Improving Your Sales Funnel in the Next Three Years

The sales funnel is the main tool showing where you lose customers and what stage of the customer relationship is the most problematic. It also shows what things should be changed in order to increase revenue. Read how to analyze sales funnels and what are the ways to improve the conversion.

What Is Actually a Sales Funnel?

The sales funnel is the main tool that clearly demonstrates the efficiency level of your business processes. The first thing that needs to be done to build it is to describe the key stages of the existing business process, that is, the steps that lead the seller to make a deal. For example, a business process can look like this:

1. Cold call, request from the site
2. Preparing and sending commercial offers
3. A meeting, follow-up call, on-site presentation
4. Signing a contract
5. Invoicing
6. Payment

Optimal business process can be organized with the help of a work day map for each employee. It will help you track everything that sellers are busy with and how much time it takes them to complete their tasks.

Once the data is analyzed, remove all the redundant steps and non-specific functions. After the process is optimized, make adjustments to your CRM system, getting rid of unnecessary statuses there. Don’t you have a CRM? Choose one and implement customizing it with your business process. Based on the statistics provided by your CRM, you will be able to build the right sales funnel.

Above are the most important stages of the sales funnel. They can be called what you like,  but you should keep in mind that every successful buyer journey goes through the first three of these stages. Below are short explanations of each of the stages:

Awareness: The time when users first learn about your products, services, or brand.
Consideration: The time when users get interested in your products but yet not eager to make a purchase. Sometimes, it means that they are comparing your products or services against your competitors.

Conversion: The time when users choose to purchase some goods or services.

Loyalty: Your regular customers.

Advocacy: Your customers who recommend your products to other potential clients.

Keep in mind that your marketing doesn’t end with the purchase. You’ll need to do plenty of work to get loyal customers and make them recommend you to others.

Top Factors Improving the Sales Funnel

To find out all the weaknesses of your sales department, you need to build a sales funnel and analyze the movement of each potential buyer. To automatically generate reports, it is important to customize your CRM system.

If you decide to take seriously the development of the sales department, start by building a sales funnel. Identify the key steps, for example, a cold call, presentation, sending a quote, invoicing, payment.

To completely monitor your business processes, that’s not enough. The funnel shows the big picture. However, this data is not enough to answer the question: “What specific efforts will lead to an increase in sales?”. Thus, the head of the sales department should be able to work with this data in several sections.

New customers. This data allows understanding how things are going with sales to new customers. You can easily track the conversion between the stages, measure it, and see all the problem areas.

Existing customers. This data allows you to do the same thing as the data about the new clients. In addition, with its help, you can control the next purchases.

Sales channels. Learn which channels are the most effective and bring you the largest number of potential customers – cold calls, newsletters, advertising, conferences, webinars, etc.

Products. Analyze which products are being sold better and which are worse. Learn what products are popular, which ones are usually bought along with a particular product. Such monitoring will tell you which product is being sold with a higher conversion. As a result, you will increase efficiency by building an optimal product line.
Target audience. Explore your customers: their gender, age, marital status, the field of activity, etc. It may be much more effective to focus on a specific niche and not waste resources on less profitable ones.

Region. Explore where your sales go better and why. Increase efforts in this direction, and at the same time review your marketing strategy in those regions where your product are not so popular.

Staff. Explore where your employees lack knowledge, experience, and skills. It will help create a training program for managers in accordance with the identified problems.

All these data will help to calculate at what stage you lose customers, show where you need to change business processes so that sales start to grow.

Three Ways to Improve Your Sales Funnel

#1- Update your offer

Trial versions, discount coupons, and free consultations are three things that your website most likely has, just like any other web platform for promoting products and services.

Moreover, if your main product has no unique features, it doesn’t matter what the landing page looks like. All the same, you will have nothing to “hook” users and convince them to make a purchase. Instead, develop an original proposal and build everything else around it.

You can use different marketing applications to attract more customers. These apps are in high demand because they provide the following benefits:

  1. Quick, painless audit of current activities
  2. Comparative data with other market players
  3. Individual action plan and recommendations for improving performance

In short, they take on all the hard work and offer solutions to urgent problems. In turn, the company that developed the application receives some basic user data and the ability to grow leads over time.

#2 – Analyze your conversion

Don’t forget about the “friction” when you begin to increase conversion. “Friction” is everything that causes discomfort to users and prevents them from moving straight to the order page. The fewer steps or pages you need to fill in, the better.

Don’t force people to click all the pages of your store. Take out the most popular products on the main page and simplify a few extra steps. A simple change from four to three steps (at least one page) can increase the conversion significantly.

However, Moz found out that the most profitable customers are those who visited the site at least 8 times. Usually, they become regular customers, unlike those who quickly converted, but who didn’t have enough time, patience, or understanding how to use their tools, so they didn’t return.

Efficiency depends only on the type of your business, and you need to carefully check every tool (e.g. simple A/B testing of a landing page).

Even if you made the site quite user-friendly, there are other items that affect the conversion. Ideally, you should let people know at what stage of the conversion funnel they are, and what they have to do to get their product or service. For example, Amazon added the choice of delivery and payment options to the final page of order confirmation.

You can also show how many steps are still left to complete the order using the special menu.

#3 – Use remarketing

To increase conversion, use remarketing tools or start a remarketing campaign with one of the targeted audiences:

1. New visitors: site users who once left the page, however, a new type of content is able to convince them to make a purchase.

2. Those who viewed (or added to the basket) the product, but didn’t buy: they showed interest in your products but did not decide to place an order right now.

3. Those who placed the order: you already know what they need – offer related goods or services in order to increase the profit per customer.

The most interesting is the second type of audience. They have already seen and appreciated your suggestions, but for some reason haven’t ordered anything. This is your opportunity to expand your sales funnel and increase future conversions by growing leads. Remarketing will help return potential customers with a simple action.

To sum it up, the right marketing and sales funnels are powerful tools to promote your products or services, boost your sales, and attract more customers. To improve the funnels, you can use remarketing, unique offers, and website simplifying techniques.

Rilind Elezaj is a Digital Marketing Specialist




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