There’s a lot of work involved in converting a lead into a paying customer. The chances are that your audience won’t see your product and decide to buy it immediately, they’ll need a little pushing and nurturing to get them to a point where they’re ready to purchase. An effective and optimized sales funnel eases your customer through their buying journey using a combination of marketing and sales techniques. If you do it correctly, you can optimize your sales funnel and improve your chances of making some serious sales. You can even improving your brand reputation.
How to optimize your sales funnel
So, how do you optimize a sales funnel for success?
1. Get to know your audience
Creating the perfect sales funnel means knowing your audience and how they’re going to interact with your brand. The more you know about your prospects, the easier it will be to market to them, and ensure they can convert into paying customers.
If you’re targeting the wrong person, or your sales funnel isn’t speaking the right language, then you’re just wasting your time.
The first step to success is building a series of buyer personas that you can use to guide you. These personas will highlight important details about your clients, including where they’re from, what they need from you, and what kind of pain points they’re trying to overcome.
You’ll also need to think about your competitors, and how they’re already serving your audience.
If you can find a way to delight your customers and offer them something that they don’t get anywhere else, then you can guide them through the sales funnel in no time.
What’s more, evaluating your competitors will also give you inspiration on how other companies are generating awareness with blog posts, desire with case studies, and more.
2. Use social proof
Social proof has a part to play in multiple segments of your sales funnel. First and foremost, it can attract new customers. Testimonials posted on Google or social media give you more chances to reach different clients.
At the same time, testimonials also help to build trust among your target audience. If you can add reviews to your website and product pages, you can show your customers you’re a credible company that they can feel comfortable buying from.
These days, it’s a lot easier to create social proof. You can:
- Ask customers for reviews: Ask your customers to leave a testimonial on your website or product pages after they’ve made a purchase. You could increase your chances of success with this strategy by offering a discount or freebie in exchange.
- Showing awards and certifications on your website: Recognition from other market-leading groups and companies can enhance your social proof significantly. Consider adding badges like “Verified by Visa” to your checkout pages too.
- Using an SSL certificate: SSL certificates give all of your website pages encryption. The little padlock that shows next to your URL will show your customers that you’re safe to shop with.
Even signing up with rating companies like TrustRadius so your clients can rank your business without re-visiting your website can enhance your business reputation.
3. Produce the right content
An incredible sales funnel simply can’t exist without the right content. According to research, educational content can improve your chances of earning sales by 131%. The key to success is making sure that you create the right content that answers critical questions for your audience.
For instance, start by talking to your sales team. Ask them what kind of questions and concerns customers have when they start looking at your products. Perhaps you could create information pages and FAQs that answer some of those queries.
You could also look at some of the topics that are trending in your industry using tools like BuzzSumo. This could attract people to your brand and show them that you have your finger on the pulse of the marketplace.
Remember, if you want to make sure that your content really hits home with your audience, then you should also think about SEO. Search Engine Optimization will help you to boost your content’s chances of appearing at the top of the search results when your customers search for specific keywords and phrases related to your brand.
4. Work on your call to actions (CTAs)
Attracting your customers to your website with content is great, but you also need to make sure that your audience knows what to do next after they’ve read your blog posts and viewed your product pages. Strong CTAs, or call to action buttons, help with this.
With the right CTAs, you give your audience a roadmap of what they need to do next when interacting with your brand. Whether it’s a button encouraging your audience to sign up for your newsletter so you can stay in touch, or add a product to cart, it needs to make the right impact.
Make sure that your CTA is straight to the point and actionable. For instance, if you’re trying to encourage people to purchase your cleaning service, then you might tell them to “Book Now!”, or “Get a Quote”.
The best CTAs show your customers exactly what they’re going to get by clicking a button.
A/B test your CTAs using different language, button colors, and even placements on your web pages. Something as simple as placing a CTA above the fold rather than below the fold on a retail site could boost your chances of conversions.
5. Eliminate all friction points
Finally, make sure that you reduce any friction points that might prevent your customers from purchasing something from you. In today’s digital world, your audience expects that they’ll be able to find the items that they need and purchase them immediately.
Research suggests that more than 69% of customers put something in a cart online, only to leave without purchasing that item. Some of the common reasons for this are:
- A complicated checkout process
- No option for guest checkout
- A long or complex form
- Lack of payment options
- An unclear returns policy
- No trust signals when entering cart details
- Hefty shipping costs
Optimizing your sales funnel
Learning how to remove the friction from your buyer’s journey and simplify the purchasing experience for your audience has a number of benefits. It improves your chances of building positive relationships with your customers and enhances your sales opportunities too.
Are you ready to optimize your sales funnel?
This guest blog article was written by Ashley Wilson, a content creator, writing about business and tech. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You follow Ashley on Twitter @ashleygwilson.