Your customer journey is the key to higher sales conversions

You’ve probably heard the term ‘sales funnel’, but you may not understand just how important it is to your success in sales. If this is the case, you’re not alone. According to Salesforce, a whopping 68% of companies haven’t identified their sales funnel. Could this be the reason that Salesforce also found that 79% of sales leads are never converted?

In this article, you’ll learn what a sales funnel is and why it matters – and I mean, really matters.

What is a sales funnel?

First, a sales funnel is, well, funnel-shaped. It’s got a wide top and a narrow bottom. The top of the sales funnel is where all your leads pour in. The bottom is where your conversions trickle out.

As your leads move down the sales funnel, some become lost. Those who aren’t lost move down toward conversion. Each movement down the funnel is represented by a stage on the customer journey. There are many descriptions used for the stages on this journey, but one of my favorites is:

  • Awareness

  • Consideration

  • Purchase

  • Retention

  • Advocacy

Let’s look at each of these stages in turn.

Awareness

This is the stage at which people first discover you. It’s where you describe yourself, your products and services, and what you stand for. Your job in this stage is to create enough interest to encourage the lead to the next stage.

In the digital age, you’ll use inbound marketing strategies such as blogging and social media content to attract people to your brand.

Consideration

Now that you have attracted a lead to your brand, the lead will start to consider your solution to their needs. They may become engaged with your content, perhaps downloading eBooks you have produced, or subscribing to content. They may follow you on LinkedIn and other social media.

Your actions here should help to build trust and engage the lead. You do this by providing value to them and nurturing them by demonstrating your knowledge as a subject authority.

Purchase

You have proved your worth, shown you are trustworthy, and built a relationship that is strong enough to encourage the lead to buy from you. They become a customer or client. There are various tactics that you can use at this stage to generate sales. These include:

  • Email

  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook

  • Your website

Retention

The first purchase that a customer makes is often a purchase made to confirm what you have shown yourself to be so far. It’s a test. Now is the time to use tactics designed to retain your customer and deliver repeat purchases, upselling, and cross-selling to them.

Advocacy

This is the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not only have your leads converted to loyal customers, but they now also become brand advocates. They mention you in their own posts. They share your content. They continue to be a loyal customer and win you more business because they are happy to refer you.

Why does understanding your sales funnel matter?

Throughout their journey, your target customer will have lots of questions. Perhaps the most important aspect of the sales funnel is that it helps you to understand what answers you must provide at each stage to move the customer to the next stage. By understanding your sales funnel and how it relates to your leads, you will:

  • Deliver the right message when it is needed

  • Connect your marketing and sales efforts more effectively (for example, sending targeted emails depending upon the blog posts a subscriber is reading)

  • Create customer commitment, encouraging them to stay loyal to you rather than seek another solution

As your customer moves through the sales funnel, you will save time and effort by targeting the customer with offers that are relevant to them at the stage of their journey. Poor leads are eliminated early, allowing you to focus on higher-quality prospects.

You’ll also be able to monitor your conversion success more effectively. Knowing how many leads develop into customers will help you tweak your content and messages to maximize conversions at each stage.

5 steps to understanding your sales funnel

How do you do what so many companies have failed to do – understand your sales funnel to convert more effectively? Here is a simple five-step process to help you:

  1. Write down your customer’s journey, and note all the points at which they must make a decision.

  2. Discuss these stages with your sales and marketing team, or a sales coach, to decide what it is that you must do at each customer decision point to encourage a positive outcome.

  3. Review your current process to the one you have defined in step 2, and adjust accordingly.

  4. Review your new process and each stage with your sales and marketing team, and agree how you will monitor and measure results.

  5. Review progress regularly and revise to enhance the process and improve your conversion rates at each stage of the sales funnel.

Of course, I can’t describe the finer details of each stage to you in this post. Your business is unique, and we’d need to meet to discuss them and start creating a sales funnel plan for you. If you would like to take the first step to boosting your lead generation, conversion rates, and sales revenues, contact me today


Publish Date: 1/15/2021 12:00:00 AM
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Your customer journey is the key to higher sales conversions
You’ve probably heard the term ‘sales funnel’, but you may not understand just how important it is to your success in sales. If this is the case, you’re not alone. According to Salesforce, a whopping 68% of companies haven’t identified their sales funnel. Could this be the reason that Salesforce also found that 79% of sales leads are never converted?
In this article, you’ll learn what a sales funne…

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