If you want to create an ongoing flow of leads, without spending all day doing cold calls, you need a sales funnel.
Before you get too excited this isn’t some kind of magic spell – but it is a process that can be put in place. It’s not an accident that people refer to ‘building’ sales funnel. There are a number of steps that you need to put in place one at a time.
The critical first step is to plan out your sales funnel; and the bonus is that you don’t need to have everything in place to get started.
Why is it called a ‘funnel’?
Typically a sales funnel has four key levels, although some people add one or two more. The key levels to start with are:
- Top level: the widest part of the funnel. This is your free level where you offer something that self-identifies the people who are interested in the service or products you offer.
That means that your free offer needs to be closely aligned with what your core offering is. Your aim is to get as many people interested as possible. Not all of them will turn into customers, but some of them will.
In order to get access to your free offer, ask people to provide their name and email – and that builds your marketing list.
- Second level: the funnel is a bit narrower, but still pretty wide. This is where you offer a low cost item. This is something that will appeal to the same audience as your free offer, but provides a more in-depth level of information.
This could include a book, workbooks, a short course; it should be something with a clear outcome. If you’re selling products, this level could be a webinar that shows people how to achieve specific result with your products. You’ll need to be creative with how you present this!
Low cost can be anything from £5 to around £50. This makes it accessible to people even those who don’t have a huge budget.
- Third level: the funnel is starting to narrow because fewer people will pass from the top level, through the second level and sign up here. This is your main bread and butter level.
For many businesses this can be the ‘one-to-many’ model. For instance, a private subscription membership that offers regular insights, learning tools, knowledge sharing, etc.
If your business sells products rather than services, this might be a more sophisticated product or something that does much more than the low cost level.
- Bottom level: the premium level where you work 1-2-1 with those clients who value your knowledge, skills and experience and are willing to pay a premium for that.
The idea is to get lots of people in at the top of the funnel and then encourage them to work through each level. At every level you must deliver massive value – or people will opt-out.
Clearly, there is more to it than simply putting the levels in place – there needs to be activity around each level to make them link to each other.
Look out for next week’s blog – How to make your sales funnel work where I’ll explore this in more depth.