend at each step. This ideal sales funnel watches as this person goes through the finals steps of your sales funnel and decides to buy, and they hand over their cash.
Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world and the ideal sales funnel is nearly impossible to create. A variety of factors influence this, including privacy laws, technological limitations, and your target market’s “I’m just browsing” desire not remain anonymous until they are ready to act. But as much as possible, you should strive to build a sales funnel that tracks individual people through the funnel. And even if you can only track some of the people, some of the time, you should. I’d rather have a glimpse into parts of my sales funnel contacts than no glimpse at all.
The first reason you want to track people in your sales funnel is to help provide feedback on the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts. If 100 people enter your sales funnel and only 1 person ultimately buys from you, it is in your interest to find out where the other 99 went to. Are they stuck at a specific step in your sales funnel? Did they move on? If you discover that those 99 people were stuck at a specific step in your sales funnel, you can make adjustments to find ways to get them unstuck. For example, you can test price points or product alternatives or shorter or longer sales funnels.
The second reason you want to track people in your sales funnel is to measure the age of your leads and prospects. I don’t mean their actual age; I mean their age in your sales funnel. You want to pay attention to how old they are. Fast sales funnels are good, so in most sales funnels you want people moving through your sales funnel as quickly as possible (although, of course, you only want them moving through as quickly as they are comfortable – it’s a balance). When you see really “old” people in your sales funnels, you can incentivize them to move forward or remove them from your list so you stop wasting time with them. When you see a whole bunch of really “old” people in your sales funnel, you can use that as a signal to warn you that some steps in your sales funnel are highlighting the pain of their problem effectively enough.
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.