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Creating a curated customer experience that begins from the very first contact and guides a stranger to become a valued, repeat customer is key to your business success. In fact, let’s face it, regardless of how wonderful your product or service is, if no one’s buying you won’t be in business.
An effective sales funnel is the mechanism for guiding that process. The goal is not just to attract prospects and convert them to customers but also to keep them as customers. In the traditional sales funnel model, a magnet draws prospective customers to your business. Your sales funnel process builds awareness and interest, which leads to a decision and action (ie; a sale).
Here’s the good news -- by adding a few thoughtful steps to your sales funnel strategy, you can create a customer experience that makes the most of every lead.
*A plan without action is not a plan. It’s a speech. * –T. Boone Pickens
It’s true that a well-planned sales funnel supported by the best tools is a strong start. Be sure to customize your approach to reach YOUR customers so that more of the leads that enter the funnel become happy customers. Below are seven steps for putting your sales funnel into action.
Step 1: Communicate your value. You know your product or service better than anyone. Ask yourself and your team these questions and create a concise statement about your product value.What is the unique value your product brings to your ideal customers? How can your service help or solve a problem for your customers (and who are they)?
Be sure that your product and/or service value is clearly communicated everywhere from your brand and product to your social media and web presence. The problem you solve for your customers is part of the reason they'll be drawn to your company. The customer experience, including follow-up, follow-through and product satisfaction is the reason they’ll stay and buy stuff. And continue buying stuff.
Step 2: Connect to your unique audience. Now that you’ve clarified the real value of your product and you know the problems you can solve, it’s critical to communicate and connect with your real audience.
First, confirm who your audience really is. Who will value the problem that your product solves? Second, be sure that your marketing approach will connect well with your ideal audience. Marketing to boomers is best accomplished through both different platform and approach than marketing to Millennials.
Step 3: Create engaging content. Create engaging and useful content that not only draws potential customers to your business (that’s the magnet) but also keeps them connected by informing, educating and providing value. Valuable content will not only raise awareness among the general visiting public, it will also create interest for those who are truly aligned with your product’s value.
Step 4: Capture your audience.
You’re already on your way to capturing the attention of your audience. In fact, set a goal to delight your audience with every contact. In addition, capture the contact information for every visitor so you can provide prompt and consistent follow-up. A strong Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is helpful – almost critical – to managing potential and current customers well.
Step 5: Convert interest to action. Prioritize the customer experience at every turn. Make sure you’ve asked plenty of questions of your customer base and listen to the answers. Now that you have engaged your ideal prospective customer and captured their interest, it’s time to help them make a decision about your product.
Step 6: Care for your customers. Customer care begins long before your customers buy something. Every contact helps to establish your brand and who you are as a company and product. Nurturing your customers from the beginning, when they are only a ‘lead,’ will help to create a sparkling customer experience.
Step 7: Continue to serve. You’ve worked hard to guide a customer through the sales funnel journey, growing a little lead into a strong, satisfied customer. Be sure to have a plan for continuing to nurture and serve that customer. Don’t neglect the customer you’ve already won because you’re busy chasing new customers. Existing customers can (and should) become repeat customers. Understand the opportunities for upselling and cross-selling to meet additional customer needs.
Communicate your value to connect with your ideal potential customer. Create engaging content to capture your prospective customer’s interest. Help your prospect convert to a customer whom you can care for and continue to serve.