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A beginner’s guide to the sales funnel for SMEs

Are you struggling to get your business off the ground? Do clients keep leaving your website before making a purchase? Then it may be time to make a sales funnel for your SME.

But what is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a marketing concept which looks at the journey a customer takes when deciding to make any kind of purchase. This journey is often divided into four main stages. They are awareness, interest, decision and action. You can remember the different stages with the acronym AIDA. 

Let’s take a closer look at the different stages:

Awareness

This is the first stage of the funnel and it is where you have the most potential customers visiting your website or blog. They may be directed to your website through an ad, a Google search, or a shared social media page. During the awareness stage, your potential customer is learning the basics of who you are and what you do. They may even be made aware of a problem they have and the ways in which they can be solved.

Interest

In this second stage, the client is been made into a lead. You may offer them an e-book, a video, a checklist, a podcast, a white paper or an email course in exchange for your lead’s email address. This is the stage where you qualify the lead to confirm that they should move further down the sales funnel.

Decision

At this stage, the client is aware of the problem they have and they want to solve it. You may be one of a few potential solutions for your client. It is important during this stage to highlight how you are different from the other players in the market. You need to also show how your product has benefited previously satisfied clients. You could also use a webinar to showcase how your solution can solve the client’s problem.

Action

This is where your prospect becomes your client. This is what your sales funnel has been designed to do: to get your client to make a purchase. It is important to remember that the funnel doesn’t end here. You should make sure that the after-sales service is excellent so that you can retain your customer for future purchases or so that they can become a brand ambassador for your business.

There are many different ways to design your sales funnel to help your prospect through the customer journey.  One way is to create a Forever Funnel. This funnel is designed to be made once with excellent content which can be used with a few tweaks for forever. You can learn more about the Forever Funnel here.

For each of the stages, you will need to create excellent content. This content should be more branded as you go down the sales funnel. Here is the type of content you should create for each stage of the funnel.

Top of the funnel: This is content which is used to create awareness of your offering to your prospects. Your titles should be optimised to contain the following terms: how, what, when, where, why, guide, tutorial, tips, tricks and hacks. This content can be e-books, white papers, blog posts, webinars, guest posts and evergreen guides.

Middle of the funnel: This content can be more heavily branded. During this stage, prospects are looking for social proof of your brand. You can do this by having testimonials, user-generated content and customer reviews.

End of the funnel: This content should always carry your branding on it. This copy will have call-to-action buttons on it to encourage the prospect to act now before they miss out on a good deal. The content could include limited promotions and discounts. You should also guide your client to evergreen guides which they may have not seen if they went directly to the sale.

By following the tips above you will be well on your way to creating a customer-converting sales funnel for your business.

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