30 ‘Condiments’ of Business Success
Condiment 14: Design a Sales Funnel
The concept of “creating customers” may at first seem to be an odd one. Don’t you find customers, not make them? Well, yes and no. While it is extremely hard to turn someone into a customer if they have no interest in your product/service or don’t have the money to make the purchase, with a proper sales funnel, you can create fans out of people who never even knew you existed (or at least never realized how much they needed whatever you’re selling). A sales funnel can also turn an “on the fence” customer into a raving fan who refers even more people to you!
There are basically three types of people you’ll interact with during the sales process:
A lead is someone who becomes aware of your company or someone who you decide to pursue for a sale, even if they don’t know about your company yet.. Typically, this includes everyone in one big group, but you could also break this down further to only look at
qualified leads , which are leads that meet certain qualifications to becoming customers. For example, if you’re selling pet products, a qualified lead is someone who has a pet, versus someone who simply likes the cute animal pictures on your blog, but will never buy anything from you.
Prospect is a term that’s used differently based on the company. In many cases, it is used interchangeably with qualified lead , but usually, a prospect is someone who has had some kind of contact with your company and they are still interested. All prospects are leads, but not all leads are prospects.
We all know what customers are! These are people who have made a purchase. You can further separate out people who have made just one purchase and people who have made several purchases, or repeat customers.
All of these people fit into your sales funnel!
HOW TO FIND MORE LEADS
1. Social networks are an awesome place to connect with your fans, but don’t overlook opportunities to find new leads. I recommend using Facebook and Twitter for sure, but it always makes sense to use Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other networks based on your industry.
2. Offer a High-Value Item for Free…Almost
One of the absolute best ways to generate leads is to give away something awesome for free. Well, almost free! Instead of paying, ask the person to provide their email address or other contact information.
3. Lead at Events
Events are an awesome way to increase brand awareness and collect some new names to funnel into your sales process. There are two main types of events to consider:
2. Other events with sponsorship options.
Turning Leads into Customers-
The real challenge is not in finding new leads, but in moving these leads down the sales funnel and closer to making a purchase. This is why hiring a really great sales team and training them well matters!
Sales Funnel Overview-
In review, here’s the who, what, when, why, how of sales funnels:
Who: All businesses should have a sales funnel in place to help them turn leads into customers.
What: A sales funnel is a plan to allow a person to become aware of your company, learn about it, and make a decision on whether or not to buy.
When: Start funneling people into this process from day one, so you can slowly move them toward a sale.
Why: Sales funnels allow you to track your ROI and work on better customer retention practices.
And lastly, the how is to review the information in this article!