02.09.2021 22:30

Build a Sales Funnel and Enhance your Business Profits in 6 Easy Steps

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“Every sale has five basic obstacles: No need. No money. No hurry. No desire. No trust." - Zig Zegier

The Netflix Sales Funnel

Stranger Things. Binge-Watching. Chill.

We bet you know where we're heading. The brand in question is dominating the video streaming market and how. We're chilling, err, sorry, talking about Netflix.

Did you know that Netflix added more than 9 million users worldwide in the first quarter of 2019 only? It's only natural to wonder what's working in the company's favor. Three words come to mind: rock-solid sales funnel.

To put it simply, an ideal sales funnel is one that encompasses different steps to guide potential customers in their purchasing decision, and in turn, convert them to brand loyalists. Typically, it comprises a series of marketing assets that work overtime to do all the selling and engage the customer.

So, circling back to the previous question, what makes Netflix's sales funnel unique? Here are five compelling reasons:

1. Simple UI: Their UI is deceivingly simple and easy-to-use, and clearly displays its offerings (think: Latest TV shows and movies).

2. User flexibility: Users can cancel their subscription at any time (even after the 1-month free trial period) - without any risks or commitments.

3. Payment options: It provides users with multiple payment options: gift card, credit card, or PayPal. Plus, at any given time, you can go back and make changes without the fear of being "locked in."

4. Customer-oriented: It's one of the few brands that is "customer-obsessed" and tries to think of everything from the end-user's perspective.

5. Brand recall: It relies on its positive word-of-mouth and great brand positioning to grab the user's attention without any aggressive, in-your-face marketing tactics.

Why Businesses Need Sales Funnels?

At this point, as a business owner, you may be wondering about what do sales funnels have to do with you? We say everything. Whether you're a big company or a small one, understanding the benefits of using sales funnel to advance your business game is the need of the hour.

Let's look at some numbers that will change your perspective:

• A well-crafted sales funnel leads to sky-rocketing growth. Or, to put it in another way, if there's no sales funnel, converting leads will never see the light of day. Backing this finding is data by Salesforce, which suggests that 68% of companies never attempt to measure a sales funnel, and around a whopping 79% of marketing leads are never converted into sales

• A survey by Hubspot in reveals that around 69% of marketers today feel that their top priority should be to convert leads into customers.

Did You Know?
A single sales funnel can generate over $100K in revenues in a month.

To that end, investing your time and energy into building an effective sales funnel is worth the effort. Without further delay, let's look at the six stages of a sales funnel and integrated ways that helps boost profits:

The Six Stages of a Sales Funnel: At a Glance

First, you need to know that for each part of the sales funnel, you need to use various copywriting techniques, messages and creatives. To get you started, we have outlined various recommended actions for every stage to build an entire sales funnel and boost revenue by leaps and bounds.

Stage 1: "Awareness"

You can't engage the user if they don't even know about your product/service. Like any great brand positioning journey that begins with awareness, the customer lifecycle is no different.

Here are some tried-and-tested tips that can help build a formidable reputation in no time:

• Start by Blogging: Coca-Cola Unbottled. Disney. Whole Foods. Walmart. All these companies have one common factor that contributes to its overarching success: engaging and quality blog content. And why not? In today's Digital Era, if you're not blogging online, you might as well be offline in the customer's mind.

• Quora: For people who aren't aware, Quora is the new "Yahoo answers." Always one of the first pages to load in Google Search page results, Quora is an American Q&A website designed for the users. To leverage this platform, companies can use Quora to their advantage and answer user questions in order to generate brand awareness. That's not all. You can also demonstrate thought leadership using Quora or reinforce your brand's authority relating to a particular issue.

• Paid Ad Campaigns for Awareness: While many view paid ads as more of a scam, this is hardly true. Consider this: the top 3 paid advertising spots get 46% of the clicks on the page. Plus, 60% of users (600+ million people) seek out and discover new products on Instagram. If you wish to create ripples about your brand, Paid Ad Campaigns are the way to go.

Stage 2: "Interest"

Creating interest in your brand goes beyond innovative offerings. Your customers need to know that you're always at their beck-and-call, addressing concerns and answering queries in equal measure. And one of the best tools to do so is Live Chat:

• Live Chat: You can use live chat solutions for real-time communication and enhance your brand's likability and interest in the product/service. How so? Your customers will feel important enough and extremely satisfied with the brand experience as they communicate with the company. Simply, if you wish to connect with your users in a more personalized, prompt, and user-friendly manner, you should integrate a cobrowsing software that guides them to a seamless purchasing experience both literally and figuratively.

Stage 3: "Consideration"

Let's call a spade a spade. Everyone likes free, complimentary stuff. So why not give the users more than what they ask for? Some suggestions that work brilliantly include:

• Offering free e-books/exclusive reports/webinar: One of the most sure-shot ways of surprising the customers is by providing free e-books/webinars/reports that are knowledgeable and entertaining - all at the same time. It builds your brand's reputation as a "Customer-First" company and ensures you're always in their "good books" (pun intended.) 

• Adding CTA: Integrating Call-To-Actions like "free trials" on your website's landing page works like a moth to a flame. It gives the customer a chance to view your brand's offerings a little better and essentially doubles up as a "hook." Remember that it should tell the user what he/she needs to do. For instance, "Sign Up," "Watch a Video," "Start a Free-Trial," etc.

Stage 4: "Evaluation"

Evaluating your brand's progress and performance is the next important step in building an effective sales funnel. And this is where email marketing can push the user from considering the brand to purposeful intent. In fact, email marketing makes up for a bulk of the sale funnel. Don't believe us? Data by Emarsys suggested that 81% of business owners and marketers claim a positive ROI from email marketing - of which around 48% claim to experience good returns.

Our suggestion is simple:

• Create an email series with valuable information: Informative emails centered around product/service benefits can truly bridge the gap between user concerns and brand offerings. They explicitly communicate to the user about why they should sign up or engage with the brand.

• CRM integrationEffective email campaigns are the ones that stem from identifying user stages across a user's lifecycle. This can be done by using Customer Relationship Management software. If you wish to track your current and prospective customers, CRM can be your best bet yet. Handy tip: CRM helps to narrow down specific email campaigns a prospect should get through cookie detection and re-targeting.

Did You Know?
A typical nurture sequence comprises 5-20 emails.

Stage 5: "Purchase"

You don't just want qualified traffic and leads, you also want sales. What you want to do is drive your prospects to the purchase decision. Why? Because without sales, you don't really have a business. There are many proven business tricks you can use to pump up your sales. Every sales team out there is looking to get more leads and sales with every passing quarter.

Here are two ways to improve performance in the "home stretch":

• Personalized promotions: Nothing excites customers more than personalized promotions that cater to their needs and offer them the latest products/services at competitive prices.

• Social monitoring: Every brand today needs to monitor keywords that can help identify customers who are ready to make a purchase. This is where social monitoring comes in handy. If you're talking to a customer who is already inquiring about your brand or the competition, half the battle is won already.

To entice people to purchase, having a sales team can be very helpful. For sales reps to be successful, you need to make sure they have the right sales negotiation skills though.

Stage 6: "Loyalty"

Loyalty is often forgotten when you build a marketing funnel, a sales funnel or use the AARRR metrics. That's a mistake. You don't just want customers, you want repeat customers. By having recurring clients, this is how you can evaluate how powerful your marketing funnel is.

It's a common fact that with hugely successful brands, people generally don't back products/services; they back the human running it. Think about the late Steve Jobs for a second. People liked him for the kind of products he developed, but they loved him for what he stood for. That's the kind of power companies have to leverage in order to build a lasting and trusting relationship with the customer.

Here are two ways to do the same:

• Level the playing field with "Loyalty Programs": Loyalty Programs reward existing customers and demonstrate to them how much the brand values their continued support.

• Integrate Up-Selling & Cross-Selling Opportunities: By implementing a "Recommender" system on the product page, brands can encourage customers to buy more expensive products based on their past purchasing behavior.

Practical Implementation of a Sales Funnel: Spotify Case Study

There are many crucial elements that you need to create an effective pipeline generation strategy and we can tell you that Shopify has mastered it. Brand Offering: Spotify allows users to stream any music online (from among 30 million songs) that they like for free. They have premium subscription features as well.

Website, Call-to-Action, & Other Interesting Features: A simplistic UI with even more user-friendly features: Simply click the front-and-center CTA button, insert basic information, and download the program. Voila, you're done!

How the Funnel Works: • No need to add payment information until the user is ready.
• Advertisements keep the company afloat.
• By using basic contact information like your name and e-mail address, Spotify demonstrates the benefits of a premium subscription while the user tries it for free.

What Makes it Powerful: Industry giants like Apple and Amazon have a stake in the company.

What Makes it Unique: It delivers a high-quality platform, user-friendly features, and ability to stream new songs every day, that too on multiple devices (website, app, etc.) That's not all. Artists can publish songs whenever they wish to, making it one of the first platforms where the music library updates by itself. You can also connect it to Facebook and view what your friends are listening to at any point in time.

Key takeaway: Spotify promptly collects the user's basic information on the website and offers potential customers the freedom to decide if they want to subscribe to the service or pay by listening to ads.

Closing Thoughts about Building a Sales Funnel to Enhance your Business Profits

"The sales team owns the sales funnel. But as a B2B marketer, you feed the top of their funnel." - Doug Kessier

Here's how to build an unstoppable B2B sales team. 
Creating a well-established sales funnel is like nurturing a plant:

Before you can enjoy its "fruits" (profits), you need to "water down" all the perceived challenges from the user's end.
Before you can see a full-grown "tree "(lead base), you need to nurture individual seeds (potential customers).

Finally, before you see any real "growth" (revenues), you will need to develop a rock-solid "foundation" (sales funnel). All in all, if you wish to demonstrate your worth and value to prospective users, it's time to get that sales funnel up and running. Call for a meeting with your Marketing & Sales teams and stock up on that coffee. Because believe it or not, your business is about to close the biggest sale of its customer life cycle yet!

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