Are you familiar with the term sales funnel?
If you just had to low-key Google search “sales funnel“, have no shame. This is a judgment-free space. After all, one of our biggest writing tips is never to throw around jargon unless you’re 100% confident that everyone in the room knows what you mean, otherwise it’s meaningless.
But back to sales funnels. We’ve worked with many clients who haven’t heard of a sales funnel before. So let’s talk about it, define it and help you combat any marketing shame you might be feeling.
In our work as content writers, our first question is how any piece of writing or marketing content is going to fit into a high-converting sales funnel. These sales funnels can get pretty complex, as they span across a variety of different platforms such as email marketing and social media. When you’re ready to take it to the next level, we even recommend creating sales funnel within each platform so that you can create multiple touchpoints with a prospective client.
Although a sales funnel should be customized to the nuances of every business, here is a brief look at a foundational sales funnel we would rely on to make sure the essential steps towards a sale are met. Think of this as your sales funnel “strategy.” It’s more like the overall theory of how it works (don’t worry we’ll get to the tangible action steps shortly).
This sales is based on the AIDA model (awareness, interest, decision, action) and can be adapted to many different context and environments.
And remember that between each of these steps in the sales funnel there can be many others. For example, there can be entire additional sales funnels between step one and two, which are dedicated to creating leads out of an existing target market. (Ps. We’d call that, “warming up your audience” which is where social media can play an important role.)
But we digress …
Let’s turn next to this excellent definition of a sales funnel from Wild Audience:
“A sales funnel is a step-by-step process that allows you to bring your potential customer one step closer to your offer and a buying decision through a series of marketing actions like automated emails, videos, articles and landing pages that will do the selling for you.” – Wild Audience.
So, in other words:
We find many of our clients confuse a “sales funnel” for a “customer journey” map. Although they may look similar, they are different because of the perspective they are made from. We find it is best to first create a sales funnel, one that incorporates all the platforms and resources you have available in order to make a sale. Your sales funnel is what a customer looks like from your business’s perspective.
For now, we’ll stay focused on sales funnels, and why your business needs one in order to grow.
So how does the overall strategy of a sales funnel translate to actionable steps? How do you actually create awareness, interest, call-to-actions, sales and return customers?
Here is what we recommend at Crafted:
A sales funnel is comprised of these five pieces:
A key messaging guide
A clear website
Lead generating content
Email automation sequence
Strong sales letter
This can get intricate really quickly (and it should so that you’re always growing your business). But for the purpose of this blog post, which is to explain what a sales funnel is and why you should start using one in your business, we want to help you get a sense of where to begin. Now that you know what the big picture is, we would recommend asking yourself several questions …
These are questions you will be able to answer even if you’re just launching your business, and don’t have any primary data you’ve collected through Google Analytics or social media insights yet.
If you’ve been measuring your marketing for a while and have data available to you, you’ll want to ask these questions:
Through gathering data, you will be able to develop a sales funnel that not only reflects the resources your businesses has to offer, but also the way customers interact with your brand’s marketing assets. This of course, will strengthen your sales funnel, but we would never want marketers to shy away from ever starting just because they don’t have all the information they need. It’s never too late to start measuring.
And why do you need a sales funnel?
Here are a few situations you might find yourself in today, and where we recommend going from there:
Start sketching out your sales funnel today and turn it into actionable steps to communicate across all your channels. Figure out what you know, and what you need to learn when you come across a hole. Figure out where you want to go, where your audience is going, and how you can create a sales funnel to meet those needs!