Believe it or not, sales are the vital spark of an organization. As busy as we are, focusing on our business growth takes time and careful consideration. Why is it we tend to limit ourselves when it comes to automating crucial-growth-centered tasks and free-up ourselves to do what we do best, business?
Why Automating Sales?
But first, we want to understand what an automated sales funnel is. A sales funnel is the automated process, a workflow you’d test and refine depending on actions your audience takes when interacting with your brand’s assets. Think of it as the step-by-step taken by seller and buyer during the buying process. These steps would include processes defining how you’d communicate with your consumers to help drive an action, like moving forward with a subscription, making a purchase, or booking a call.
As consumers are making decisions to move forward with the sale, whether they understand the thought process or not, a well-designed automated strategy handles the task of driving sales for you without much human interaction. While the prospect is deciding whether they want to buy your “thing” or visit your competitor for better options, your strategy is what brings your buyer to the bottom of the sales funnel. In this guide you will learn how to do this without the technical jargon.
Sales Funnel Phases
Sales funnels are the steps taken by your potential buyers. The phases are broken down in three phases: the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel. The goal of the sales process is not just to make a sale but to convert the prospect into a raving fan of your brand.
1. Top of the Funnel: Awareness
During this phase the sales funnel targets a wide audience who is unaware of your brand’s existence. This is considered the beginning of your buyer’s journey. Any data gathering and persuasion starts here. This is where businesses spread brand awareness, showcase their products and services and start generating leads.
2. Middle of the Funnel: Consideration
In the middle of the funnel your potential customers begin to consider buying your offer. Any assets served to visitors in this phase of the buying process should be designed to align your potential customer’s desires with your core offer. The content should be directly speaking to their desires and wants, not their needs or your product features. This is a mistake most businesses make when designing their content strategy and then wonder why their funnel isn’t working. The good news is that during this phase, if your strategy is designed correctly, is where you’ll begin the process of nurturing leads.
3. Bottom of the Funnel: Conversion, Loyalty & Advocacy
At the bottom of your funnel is where your prospective for a sale becomes an active sale. This includes new customers or existing clients, which essentially leads to repeat and recurring sales.
Each step in the funnel is to be designed to speak to your dream client and comfortably lead them through their purchasing journey. Yes, comfortably. If you create a message that speaks to your target audience’s pain-points and fulfills a core desire, you won’t have to beg for the sale or lower your price.
During the beginning, your goal is to be recognized by potential buyers, then your efforts are to speak persuasively and offer value as an incentive to their patronage at the end of the funnel. The best part of automating sales is, at the last stage sales start to come in. Your funnel has eliminated individuals who were not interested or were indecisive, and now your audience is ready to move forward and take your desired action.
I recommend buying my Funnel Content Mapping Spreadsheet to help you craft messages that communicate with your audience at every stage of your funnel.
Turning Prospects to Clients, and Clients to Raving Fans
How will we move prospects through the different phases of our sales funnels? We will be using the AIDA model for marketing. AIDA has defined four phases of the buying stages in sales funnels. But first, let’s discuss the AIDA Model.
The AIDA Model
The AIDA model identifies the effectiveness of personalized sales broken down into the following four phases.
- Attention: The first phase is where you will be creating brand awareness and begin educating your prospects of services and core offers.
- Interest: After the brand awareness phase is complete you begin serving messages that will start generating interest.
- Desire: Here you will begin to see the funnel start generating inquiries. Your message then starts to create emotional connections with your ideal buyer as their interest increases and begins to drop indecisive, unsure, and casual visitors.
- Action: The phase where you get the sale and you get your dream buyer then emerges and brand loyalty begins.
Why You Need to Create an Automated Sales Funnel for Your Business
Your ability to grow depends solely on your ability to sell your products and services. As business owners we are interested in generating quality clients, this means, our lead generation efforts have to be systematized. The goal should not be about getting the sale, but, having quality time for our families, having time to do what we enjoy, and having the ability to create solutions for our clients that matter. For this reason, it’s imperative for us to focus on implementing automated systems that will support our growth and why you need to automate your sales acquisition processes – so your closers will be speaking to prospects that are ready to buy. Isn’t it uncomfortable having to convince prospects day after day why they need to buy your solution? Why not focus your time, energy, and resources on building an automated sales funnel to tackle this for your business.
Imagine being able to put in place, automated tools, and proven processes designed to increase your efficiency. Solutions that will help you run the customer acquisition aspects with minimal interaction, giving you more time to devote to yourself and your business, time you can use to improve your products and services or expansion.
The benefits of automation far outweigh the costs of business operations in the long run. By investing in your automating sales funnel, you will:
- Save on Labor Costs: You’ll be lowering your business’s overhead on labor and time to a sale, improving your Return on Investment.
- Improve Customer Quality: When you implement a sales funnel you’ll be able to collect data, that when analyzed, will help you sharpen your focus when targeting potential clients. You will find better quality leads, and thus increase sales.
- Better conversions: The sales funnel will enable your business to manage your leads in a more efficient manner. Streamlining your marketing is the way to go.
How to Set Up Your Automated Sales Funnel
This is not a technical overview of how you’ll need to set up your funnel but instead a quick look into the possibilities of implementing automation for your business. Let’s revisit the AIDA model and consider content strategies they’ve outlined that we can implement in each phase of the funnel.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is the process of sharing content for the sole purpose of creating future brand ambassadors and engaged audiences who love what you offer. Asset materials are composed of blogs, videos, social media post elements, and sales letters, designed to convert your target audience into buyers. This process requires planning and careful execution. Lack of proper planning is why most businesses fail in generating quality leads and stop believing automation works. Every piece of content created has to have a laser-focused approach to generating the right lead for your core offering.
Blogging is the most important form of content marketing. Here you’ll be able to create conversational pieces providing brand awareness and educating your prospects on specific solutions to their problem or pain. Leading them forward on the journey with you teaches them to trust your authority in the market. When businesses write blogs that tackle false beliefs in the marketplace, or discuss solutions to problems their audience is searching for, the quality of the leads acquired improve tremendously.
Adding video to your content marketing plan is essential for storytelling and it helps in creating authority. Video also provides a higher return on investment than any other form of content. According to Hubspot, 64% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video. This doesn’t mean you’re going to create videos specific to your product features and benefits, but videos that speak to your audience’s core desire.
Social media content is important to give your audience a “behind-the-scenes” look into your business and persona. This medium generates curiosity and leads consumers in the search for more. This is why cross-promoting your content on social media platforms for lead generation is important.
Automation in the content creation phase is a must. Start by creating a calendar to help you organize your message across the board. Then, when you’re ready to start publishing, use third-party publishing apps like Buffer or Hootsuite, or outsource. This will maximize production and help you focus on nurturing leads.
Focusing on the “Who”
After automating your content marketing strategy and ensuring its working like a well-oiled machine, start focusing on who it’s that you want to lead through your funnel. Remember, you don’t serve everyone. The goal of this exercise is to create a piece of content that attracts your readers, grabs their attention, and builds trust. This is where you’ll be establishing your authority and lead them from awareness to interest.
Creating a Lead Magnet
The key is to attract your desired customer’s attention and create curiosity about what you have to offer, with a valuable piece of content.
A lead magnet helps you target a specific persona within your audience. In exchange for their information, you will give them a more valuable piece of content. The goal of this communication is to identify one pain-point your customer is seeking answers to in the marketplace and offer a solution, if they sign up, thus adding the prospect to your list. Marketers typically give webinars or case studies showing prospects a specific strategy that will help them solve a specific issue they’re facing and then directing them to their follow up offer, which is the third step of the sales funnel.
Your Follow Up Offer
On the third step of the sales funnel sequence, a second offer should be presented to your potential buyers based on the content you’ve already served. Offering either an upsell or downsell. This technique will persuade your potential buyers to commit to buying your higher-end products and services – the upsell, or offering add-ons to increase the value of your initial offer provided through the lead magnet. But, always offer content that adds value and creates curiosity on your backend sale.
The Backend Sale
Want to learn how to convert leads into loyal fans? This is it. Your funnel’s final step is the backend sale, it’s where you make your sales pitch. If you’re not seeing much action in the backend sale phase, then your offer needs attention. Immediately after we create brand awareness and prove our authority with our prospects, the lead magnet’s job is to solidify trust. After trust has been established closing the sale will be easier for you. Our goal is now to get our potential buyer to decide to move forward and buy. At this stage, it’s necessary to highlight the benefits and features of your core offer, tied to your prospect’s particular pain-point in a solution-oriented pitch. Your message must enhance the attractiveness of your core offer and efficiently drive your potential buyer into taking your desired action.
Launching your first sales funnel doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In order for you to have a positive impact on the world and grow your business online, exponentially–you have to implement a proven sales funnel launch for your business.
What if you have absolutely no idea where to start?
Perhaps you’re stuck in a dead-end job you’ve grown to hate over the years instead of a business that creates freedom for you. Or even worse, you may be the sole breadwinner for your family not knowing how you will make enough to provide for your family, hoping and praying emergencies don’t arise in your business.
Consider launching your next funnel affordably and put-in the work to ensure it’s a huge success from the get-go. I challenge you to accept the “One Funnel Away Challenge” by Russell Bronson, Stephen J. Larsen, and Julie Stoian — the world’s leading marketing team responsible for helping thousands of entrepreneurs build wealth quickly by getting their message out to the marketplace.
If you’ve ever struggled to get your sales funnel off the ground, this 30-day challenge will give you every single implementation step you need to take in order to launch a successful sales funnel for your business.
I’ve already taken it and I assure you, it’s by far the best $100 I’ve ever invested in my business.
The crazy part is, for a huge 30-day Challenge with 3 top-notch marketing trainers, it’s just $100 for the WHOLE Challenge! The first thing you’ll get access to is “The One Funnel Away Challenge KIT,” shipped right to your doorstep!