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Do we create customers or find them?

This might be a strange topic for most Nigerian businesses, because we live in an environment where it’s all about finding the right customer.

Yes, we find customers, but most times, it’s extremely hard to sell to a person who has never had an interest in your product/service or has never heard of you before.

What if they have interest in your offering and don’t have the money right away, or for some reason it’s just not possible to make the transition from interested to sold at that point in time.



Today we would discuss the tool that we can use to convert a prospect who is undecided into a proper customer, a customer that ends up referring people back to your funnel.

We are going to create a customer

The tool that we use is called a sales funnel.

This article is everything you need to set up your sales funnel, first we would deal with what’s a sales funnel, then how to set up a sales funnel and finally, how to continually tweak you sales funnel for optimum performance and results.

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Sales Funnel Definition

In a sales funnel there are three individuals that you will end up interacting with depending on the sales stage you’re in, they are:

  • Leads
  • Prospects
  • Customers

Lead: A lead is a person who becomes aware of your offer for your product or service, and decides to pursue a sale or get more information about your product/services.

Leads can be further broken down to qualified leads, they are a special category of leads that have a particular or a set of particular requirements that give them a high probability of converting to customers. For example, A football store will probably classify anyone that has bought a football jersey before as a qualified lead.

Prospect: The term prospect is used interchangeably with qualified leads, but basically they are people that have had an interaction with your company, gotten some information and they are still interested. All prospects are leads.

Customers: People who have made a purchase on your product or service. To go further, repeat customers are people that have made more than one purchase.

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There are two major goals when building your sales funnel:

  1. Get more leads into your funnel
  2. Move them down progressively towards becoming customers.

 Grow your leads

There are various ways to grow your leads, some great ways include blogging, social media, lead generation events, and so many more.

Creating great content is a great lead generation strategy, simply because people are attracted to great content, the moment anyone finds your content valuable they will always come back for more. If you want to use blogging as a lead generation strategy, then you need to follow the tips below:


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  1. Ensure your blog is optimised for conversion, by having a way to collect people’s information, there’s no point getting traffic to your website if you don’t have a plan to continue engaging with them, otherwise people will just read your blog posts and never come back and even worse you can’t communicate with this people to move them down the sales funnel.
  2. Don’t write arbitrarily without having intent towards a call to action. You’re post should be leading people towards taking a particular call to action. When you craft your article ensure you do craft it with intent, either towards purchase.

Offer a Lead Magnet

A great way to generate leads is to give out something for free, a low ticket offer will always work rather than having people pay, have them drop some information, it could be their email or phone number. This way you can sell to them down the sales funnel.

A great way to generate leads is to give out something for free, a low ticket offer will always… Click To Tweet

A great lead magnet could be an eBook or a free report on your blog, it can appear on the side of your homepage or you could also create a landing page strictly for your freebie while you collect the necessary information you need to move the person down the sales funnel.

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From Leads to Customers

  • Always be helpful to your prospects, try to passion useful information they need and be their guidance and an expert in your field, become an authority and people will listen to what you say.
  • Always respond quickly to questions and comments, people need information to make quick decisions, ensure you’re motivating them not demotivating them.
  • Incentivize. What bonuses or special deals can you offer if they make a purchase right now?
  • Segment your leads to different lists, don’t market the same offers to the same people, having a grouped segment of lists will ensure you are marketing to the right people.
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Imagine a Food shop selling various categories of food like vegetarian and non vegetarian, most customers already have their particular categories they order from, it would be poor marketing to send email marketing about turkeys and chickens to the vegetarians.

Repeat Customers

Some companies can’t have repeat customer simply because their business model does not accommodate such, but in some cases where the business model allows it, repeat customers should be encouraged.

There are two types of repeat customers:

  • Customers that buy the same product repeatedly
  • Customer that buy different products from you on a subsequent purchase.

You have to ensure that no matter what you sell it is of high quality, your customers can eventually become evangelist for your company.

Key Terms in Sales Funnel Process

The sales funnel can be broken further down into the following processes:

Awareness

The first step is to ensure that your target market becomes aware of your company and what you do, the way to go about this differs depending on the your product, service or offering. Some companies you bulk SMS to create awareness of their products, while putting a link to their landing page for an offer.

Attending events, conferences, mobile marketing are other ways of creating awareness for your company.

Education

Education is very important, giving people relevant information about the benefits of your products and teaching them how it works, think of becoming friends with your target market by giving them information they need and will be valuable to them, so valuable that they’ll keep coming back for more.

Evaluation

This part involves giving the customer a test drive on your product, it could be a free demo, in a book’s market, a free chapter that people could read could also be a great way for people to evaluate your offer.

Engagement

Sometimes your prospects will not convert even when they have all the information, you can always put a bit off bonus added to your offers with a sense of urgency to increase engagement further.

Commitment

This involves someone taking an action towards purchase, depending on the industry commitment isn’t always the same has purchase, in some industries the customer makes the decision to buy and then comes back later to make the purchase at a later date.

Purchase

Sales, sales, sales, you just made a sale congratulations

Conclusion

  1. Every business must build a sales funnel to help nurture leads into customers
  2. Sales plan draws awareness of your prospects to your company
  3. Keep funneling people into your process and grow your leads
  4. Keep testing, tracking and understanding the ROI on your sales funnels.
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