How to increase sales funnel conversion rate
Some marketers claim that the most challenging part of selling is prospecting. In other words – they do not know where to start and how to make the crucial first step to start selling. Truth be told, prospecting is a common issue, not only among marketers but also business owners, who usually struggle with kicking off or increasing their sales.
These days, offering a stellar product or service is not enough to attract customers. The competition on the market is fierce, consumers are demanding and you need to implement a proper and skillful strategy in order to gain clients.
No wonder the sales funnel concept has become so popular. It is a highly powerful tool used for visualizing where your prospects are in the process of the customer journey. It is wide at the top with all the potential leads and it slowly narrows to a thin bottom with sales prospects and loyal customers at the very end.
Funnels have gained popularity to such an extent that there are numerous companies that specialize in creating sales funnels for online businesses.
Nevertheless, you don’t need to purchase their services even if you have been struggling to increase your sales funnel conversion rate. You can become a sales funnel expert yourself once you know how to optimize it.
What are the sales funnel phases
In essence, the sales funnel is the process of attracting potential prospects and sifting them step-by-step until you end up with the most prominent ones that will purchase from you, or retain your services for a long-term period.
In the basic version, there are 4 sales funnel phases:
- action (also known as purchase).
In the basic version, there are 4 sales funnel phases:
- action (also known as purchase).
However, there is a new tendency to expand sales funnels by adding loyalty and advocacy stages.
In order to increase the sales funnel conversion rate, you need to understand the purpose behind each phase and implement appropriate techniques.
What are the sales funnel phases functions
At this stage, visitors learn about the existence of your business and the products or services it offers. Users visit your website and read your blog posts, watch your videos on Youtube, or end up on one of your landing pages (which you can create with a stellar landing page builder) from a Facebook or Google Ad. They might also discover you as a result of an interesting event or through organic search.
In the awareness phase, the primary objective is to determine the best way to make yourself visible to your target audience. Once you take care of high-quality blogging, SEO, or running cutting-edge marketing campaigns, you make your brand easy to find and appealing to your target audience.
This stage begins exactly when users willingly provide you with their email addresses. This is like a pot of gold for your business, as it allows you to increase their interest and engage them through a stellar email marketing strategy.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to avoid sending too many emails, as it may turn out counterproductive and lead to users unsubscribing from your mailing list. This is why you should exclusively send valuable emails with meaningful content (links to new captivating articles, free demos of your product, lead magnets, special offers, new launches of your products).
This is the most arduous of all the phases, as you need to turn your potential prospects into purchasers. This is where a variety of tactics can be used since it is difficult to predict which ones turn out the most appropriate for each of your prospect or audience segment.
Here social proof, web conferencing, sales pages, retargeted marketing campaigns, and trust that you have inspired among your customers come into play. It is crucial to convince your leads that your offer is outperforming your competitors.
Your prospects are now ready to finalize a transaction with you and become your customer. They sign a contract with you or click the “purchase” button on your landing page or business website. However, a 21st-century sales funnel should not end here. You should carry on interacting with your customers and take care of customer retention.
At this stage, you have a loyal customer base and your primary goal is to keep them satisfied, engaged, and taken care of. It will allow you to convert them into repeat customers and advocates of the brand.
It is worth noting that, according to studies, “the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%”. That makes customer retention a lucrative and exemplary strategy.
Once you take care of your existing customers and nurture the relationship with them by means of follow-up emails, a regular newsletter, webinars, or social media engagement, you can turn them into brand advocates and reach new heaps of potentially interested clientele.
Truth be told, people tend to believe recommendations from family, friends, and other consumers significantly more than from businesses themselves.
What are the best practices for increasing sales funnel conversion rate
Regular blogging (awareness, interest)
By blogging on a regular basis, you will generate awareness and interest in your products and services. Moreover, if you take care of SEO, you will be able to drive organic traffic to your website and reach new masses of potential prospects.
Social proof and PR (awareness, interest, decision)
Positive customer reviews, considerable reputation in the digital marketing world, testimonials and logos of companies that have used your solution may work wonders for your sales funnel conversion rate.
Therefore, you should take care of getting positive feedback from your customers, encourage them to share their opinion on reviews sites, and incorporate testimonials on your business website and landing page.
Using popups (interest, decision)
Although popups are associated with negative feelings, they are powerful when it comes to conversions. They command attention and if they provide value for users (free e-book, coupons), they turn out to be extremely effective and much less annoying.
Moreover, you can always use an extra platform for your performance marketing campaigns to help you to push notifications and get more traffic.
PPC campaigns (awareness, interest)
Successful PPC campaigns can have a significant impact on your sales funnel conversion rate. Once you create an appealing campaign and direct traffic from it on your engaging and state-of-the-art landing page, you can significantly increase your sales funnel conversion rate.
Excellent landing page (awareness, decision, purchase)
The quality of your landing page has a huge impact on conversions. Remember about the landing page best practices and create a simple and user-friendly lead generation form. Otherwise, it will have an off-putting effect for visitors and your landing page won’t be converting.
In order to optimize your landing page and check what works best for boosting your sales funnel conversion rate, you should perform A/B testing (most prominent landing page builders, like Landingi, offer them as an integral part of their services).
Strong CTA (interest, purchase)
Your CTA should be straightforward, bright, and concise. Don’t play riddles with your target audience, but make it understandable and visible so potential prospects can see it clearly and use it appropriately.
Optimizing e-commerce site (decision, purchase)
An e-commerce site is the place where your customers will make their purchases. Therefore, it does impact on your sales funnel conversions as well. If it is not user-friendly, cluttered and counterintuitive, even if a prospect has made a decision to purchase, they may retreat. Take care of your e-commerce site so it is a pleasure for customers to use it.
Stellar email marketing (interest, decision, loyalty)
In order to use your email marketing strategy to serve your sales funnel ratios well, you can use it for:
- regular newsletter to increase interest and nurture relationship with your leads,
- follow-up emails after purchase in order to show that you care to inspire loyalty,
- informing about new launches, special offers, new features of products to increase interest and speed up purchasing-decision,
- sending thank you messages (“Thank you for this year together!”) to increase reliability and loyalty.
All in all, increasing the sales funnel conversion rate is not rocket science. Nevertheless, you need to deeply understand each phase of the sales funnel and adopt an appropriate approach towards them. It will allow you to effectively sift your leads through it and, in the end, turn the most promising prospects into customers for your business. Luckily, if you follow the best practices quoted above, you have a high chance of boosting your sales funnel conversion rate easily.