Optimizing your marketing sales funnel takes one essential but basic step.
Understanding your sales funnel.
Digital marketing leader Sujan Patel explains how to break down your funnel using the right metrics on this week’s podcast. Sujan runs six SaaS businesses, including Mailshake and Web Profits, a growth marketing agency, and they all use the same highly effective sales funnel. On this week’s podcast, you’ll learn how to build traffic and leverage your own network and customers in your sales funnel.
Exposure is not what you do to increase your own exposure.
“It’s the things people say about you when you’re not there,” remarks Sujan. “Exposure is your reputation.”
If someone recommends you to a potential client, exposure is all the information they provide to the client. Whether it’s good, bad, or a mixture, that’s the exposure.
It’s outside of your direct control in the sales funnel, but you can control it indirectly by creating work that is beneficial to your reputation.
Exposure builds trust, and you can build exposure by doing guests posts and creating videos and other content. Using the content to answer the questions clients might ask about you gives you a bit more indirect control.
How big of a reach do you have? Where are you ranking? These metrics are how you qualify your awareness.
For some people, their big reach comes from social media. For others, it may be paid advertising. At MailShake, Sujan explained that they crush it on private Facebook groups where members share their major content guides.
When potential clients move through the sales funnel from a strong awareness area, you already have some credibility and trust with them.
Every business will have awareness areas that are stronger and weaker. You need to be aware of your strengths to know where future leads will come from.
Sujan recommends asking every lead:
How did you hear about us?
This metric is more accurate at predicting your strengths than Google Analytics. Google Analytics shows their direct search pattern but not the first time the lead had awareness of your brand.
With those potential leads identified, you’re moving into the consideration phase of the sales funnel.
According to Sujan, “this is where a lot of people fail.”
Think about the flow that will move the potential client through consideration and into a sale.
The process will vary. From blog traffic, someone in consideration may download an e-book or join a webinar. That action may move them into becoming an active lead.
You need to know your process and optimize it to ensure potential leads successfully complete the consideration phase. That optimization can be seriously simple:
“A lot of people are not aggressive enough in their nurturing to ask for conversions.” Yes, you need to offer a lot of value so your value-to-ask ratio is high. But you still need to clearly ask for money. This is business.
The sale might not come immediately, but by having a clear consideration process, it’s easier to move the client through the next steps and complete the sale.
TRUST & AUTHORITY
Trust and authority are essential at each of the sales funnel stages. It doesn’t come before or after Consideration, it’s part of it.
Some people earn trust from their potential clients through exposure. Others build it through brand awareness. Some businesses may need to build it during consideration.
For example, if you’re a new e-commerce site, you may need to build trust through built-in guarantees, free returns, and free shipping. If you don’t yet have trust, figure out how to ease that friction point to improve your sales funnel. If you’re a solar company seeking to generate leads, you may develop a strong referral system from your past customers, where trust has already been earned.
- Exposure is your reputation. Ensure that people who are talking about you are saying positive things.
- Know where your strengths and weakness are in Awareness. You will have both, and you need to know the metrics that matter to your sales funnel.
- Break down your marketing funnel’s consideration phase so you know exactly how your potential client moves through it. Understand it so you can optimize it.
- Don’t hide your ask. Be direct and ask active leads if they want your business’s help.
- “There’s no one who can tell you what to do with your business.” Expert advice is only inspiration. You need to apply the advice.
- Figure out the bottlenecks in your funnel. Identify the phase it takes place, and look at the numbers for potential solutions.
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