Tuesday, July 21, 2020
A Medium-Sized Disclaimer: Welcome to a new segment of the blog. As the CEO and ship steerer of Wave Media I constantly feel the pressure of needing to further educate myself. We operate in the realm of digital media and marketing but since I don’t personally have a background in either topic I’m constantly feeling the need to “catch up” to the rest of the pack in our industries. Not to play my tiny violin too much, but the media and marketing industries move very fast. Every day there’s a new update, tactic or strategy for growing your brand online and I feel like I just can’t keep up all of the time.
Thus, I’ve decided to start a new segment of the blog that (for now) I’m calling Speed Learning. I know this is just going to sound like a planned article inception strategy but the idea is for me to read a blog or article on a topic that I find important enough to learn about and then regurgitate the information I’ve learned back into the internet in the form of how I understand it in my brain. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s not for everyone. I’m not claiming to be a master on any of these topics nor am I promising that you will understand the full spectrum of each topic. This is simply a segment for those who want to learn about a topic in a quicker and easier to read format.
Welcome to Sparknotes for business, marketing and media.
Creating a Killer Sales Funnel
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is basically a visualization tool used to show the conversion process of all your possible prospects. Imagine an upside down pyramid.
The top (awareness stage) of the funnel (it’s widest part) represents all of your potential prospects and audience members.
Middle of the funnel - your prospect’s consideration stage
And Bottom of the funnel - the decision stage
Stage 1 - Awareness - in the Awareness Phase you are focused on bringing attention to your audience’s pain points. Do not worry about converting any of these fine folks into a customer just yet. The main goal here is to bring awareness (shocker) to your audience that they might have a problem and you just might have the solution to that problem.
Content that works here: blogs, articles, social media posts, ads, cold reach outs, videos, infographics and such
Moving from 1 Stage to the Next - before we move on to the Consideration Phase it’s important to know “how do you move a prospect from 1 stage to the next?” There is a “hidden phase” in the sales funnel. A stage 1B. Stage 1B is the Discovery Phase. Here is where you or your sales team does the work of reaching out and connecting with those prospects that have been digesting or interacting with your content from the Awareness Phase. Usually you want to get on a call with them or meet them face-to-face to ask them questions to move them further down the sales funnel. Emails can work but aren’t as effective as calls or in-person meetings. And our goal is effective conversion processes here.
Stage 2 - Consideration - You or your sales team makes a discovery call, sales meeting, or demo with the prospect to identify their challenges and explain to them how your solution can help solve the prospect’s problems. In this stage it is CRUCIAL to note that you should not move prospects down your funnel if they don’t meet ALL of your qualifications. A simple qualification range to follow is BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline). If a prospect does not meet your criteria for each of these categories you definitely should not move them down your funnel. This can clog your funnel, waste time, and lead to acceptance of less revenue.
Content that works here: in-depth guides, competitor comparisons, ebooks, how-to videos, and more detailed/specified-case blogs
Stage 3 - Decision - I mean this one is pretty self explanatory. You’ve done all the work in the first 2 stages to educate your prospect on alleviating their pain points. Now you need to get a “yes” or a “no.” If “no” is the answer that’s okay, just take note of why they decided not to work with you and keep them in a “Recycled Prospect Pipeline” that you can come back to later.
Content that works here: in-person meetings or phone calls, price comparisons, product videos
Conclusion - My biggest takeaway from learning about the sales funnel is that you need to start thinking about your content in terms of who is meant to be digesting it. You can’t just make 1 bucket of content and throw it out into the universe. No sir. You need to be strategic about what kinds of content are being made for specific purposes. Now that your content carries different purposes, you have a different perspective on whether it was “successful” or not.
Now that we understand different stages of leads and prospects how do we organize all of this? It’s easy for me to wrap my head around but a mental funnel isn’t reliable enough as we start to add more prospects to our awareness phase. NEXT ON SPEED LEARNING… how to organize your prospects in less time.