How do businesses attract and convert leads? There are various methods and tactics. Yet, many marketers and salespeople put the sales funnel strategy in the center to explain and take control of the sales improvement process.
Nevertheless, following the steps of this method to attract, interest, and engage with leads may not be enough. In most cases, you will need to optimize it under the changes in the market.
What are the ways to increase sales funnel, and what should the inbound specialist pay attention to in getting reasonable funnel conversion rates?
In this article, you will learn more about the basics of sales funnel strategy and the tactics to improve your operation.
Sales Funnel Basics: Definition, Stages, and Instruments
First of all, the sales funnel can be considered as the instrument for observing, analyzing, and monitoring how the prospects turn into customers. For this purpose, the funnel is divided into various stages.
In particular, the first one refers to the awareness stage that represents the higher level of the model. At this stage, the potential clients do actions leading to the discovery or serching the product, while the marketers apply tactics to make it visible.
Yet, being visible is not enough, as buying a product or service comes from interest. The interest stage contemplates that the target audience already knows about the brand yet finds something exciting about the product that can fit their needs or preferences.
At the same time, even if the person is interested, it does not necessarily mean that they will make a purchase. The subsequent leads conversion funnel stage refers to action, which is concerned with the idea that there is a readiness to buy a product. However, the prospect is still figuring out whether it is worth it. Much depends on the offer you present and what advantages the client can get compared to other products.
Lastly, the lower part of the lead conversion funnel is about the action. It is a process when the customer proceeds with the payment. After it, the markets would focus on activities to preserve the client and encourage further purchases in the future.
Instruments and channels used
Many things in sales funnel strategy depend on the instruments and channels a marketer uses. The right application of the instruments can provide the improvement of the awareness and interest tactics and positively affect the sales funnel conversations rate.
Usually, marketers use social media and content marketing for the initial stages of awareness and interest. Some experts apply LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook to spread the message, lead magnets, and ads to be visible. In this regard, SEO and PPC strategies are also used to be visible on the Internet. Nonetheless, the best lead funnel strategy is to combine several approaches.
At the same time, email marketing is crucial for the interest and action phases, as it provides a direct connection with the prospect. Interestingly, some skip the first stages and give offers to the targeted leads via outreach.
For instance, a B2B salesperson can use a LinkedIn emails scraper to extract corporate emails and contact quality leads. Yet, it requires excellent communication skills from the specialist supported by a good image of the brand.
In the end, there is influencer marketing that, depending on the message the brand is to convey, can support various stages.
Sales Funnel Optimization Tips
The sales funnel optimization starts with the areas that require improvement. In this regard, you need to monitor your funnel conversion rates and analyze them. For instance, you may have many people coming from the lead magnets or landing page, but your engagement rates are poor. If it is your case, you should consider changing your content, as it usually interests the audience and supports their customer journey.
Simultaneously, you may have high engagement rates but lack the visitors to your website. In this scenario, you can try to improve your SEO strategy, use social media ads, or do social selling. Due to the idea that sales funnel optimization starts with research and analysis, you should determine the issue first and then try to enhance the conversion funnel optimization by affecting the necessary stages.
Notably, these tips provided below can help you improve your content, image, and communication, adding to stages of awareness, interest, and action:
Put customer needs in the center
First of all, mastering the initial stages is only possible if you have a clear understanding of the customer’s needs, issues, and pain points. In this regard, you should study your customer persona, mainly their hobbies, interests, and demographics. The more you know, the better your targeting would be. Besides, it will help you segment the audience and define whom you can contact at later stages of the sales funnel.
Moreover, the better you know your audience’s problems, the greater content you can provide. It means you can share more specific insights and recommendations or design the tone of voice that would suit your niche audience.
A good tactic is to use social proof to support your sales funnel strategy. Why? Most of the potential customers lack trust in the brand. It can significantly influence their decision. Thus, you can encourage existing customers to leave comments about your product or share their reviews. In exchange, you can offer them discounts or special offers.
The reviews are great as you can add them to your product page or reference them in your content marketing. Moreover, word of mouth works on the Internet as well, and if customers post something about your product, you will get an opportunity to get a new one from one of their networks.
Make content engaging and exciting
Also, it is crucial to be memorable and compelling when you attract prospects. You can increase sales funnel conversion rate in the long term if you have quality content. Thus, try to make your pieces interactive, understandable, and appealing. In this regard, you may need some help from the members of your team or third parties.
In particular, you can create videos as they are more popular today with the help of digital marketing experts. For instance, sharing some video guides, clips or promos can improve your engagement. At the same time, try to support your images with good graphic design and quality photos. It seems like a bit of detail. However, it can have a significant effect in the long term.
Work on your expertise
Another way to influence people on the stages of interest, action, and decision is to focus on expertise. The expertise also contributes to the image and can give you an advantage over the competitors. The prospect is likely to choose the product from the company that has solutions and provides insights to back their business.
Thus, resort to experts when you create content marketing to improve funnel conversion rates. For instance, you may make a lead magnet in the form of a course or webinar, where the expert would be the primary guest educating the prospects. It is not as hard to start a collaboration as you can write them a direct message or get email from LinkedIn and ask them about it. The cooperation is likely to help you gain social proof and support the quality of content.
Lastly, remember that sales funnel optimization depends on returning customers as well. Yes, they skip the first two stages, yet, you should still interest them and convince them to repurchase your product. Thus, your actions should focus on building long-term relations that will offer you community and help you understand customers better.