07 Ways To Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Updated: Jun 22, 2022
Max Out Conversions
Most businesses selling a product or service will be familiar with a sales funnel. You cast a wide net out to your target demographic and slowly squeeze potential customers down the funnel until you reach the end goal — that all-important sale.
A sales funnel can be effective at converting potential customers into paying ones. However, not all sales funnels are created equal. Your sales funnel should be personalized to you and your business. It gives you an idea of what you need to do to gain the trust and custom of your target audience.
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So how can you optimize this process? We’re going to look at seven ways to max out
conversions via your sales funnel and why this is important to your business strategy.
What is a sales funnel?
The term sales funnel is used to describe the customer journey. The funnel starts from a customer’s initial awareness of a product and carries on through to their purchase. This way of analyzing the customer journey gives businesses greater insight into what makes a customer interested in a product and how they can be encouraged to make a sale.
Here are the four main stages of a sales funnel:
Awareness. Whether through organic social media, marketing or word of mouth, this is the part where the customer first becomes aware of your product. They learn about your brand and what you offer that competitors can’t.
Interest. Potential customers find out whether your product or service will fulfill their needs.
Desire. This is the stage where customers look at pricing and what options are available that suit them.
Purchase. When the potential customer takes action and makes a purchase.
It’s referred to as a funnel because there are more prospects at the beginning, which then gradually trickle down into paying customers.
Why is a sales funnel an important part of a business’ strategy?
A sales funnel is a crucial element of a business’ strategy. It allows you to visualize your customer journey from the minute prospects discover your brand until the moment they make a purchase.
If you don’t optimize your sales funnel, you risk losing out on valuable customers. You have the power to influence potential purchasers at each stage of the sales funnel, which is why it’s considered a vital part of your business strategy.
The sales funnel gives you a better understanding of customer behavior, and you may even alter business practices based on data from it. For instance, if you notice customers add things to their cart but abandon the checkout once they see your shipping costs, you might consider lowering or making them free. You can automate some of these processes with RPA software.
Other benefits of optimizing your sales funnel include:
Creating more loyal customers once you understand their wants and needs;
Pushing more prospects through the sales funnel;
Identifying the best marketing strategy to catch customers at the awareness stage; and
Enjoying an edge over your competitors because you are constantly refining your sales funnel.
Seven ways to optimize your sales funnel
1. Understand your audience
To max out conversions, you need to target those who are interested in purchasing your products, so understanding your audience is key. If you are targeting the wrong type of customer, your sales funnel will be ineffective, costing you time, money and resources, and delivering very little in the way of results.
The awareness stage is at the very beginning of the sales funnel. You need to capture as many leads as possible in order to keep your reach wide. If you target too small an audience, or a niche audience, you risk losing out on customers that may have converted at the end of the sales funnel.
Build up your target audience’s buyer persona. Include age, gender, income, location and so on. Depending on how niche your product or service is, this may be quite specific. Once you thoroughly research your audience, you will have a greater chance of converting them into paying customers.
And, when you understand who you are targeting, you can then decide how you will target them — on social media, through marketing campaigns, sales prospecting, etc.
This graph demonstrates how important audience research is to each area of your business.
2. Create goals in Google Analytics
Creating goals can help you visualize your sales funnel and give you a target to work toward. Doing this in Google Analytics will help you track your goals methodically. It’s at this point you transition from the awareness stage of the sales funnel to the interest stage. Now that you know customers have made it to your website, you need to establish what keeps them there.
The data gathered from your e-commerce website will allow you to see how users are interacting with your product/service. This includes how long they spend on your site and at what point they either abandon their cart or make a purchase.
Ask yourself questions when looking through the data, such as:
Does changing the price further down the sales path help to increase conversions?
What is the average bounce rate on the site?
Would adding informative pop-ups improve or decrease conversions?
3. Analyze your landing pages
Your landing page should be relevant to your customers’ interests. You can use it specifically to promote your product or service or as a general source of information on the company and what you can offer them.
This is still in the early stages of your sales funnel as it’s one of the first interactions a prospect has with your business, especially if they find you via a Google search. Once a customer has passed the awareness stage of the sales funnel by finding your business, they filter through to the interest stage. This is where they head to your website to see whether you’re offering something they need.
Say the customer is looking for “video conferencing software.” When the search results come up in Google, they will usually be directed to a landing page.
Ensure your content is engaging and interesting, and include persuasive language to entice the reader. If a potential customer clicks away from your landing page too soon, it can affect your bounce rate.
This might be down to something fixable, such as the page loading speed. If your website is too slow, customers may give up and go elsewhere. The below chart shows just how important load time can be.
4. Be active on social media
Where is your traffic coming from? If you create engaging content on your social channels, it’s possible that the majority of people heading to your site are finding you through social media. So it’s important you stay active on your social channels.
Social media is unique because it can cover every stage of the sales funnel. You can:
Build brand awareness through engaging posts;
Drum up interest with competitions;
Direct followers to your website; and
Even sell directly from the “Shop” feature in the app.
It could be argued that social media is mainly part of the awareness stage of the sales funnel, simply because it aims to entice followers and therefore, business awareness. But don’t underestimate the ability to sell at this stage.
Hire a social media manager and feed them exciting content. Posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok will give your company amazing exposure. You can get marketing apps to help with this. Check out these 17 free business apps every small business owner needs for some ideas.
The graph below shows the top five social media sites and how they work for each industry.
5. Utilize reviews and testimonials
What better way to receive praise than from a happy customer? Even more so when that customer tells their friends and family about your business. This creates trust for your brand, which is an important element of the sales funnel. It also helps you build relationships with your customers. This boosts the chances of repeat purchases.
If a customer has come far enough to look at reviews and testimonials of your brand, they have made it to the desire stage of the sales funnel. They are intrigued enough to look at what others think of your product and want to see whether it’s worth making a purchase.
It’s easy to collect truthful reviews from customers with sites like TripAdvisor, LinkedIn and Google offering customers the chance to share their feedback about your business with the world. You can also create your own surveys to gather additional feedback.
Sometimes you can integrate these reviews into your website and showcase them next to your products. This enables you to stand out from your competitors and gives customers a good idea of what quality of service they will be receiving if they order from you.
Take Glip compared to Microsoft Teams, for instance. Each has great features to offer customers, but the business that will have the edge is the brand that effectively reaches out and connects with them.