Solve Your Sales Funnel Problem With These Important Steps

Chapter 01: Solve your sales funnel problem with these important steps

Solve your sales funnel problem with these important steps

Is your sales funnel broken? Here’s the scenario. You’ve created a process to connect and engage with your target market but sales are falling short of goal. Something isn’t working.

Think of the sales funnel metaphor as a literal funnel. If the funnel is broken, your potential customers won’t be able to flow through the customer experience toward a decision point (translate that ‘sale’). It’s time to troubleshoot your process to identify issues and take action for better results. Solve your sales funnel problem with these important steps.

Diagnosing your sales funnel problem

While there are many details that make up a successful sales funnel, most sales funnel problems fall into two categories -- clogs and leaks. Both can prevent prospective customers from reaching the decision point to become real customers. Let’s take a look at the causes of these problems then we’ll move on to the repair.

Clogs

Sometimes your prospective customers get stuck somewhere between interest and action. You may have done a stellar job of raising awareness and sparking interest through content or a magnet but that’s where your leads stay in the sales funnel. They’re stuck.

Once upon a time, the traditional sales funnel moved consumers from awareness to interest and consideration, on to conversion at which point companies could focus on retention. Times and consumer behaviors have changed. Today’s customers are generally more informed; easy access to information can delay decision-making and the barrage of information on traditional and social media is distracting. Sales funnels can be broken by delays and distractions that result in customer limbo—they’re not gone, just inactive.

Leakage

Some of the same issues that clog your sales funnel can also result in leakage. Buying decisions are rarely a straight line from awareness to conversion. Delays and distraction may cause potential customers to wander aimlessly, lose interest and drop away. Competing information can directly (and often purposefully) divert your leads to a competitor. Social media offers a constant flow of information and competing products. Delays, distraction and diversion create ‘leaks’ in your sales funnel and potential customers will slip away through the cracks.

Repairing your sales funnel problem

Step 1: Identify the problem location to understand where to focus your problem solving. Where are your potential customers getting stuck or lost in the sales funnel? Visit each stage of your sales funnel to determine where people are getting stalled or lost.

  • Awareness/Interest phase: This is the top of the funnel where your marketing, communication and engagement strategies will identify and connect with potential customers—or not. Are your tone and content aligned to attract your target market?
  • Interest/Consideration phase: This is the middle of the funnel where your sales process informs and guides potential customers to make a decision about buying your product or service—or not. Does your process inform, respond to and support customer decision making effectively?
  • Decision phase: This is the lower part of the funnel where potential customers actually decide to become buying customers—or not. Does your process utilize a clear and effective call-to-action step that will move customers to the point of decision?

Step 2: Clear the clog to keep potential customers moving fluidly from interest to action. Minimize confusion and distraction with clear communication. Create a seamless multi-channel experience for customers so they know who you are, what you’re offering and what action they should take on every platform.

Chatbots may be a solution to bridge gaps in your process and keep people moving forward. This tool can keep information flowing, improve response time and maintain engagement between more personalized contact.

Step 3: Seal the leak to avoid losing potential customers. Creating a fresh, interactive and engaging customer experience can help to minimize the distraction of competing information. Live media can be an effective tool to engage and build a sense of community.

Building relationships mean that informing, engaging and serving customers is an interconnected series of activities. Connect marketing & customer service strategies to create a cohesive customer experience that will help keep your potential customers moving toward the decision point.

Step 4: Create a sparkling customer experience so your customers can’t imagine going anywhere else. Look for opportunities throughout your sales funnel and beyond to continuously improve the customer journey. It’s all about ‘experience’ for millennial shoppers—and most shoppers honestly.

Review and refine the phases of your sales funnel regularly; monthly or at least quarterly. As you close gaps, improve customer experience and grow customer relationships you will not only solve your sales funnel problem but you’ll gain customers and sales too!

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