Chances are, you’ve heard the term Sales Funnel. But you might not know what it means, or be thinking “How can this help me?!” I know when I got started as a virtual assistant, I didn’t really understand what it meant. I would nod my head when people talked about it, but didn’t really look into it. At the time, I was new to being a VA, I didn’t have the time to learn something new! There are a lot of misconceptions about sales funnels, but I am going to clear that up for you!
For the purposes of simplicity, I am going to cover a basic funnel, with three steps. Now, some sales funnels can be much more intricate, with many steps, but for the basics, we will have three: awareness, leads, sales.
The term “sales funnel” is really a technical way of explaining the customer acquisition process. AKA A sales funnel is the process potential customers go through to become booking customers. It can be automated and uses your marketing to get you in front of audiences.
Chances are, people are looking for what you have to offer, all hours of the day. So you need a great funnel to get them interested, keep them hooked, and get them booking you!
The goal is to funnel down your prospective customers into ones who are serious about purchasing.
The first step is awareness. This is where potential customers start to become aware of your products. Now, this is often through your marketing, whether it is social media, a blog, or newsletter. Keep in mind this is the stage where your client has a problem, and is looking for a solution. Maybe they are behind on social media and need a social media manager to take over. Or they are overwhelmed with client leads, and need someone to assist with email and lead management.
Ideas to grow awareness:
After finding you through marketing, they might go into a second step, which is interest. This is when someone might reach out and ask for more information, or maybe join your email list. For simplicity sake, I am including this in the top funnel (although, in a more detailed funnel, it would be a separate piece)
The middle of the funnel is when a client is interested and ready to talk to you about your services. This is often where the discovery call comes in. A discovery call is a free call, typically 15-30 minutes, that gets you on the phone with that potential client. This is where you explain your services and close the sale.
During this middle stage, customers will show an interest, evaluate your offerings, then make a decision. This is a crucial part of the the funnel, since this is where you can filter leads. If you have a lead in the awareness stage but is not a good fit, you can send them to another virtual assistant. If they are a strong lead, and one you would want to work with, you will schedule your discovery call.
Potential customers become actual customers, and your funnel is a success! This is the stage where the client who started out with awareness, becomes a purchasing client, and a sale. From here, you will onboard via your onboarding method, and continue to work with that client.
See, I told you a sales funnel was easy! everyone who is selling a product or a service needs a proper sales funnel strategy. Without mapping out a sales funnel strategy, your marketing efforts may not get you aware because your potential customers are unclear as to what the next steps are in the purchasing process. It is your job to nurture your potential leads into clients, using an easy to follow purchasing guide.
Mapping out a sales funnel will help you be consistent with your marketing. Plus, you can measure the stats and analytics of each step, to start identifying what phase people fall off at. Are they struggling to get from the awareness phase to the leads phase? How can you effectively promote your products and get them interested in a sales call? These are all items you can evaluate, and make your sales funnel even stronger!