Ready to save time and money, all while growing your business? Then the first thing you take a good long look at your sales funnel and intake process to make sure they are working effectively. Your intake process should help you direct valuable leads to conversion and, ideally, back through the funnel for repeat sales. But how is it functioning? Where can it be improved? What can be done to move people further towards conversion? How can we streamline processes? Let’s find out how to increase conversion rate at any point of the sales funnel.
What is the Sales Funnel & Service Intake Process?
Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. The sales funnel is simply a visual tool representing how leads and prospects learn about your business, engage with your business, and ideally end in conversion. We’ve all seen the sales funnel graphics, right?
Because the brim is wider, we capture a lot of leads. Some are going to be great, and some aren’t. The not-so-good leads will fall out of the funnel and either be sent back to the top of the funnel if they aren’t ready to engage yet or set aside as unqualified or uninterested. The goal is to ensure that the sales funnel draws as many qualified prospects as possible, maintains their focus, and helps them decide to purchase from you.
Your service intake process is how you direct leads through the sales funnel by optimizing their experience. They work together to increase engagement and conversion. Sounds simple, right?
Improving the Buyer’s Journey
Remember that the funnel isn’t a pipeline – we don’t want to offer every prospect the same download, phone call, or sales pitch. Some prospects are looking for ideas. Others are seeking downloads or a one-on-one conversation to get more in-depth knowledge. And some are ready to buy. And meeting prospects where they are – wherever that is – is the difference between a lost prospect and a conversion.
The sales funnel has three distinct areas based on where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Let’s break them down.
The Awareness Stage is the introduction of your prospect to your business. They are becoming aware of what your company does, its brand, services, or products. They may or may not need this service yet, and they are not ready to buy. During this stage, you want to connect with prospects and help them understand what solutions you can offer. What sort of marketing is ideal for drawing prospects in and keeping them engaged?
- Direct Mail Marketing: Is your audience familiar with your services? If not, a personalized, branded postcard is an affordable way to put your ad, literally, in their hands. Invite them to an educational experience and help them know you have solutions to their problems can help them learn more about you and what you offer.
- Digital Advertising: Get your brand and name out there for everyone to see. Provide engaging content and valuable information for your audience.
- Content Marketing: Think blogs, social media posts, website content, and email campaigns. What information does your audience want to see? What might they be looking for online?
- Paid Search: Whether on social media, Google, or otherwise, these ads can bring new clients to your website or landing page with requests for more information.
Next in the sales funnel is the Consideration Stage, where your audience has seen and knows what your business does. They haven’t yet decided to buy yet, but they consider whether the purchase is right for them. How can you convince them to convert?
- Webinars: Connect with consumers and provide them with the information they need from the comfort of their homes. What could be better? The best thing about webinar marketing is that it can be used at any stage in the buyer’s journey, depending on the topic and who is attending. And webinars are proven to work in today’s environment, so why not give them a try?
- Dinner Seminars: Perhaps the only thing better than a socially distanced webinar is an in-person dinner seminar. Proven effective for over 25 years, these events combine the best aspects of business and customer service with helping encourage prospects farther down the intake process. Meet your prospects face-to-face, with a message that provides them with a solution, and they are more likely to do business with you in the future.
- Educational Workshops: Educational workshops can be just what your business needs when you want a more informational approach. Your consumers, who are looking for answers to their problems, can attend an educational workshop on precisely the information they need. And in the process, gain trust and respect for you as a business. Why wouldn’t they do business with you?
- Website Retargeting: One of the first things people do when researching businesses is to look them up online. But often, they leave without leaving information. What if you could retarget cold website visitors with a personalized direct mail piece? You could move them further down the sales funnel, that’s what!
Last but not least, we have the Decision Stage, where prospective buyers begin to communicate more with sales and where the buyer has to make some decisions. Do they buy your good or service? Or do they go elsewhere? This is where it’s your job to close the deal. And good marketing solutions can help you make it happen.
- Appointments: A one-on-one appointment with your prospects is the best way to move them to conversion. They know and understand your business; you’ve influenced them with your solutions, and now we need to sit down with them and hammer out the details.
- Multichannel Marketing: All of your consumers are different – some prefer webinars and others’ in-person events. How can you cater to each of them? With multichannel marketing. Don’t get stuck advertising in one space and one space only. Diversify your marketing to reach more prospects in more places. Setting up marketing campaigns for each stage of the buyer’s journey helps ensure they quickly find their way to conversion.
Don’t forget that your job isn’t over once you have a purchase! Make sure to funnel them back into the marketing cycle so they can remain loyal and dedicated customers to your brand.
Your sales funnel, and service intake process can help your business grow by leaps and bounds. By analyzing and making improvements to how you filter leads and in what ways you connect and engage with them, you can increase your conversion rate. Sometimes, those answers are hard to come by when you own your own business. Or maybe you just don’t have the time. At LeadingResponse, our marketing consultants are experienced in your business’ pain points, and we can offer solutions that work.