Sales funnels are present in every business, even yours. You may not be consciously aware that one exists in your business but it does… if it really doesn’t you’re not really even in business!
A ‘Sales Funnel’ is the term given to how you ‘sell’ the services or products your business offers. It’s an overarching term which literally covers everything from how and where you look for and find your customers, how and where you communicate and engage with them; all the way through to how and when they actually pay you.
Your Sales Funnel encapsulates more than just your website. Your website however should play a crucial role and be a major feature of your Sales Funnel, something, as we have kept highlighting, that too many website designers fail to realise or adequately communicate to their clients.
We’ve talked about many topics whilst covering the various aspects of designing a successful website. When you piece all of those aspects together and have them working to complement one another you can build an effective and efficient sales funnel: an orderly process by which you can grow your business.
The ingredients to your sales funnels can be broken down into the following sections:
When a customer eventually buys from us the very first step they have experienced is being exposed to your business for the first time through some method prior to making a visit to your website. That exposure could have been from many different sources both on and off line, social media platforms such as facebook and twitter, links to your website content from other websites, google, paid ads in google, word of mouth, magazine or newspaper ads.
Once the initial exposure has occurred your potential clients are going to ‘discover’ your business, they are going to visit your website. This initial visit is purely an exploratory visit; your client is simply seeing what it is you do and acquainting themselves with your business.
After discovery comes consideration. Your customer has acquainted themselves with your business and what you offer. They then begin to consider the value of your offering, they are exploring further, seeking specific knowledge and a greater understanding of what it is they may be purchasing. They are weighing up whether your product or service (or both) represent value and quality in relation to their needs.
The next step in the process is an action. You want your potential customer to undertake a desired action. Depending upon your specific sales funnel this may be a intermediate step such as signing up to an email list or a larger step such as submitting an enquiry to your business or even outright purchasing something.
The Follow Through section of the funnel is your customer service, how you have dealt with the action they took in the last step, your communication and the quality of your product or service. All the items that go towards building a customer relationship and which lead on to the last item in the funnel, loyalty.
Finally we have Loyalty which represents your retention of the customer into the future and how they may ‘evangelise’ your business and help to spread the word by recommending your services and products to their associates and colleagues, helping to growing your business further.
So how does this really translate into the real world of designing a successful website? As we stated before the breakdown of the funnel, all the topics we have previously touched upon combine to cover the first four sections. Exposure, Discovery, Consideration and Action.
In a real world scenario your ‘Exposure’ process will incorporate the promotion of your ‘blogging’ content through social media channels along with any additional marketing efforts your business makes such as magazine and newspaper adverts or physical networking events your staff attend.
The aim is to drive potential customers to your website where they can ‘Discover’ more about your business offerings, digest the knowledge and the value you are illustrating to them through the content you are providing in both your product and service description as well as in your blog content. As they are ‘Considering’ whether your business is the one for them you may wish for them to take a small action, such as providing you with their email address in exchange for some really useful information (a Lead Magnet). By doing so you are able to carry on supporting them through the consideration phase by slowly and gently developing a relationship, building up trust and confidence in your business. As the relationship and trust develops you may then wish to encourage them to take a further action, this time it may be to actually book an appointment with you.
If we think back to our post on Customer Engagement and why businesses don’t buy into the benefits of producing content, using social media and blogging it is because they don’t have any real direction to what it is they are producing. It feels like a waste of time because it is an entirely haphazard process, the content is of no real value and it is simply created for the sake of having something, anything, to post on a blog. In this instance spending the time to create the content is a complete waste of time because what happens is after a couple of worthless posts are created and published there is no value, the blog stagnates as there are more important things of value to do. Your website ends up with an empty blog that hasn’t been updated in months or even years when your potential customer visits it which then actually has a negative effect on your businesses relationship with that customer because you have just failed to deliver to their needs.
In contrast, by understanding the various elements of a sales funnel you are actively able to design and encourage the route you wish your potential customers to take along the way to becoming a customer. Appreciating the structures allows you to understand the aims and objectives of the content you need to create and at which point in the sales funnel the content is going to fit. Publishing the valuable content to your blog and then promoting it through social channels delivers value to your potential customer enticing them into your sales funnel and the path you have designed for them to take in order to become your customer.
In summary, embracing the use of and developing a sales funnel process allows you to align your marketing activities into a coherent and targeted exercise. If your website design, your content generation, blog posts and social media campaigns all work in unison you have a much greater chance of delivering a return on your investment when building a new website.
In our next post looking at designing a successful website we’ll be covering the topic of budgets for developing a website, a question that is almost always the first question asked when we are contacted by a new client!
In the meantime if you are looking to have a new website built or your existing website re-designed and would like to speak to us at Worth Developing about how we can help develop you a successful website then please contact us through our Start Your Page – we’ll ask you a short series of questions to gain an initial understanding of what you wish to achieve before arranging a suitable time to give you a call and discuss things in greater depth.
This Blog Post is part of larger series, view the accompanying posts using the links below.
A ‘Sales Funnel’ is the term given to how you ‘sell’ the services or products your business offer. Your Sales Funnel encapsulates more than just your website but your website should be designed as its central hub delivering the information and guidance your potential customers need to become your clients.
One of the greatest problems a client has when determining the budget they wish to allocate to building a new website is they have no real understanding of what a website is likely to cost. Much like buying a car you can spend a couple of hundred pounds or hundreds of thousands of pounds on the most exotic Ferrari in the showroom. Knowing what you are looking for helps you know your budget.
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