Talk of customer acquisition online, and be sure to include sales funnels in your conversation. That’s because the two are closely intertwined together in the field of marketing.
Are you looking to acquire high-value customers? It’s that simple — work on your sales funnel.
As a business person, you probably know the pain of missing a sale. After weeks of pitching and sending demos, charming and chattering around, a prospect drops out of a sales funnel without seeing the need to complete a purchase. It hurts to the bone.
And this doesn’t just happen only once. You must have gotten used to it by now. However, that’s not to say that something can’t be done.
Do you want to know why your prospects keep dropping off at the middle of the buying process? It’s because you’re not proficient in this. Neither are you skilled enough to manage your sales funnel efficiently.
The odds are also good that your sales funnel has a lot of holes in it. And your leads are leaking out somewhere in the buyer’s journey.
You have to patch up these holes. Go back to the drawing board and restrategise. And most importantly, run a thorough analysis and make necessary calibrations where appropriate.
Here’s how you acquire more customers through sales funnel:
Identify the Blockage Point
The role of a sales funnel is to help you convert a good chunk of your leads into paying customers. You simply pour in leads from one end of the funnel and collect sales from the other end.
A sales funnel is comprised of a series of stages. The first stage of the funnel is the widest of all and gets narrower as one moves towards the other end.
It’s not a matter of how big or successful your business is. Customers will keep on dropping off. And the only thing you can do about it is to keep enticing a majority of them to stay.
In which case, there’s always that particular point that experiences the highest number of drop-offs. That’s the point where a more significant number of your leads choose not to proceed with a purchase. Commonly referred to as the blockage point, the conversion rate happening at this point is not always satisfying.
Or it could be that that particular section of your funnel has a scaling problem. Nothing you do increases the number of people that proceeds to the next stage because you’ve exhausted the capabilities of your sales or marketing technique. In most cases, solving this blockage point always invites another blockage point somewhere else.
So how do you identify a blockage point?
You solve a blockage point by responding to one particular question — what do you think is stopping you from increasing your sales tenfold?
The answers you come up with will be along the lines of:
- We’re not driving enough leads. That means your website is not getting enough traffic. Go back to the drawing board and figure out how to start driving traffic to your site.
- We’re attracting lots of visitors to our website. But the number that is converting to registered users is not satisfying.
- A more significant number of visitors we’re getting are subscribing to our freebies and free trial. But not enough of them are converting to paid visitors
- It’s becoming hard for us to secure a meeting with some of the key decision-makers.
- Our business is doing fine. But we need to grow.
Remember to also check out if the problem you’re experiencing has anything to do with some of the common causes of blockage points listed below.
Common Cause of Blockage Points in Sales Funnels
Product or Market Fit
This is the most apparent cause of blockage point. If you’re new in business, it could be that you’re yet to find the right product for the market. You have to begin by diagnosing the blockage point and finding out if that’s the case.
Make sure you’re pretty accurate with your diagnosis. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a lot of money marketing a product that’s not fit for that particular type of market.
After establishing that that’s the case, the most appropriate course of action would be to channel all your energy and resources to perfecting your product. And while at it, go slow on the amount of spending you dedicate to sales and marketing.
Keep the marketing spending to the minimum level so you can have a one-on-one interaction with your customers and get their opinion. Find out which part of the market has the most problems with your products.
At the same time, allocate a generous amount of your spending to product development. You want to make sure that you’re doing all that ought to be done to come up with the perfect product for your target market.
You might want to scour the internet for some pointers on how to solve your product for the market. At this point, we’d like to dedicate the rest of this post to marketers that have perfected their product and are looking for a way to acquire more customers using sales funnel.
Cause that Stretch Beyond Your Product
Your product could be perfect for your target market. But that’s not to say you’re safe from blockage points.
It could be that your site is not driving enough traffic. People just don’t know about your site — and for that reason, its traffic is scanty. Another plausible explanation could be that you’ve done a commendable job marketing your website out there. Its link is getting enough eyeballs. But for some reason, those seeing it are not motivated enough to check it out.
Or it could be that you’re not giving them a more convincing reason to visit your site. And if this is the case, there’s a fair chance that you’ve been so sales-oriented and haven’t dedicated enough time to building interest through content.
Another explanation that makes sense is your prospects finding your site annoying. So they marked you as spam, and nothing you do is enough to get them to change their perception of you.
This is common in the world of marketing. And that’s because, most marketers design their customer acquisition system based on opinions and common sense, with little attention paid to actual customers and the concerns they have.
So how do you Solve Blockage Points?
Now that you’ve identified blockage points in your sales funnel, what next? How do you solve them?
Well, the first thing you have to do is get into your customers’ head and start viewing things from their angle. Study their concerns, and you’ll realise they’re not far off from the following concerns:
- I’m always busy and therefore, don’t have the time to check you out or try out this lengthy procedure.
- I have other things that I consider high priority in my life.
- I already have a similar product or software that does the same thing
- I don’t like signing or registering with new websites because I don’t want to be spammed.
- Switching is a headache for me.
- Another data integration headache that I’m not ready to deal with now.
These are classic examples of concerns that are likely to bring some friction in your sales funnel. You want to make sure that you address them right on time by first mapping them out on paper.
In so doing, you should be able to find the next best course of action, part of which involves studying them to find a list of things that best motivates them to proceed to the next step or take action.
Think of their concerns as some friction into your sales process. And motivation is what you need to overcome this friction and get the ball rolling again.
Finding the Right Motivation
The real challenge comes with finding the right motivation. You have to make sure the motivation you come up with is enough to overcome some of the concern your prospects have and even get them to take the next step forward.
You are allowed to sermon some of the most creative thinkers you know to help you brainstorm the issue and recommend a solution. Forget about the old tactics of luring them to take action.
As it turns out, modern customers resent salesy messages or being sold to. They’re also the people in charge of the buying process. So you have to be extra careful with how you approach them lest you lose them for good.
Learn to think outside the box, and you’re guaranteed superb results.
Problem with Driving Traffic to Your Site
Where your site is not getting enough leads, that means you’re not driving enough traffic to your site. This is a problem that’s occurring at the very top of your sales funnel; mostly as a result of your prospect not being aware of your existence.
In other words, you have a poor web presence, and potential customers are having a hard time finding you on the web. Remember you have to get to your customers. You’re also the person to initiate dialogue and get them to take action.
If you’ve been in the business of marketing long enough, you must understand that creating a website doesn’t mean anything if it’s not driving traffic. Customers aren’t going to find you by making wild guesses. It’s upon you to find them and let them know that you exist
Prospects don’t have to suffer the pain of information overloads with you. If anything they have tons of websites and social networks to check out before they can even consider your site. Time is the most scarce of their resources. So be prepared to offer them value if at all you want to grab their attention.
So again, begin by addressing their concerns — and, to iron them out, come up with the right motivation that will overcome these concerns.
- I have no time to waste on things that have no immediate value to me, or those that I don’t find relevant in any way.
- I don’t like being sold to.
- I have no time to scroll through Google, trying to find a particular webpage. If it’s not featured on the first page, then sorry to say that I won’t be bothering myself searching for it.
- Is there a possibility that there’s a better product out there that I have not yet found?
- Could this be the best deal there’s in the market? Should I keep searching?
- Be creative and come up with more concerns that you suspect may be the cause of the blockage you’re experiencing at the beginning of your sales funnel.
It bears repeating that the best way to solve blockage is by coming up with the right motivations. So what are some of the motivations that can solve a traffic-related blockage?
- Your prospects have a problem to solve. So it makes sense to find a solution that addresses that problem. That should entice them enough to consider checking you out.
- If you can convince your current customers to recommend their products to their family and friends — then my friend, you’d have found the right motivation to get them to start rolling in in droves.
- If your customers can get your product or service for free, even for a short period, then that’s something they’d consider valuable.
- Teach them something they don’t already know. Mind you, that something doesn’t have to be related to your products or services.
- Get your product or services reviewed by a reputable site, individual, influencer, or consultancy firm. These are the people with real industry expertise, and if they approve a product, then the whole world would have no trouble echoing back. Trust can be enough motivation to make a prospect consider checking you out. And, what better way is there to get it than to leech it off the people your prospects trust?
- Lure your prospects in with entertaining content. Find a way to educate them on areas you suspect they’re passionate about and they’ll come running.
Now, this is the area where you let your creative juices flow. Let your thoughts fly and inspire you to list more motivations.
The whole point is to serve your prospects with real value. Give them something they want or cherish and you’ll have an easy time directing them to your site.
The Final Thought
Indeed, sales funnel is an indispensable lead conversion strategy that you can’t afford to ignore. As you learn more about customer acquisition online, you’ll begin to notice that sales funnel play a central role in online marketing and most importantly, conversion.
To learn more about customer acquisition online or your sales funnel project, we ask you to talk to one of our customer representatives at MediaOne Marketing, and let’s figure out how we can be of any value to you.