What the heck is a sales funnel & why d’you need one?

For most small businesses, highly effective marketing is make-or-break necessity. It brings money through the door! A good niche marketing campaign won’t do the job by itself. Neither will a flawless website.  Finding the right customers for your business or service takes time and, more importantly, it takes the right
marketing mix. That’s where the ‘sales funnel’ comes in.

So what is a sales funnel?

To put it simply, a sales funnel is a visual representation of the path potential customers take
before purchasing from your business. Most SME’s define their sales process as a funnel
due to its shape: the widest point represents the number of leads you may generate while the
narrowest point is where the leads turn into customers. Some potential customers never make it
beyond the initial opening while some follow that path all the way to the end.
Your business should tailor your specific funnel for specific goals. After all, your business is
unique, and the top of your funnel should reflect how you can best show that to your potential

South East Building Service were looking for a partner to expand and improve their reach. They had a relatively new website, and wanted a local marketing company to support them with campaigns and to improve sales funnels. They had also been working on social media campaigns to increase traffic, but click-thru rate and sale’s conversion was very low.

Part of our PR task was to improve specific user journeys and business validation, so that we could better engage and convert browsers into buyers! South East Building Service (like us!) were keen that the customers decisions was based on their location, experience and credibility, so we did our homework; digging deep into user behaviour to define what customers look for – and how to quickly get to YES!

The website was then optimised to this prioritised list of goals, landing pages, calls to action and journeys to core services.

Top tips for generating good leads

First impressions are always important. Maybe it’s a tweet, google search result or a Facebook post
that got you noticed but when that happens, your potential customers should immediately become aware of who you are and the basics of what you can do for them. You must make that count. That’s the key to turning traffic into a sale. So let’s talk about generating leads at the top of your funnel and how to do it.

1 – Research Your Audience

You need to catch the potential customer’s attention before you can make a sale. That’s where the first – and largest – section of your funnel comes into play. You must find your audience, build buyer personas, and locate those customer pain points that lead consumers to your (metaphorical) door. You need to know who your buyers are before you can market to them, after all.


2 – Don’t Push Too Hard at the Top

When you’re generating leads, it may be tempting to deep dive into your business. Don’t! Doing so too soon might confuse people who aren’t as familiar with the type of products or services you offer. At this stage, your primary focus is building brand awareness – not making a hard sell. You want to offer them just enough information that, when they’re ready to start researching, they’ll know that they can find everything else they need.


3 – Nail the Landing (Page)

Your landing page is the first real connection a potential customer will have with your brand. It’s essential that the first thing they see makes a positive lasting impression and reflects what you’re
Just as important, you need to spend time maintaining your website. Out of date or incomplete information will turn away customers faster than any price tag.


4 – Work the Blog

If you don’t have a blog on your website, you should consider getting one. Moreover, you should be investing time and energy into maintaining both website and blog to be as up-to-date as possible. You need to build them up to create a knowledgeable and professional first point of contact. How knowledgeable do you sound when you’re talking about certain aspects of your business? How professional and trustworthy does your website look? At this stage, you should do less pushing and more being available and show off your expertise. Once you’ve caught their eye, consumers will go looking for more content!


5 – Master Your Social Media

Social media rules marketing. The key is to find your business’s niche platform and go from there. Not all social media platforms are created equal; they each have strengths and weaknesses, especially when it comes to reaching the right demographic for your business. You need to develop a strong social media strategy and start generating some inbound marketing from them. You should also be looking to maximise your SEO content. Partner with a program like Google AdWords if you have a marketing budget. If not, you need to look at your organic SEO and see how to nurture growth there (your blog will help!).


6 – Seek Out Partnerships

It’s likely that, whatever your business is, you’ll find others that compliment or run parallel to your own. Many of these potential partners may already have a large customer base that you can tap into if you can find a mutually beneficial arrangement. If you’re already maintaining your blog, you can take the next step and write a guest blog for another company, run a joint social media campaign (partnering for a giveaway or discount), or even co-host a webinar with another complimentary organisation. Another option is to answer relevant questions on places like Quora or Clarity. If your information is good (and it should be!), you’ll soon set yourself up as a master in your market. It will draw consumers in when they see you’re an expert on the topic.


7 – Make Use of Email & Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is the traditional marketing method that “pushes” your brand out to potential customers. This type of marketing can still be effective for your business – if you use it properly. The age of cold calls or mailing fliers out to people is long past. You’ll need to focus on email campaigns and more cost-effective, less intrusive means of attracting attention to consumers. One of the best ways to do that is to develop a lead magnet.

D’you need a sales funnel?

To be successful, you need to understand how consumers become customers. To do that, you need
to understand how website visitors become leads and how those leads are converted to sales. In the
end, you want to turn those sales into repeat customers. You need to map a potential customer’s
journey from their first moment of awareness to your brand all the way down to the final sale.
Once you have that knowledge, you are much better equipped to market to consumers and to grow.

Signature Image Consultants is a lead generating company with a ‘sweet spot’ for retail marketing and ecommerce website development. We’ve been creating awesome websites for some amazing clients since 1998.