The big question on most of our new customers’ lips here at Peter Doak Global is: “How do I build up a sustainable revenue source through digital for my business?”. The answer lies in how well we as a client and customer team, understand the business’ customer life-cycle and to do that there is no better methodology than building your customer sales funnel.
The sales funnel concept as a marketing tool has been around since 1898, created by E. St. Elmo Lewis as a model which mapped a theoretical customer journey from the moment a brand or product attracted consumer attention to the point of action or purchase.
Fast forward to the present day, and the evolution of the sales funnel has advanced into an integrated tool which helps businesses map out the journey from customer introduction to a strong, profitable relationship with the customer.
We here at PDG are not entirely convinced that there is a one-size-fits-all model for a sales funnel, but for display purposes we have created a template for your business to take inspiration from.
The above diagram depicts a very simple sales funnel environment whose separate elements are outlined and explained below:
In awareness, people are made aware of your brand regardless of their desire to purchase. Awareness can be based on a communications message, word of mouth or independent discovery.
A real life example would be when someone has been served a Facebook advert because they fit the profile of your target demographic.
Sometimes it can be difficult to gauge where one part of the funnel ends and where one part begins. There is no right or wrong answer here; it’s personal to your brand. On a micro level, it’s possible that the impression of an online advert could be classed as awareness, while a click on that advert cold be a move into the next stage, but it’s also perfectly reasonable to hold impressions and link clicks in the same awareness part of the funnel.
Awareness could also manifest itself as a Like on Facebook, a Like on Instagram, a Follow on Twitter, or a visit to a particular page on your website.
How can you monitor this? Read to the end of the article to find out.
We class interest as the occasion when someone is connected with your brand via email. They have visited your website and are interested enough to handover their email address usually in return for some form of value adding teaser into services, a free eBook, a webinar invite, or something of the like.
Again, the lines blur a little between this stage of interest and the next stage of decision. A buyer could potentially both register interest and make a decision by signing up for your free trial and creating an account. Our suggestion is that unless money has changed hands or an agreement has been made for money to change hands, no decision has been made.
Getting people from awareness to interest is quite a journey. One method would be to install Facebook and Google tracking pixels on your website, and then use Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and YouTube Ads to re-target previous visitors of your site while they are visiting other sites or surfing Facebook.
“We’re in the money, we’re in the money!”; this is nearly where we want to be, you have made a sale! At this point you have successfully brought a customer from not knowing about you, to getting your product in front of them, to engaging them, to having them buy into your idea.
Now what? Let’s move into…
It’s time to do four things:
- Repeat Sales
- Gain Testimonials
- Gain Referrals
- Upsell – Level 100 Sales Pipeline Jedi Master
Delivery of your product should be simple, timely, accurate, and in full working order. If you make an error, do everything you can to rectify the situation because without delivery, your next steps with this customer are highly unlikely.
If your product is based on a monthly subscription, then in ensuring that your product is good, does what it says it does and adds value, you will be able to deliver repeat sales.
Gaining a testimonial is crucial to your products success. If you are selling through Amazon, the inbuilt functionality will prompt and allow customers to leave reviews on your listing page for all to see. If you are in B2B or you own your own eCommerce store, you will have to work a little harder to get those recommendations and publish them on your website.
Gaining referrals blends in with testimonials, as through testimonials you have the opportunity to win referrals. However, there is a more direct route, how about an incentive referral programme? In B2B, this can be especially effective when you offer a cash bonus for introductions that lead to a successful sale.
We call this Level 100 Sales Pipeline Jedi Master. Can you use the customer list you have created to sell your customers another product that they need, based on their interest in your business? If you can you could be unlocking a whole new revenue stream into your business.
Having a great product and delivering it well is the main focus; everything else is easy once you nail that.
How to monitor your sales funnel?
The technology used to monitor a sales funnel is called a Customer Relationship Management Tool, (CRM).
You will be surprised at how automated the management of a sales funnel can be. It’s never completely automated and it takes time to set up, but it is useful to have something that helps you visualize where the bulk of your audience is in the pipeline.
The CRM that we use at Peter Doak Global is Agile CRM but there are hundreds of CRMs out there for you to choose from. Agile is our pick because it is simple and inexpensive.
Below is an example of the Agile CRM Dashboard displaying someone’s sales funnel based:
That’s our beginners guide to sales funnels completed! We hope you enjoyed it, and we would love to hear your tips and guidance on creating the best sales funnel possible in the comments below.