Maintaining a regular lead and sales in business doesn't happen by sheer luck and an automated sales funnel can help you do so. Usually it involves a process carried out through a consistent well planned and structured sales funnel that will help get the sales job done quickly, drive in more profit and maintain a long lasting relationship with your audience.
What is an Automated Sales Funnel?
A Sales funnel is a step-by-step process set in place to systematically generate new leads. It involves building relationships with leads automatically through processes and automation with the aim of turning prospects into paying customers and increasing business profit.
They include a series of marketing actions like automated emails, advertising, videos, articles and landing pages that will do the selling for you.
While most people might not realize it, they are purchasing products or services because of sales funnels. Sales funnels are everywhere and are used to sell everything including information, products, services and physical products that you see every day.
Ultimately, a well designed sales funnel focuses on building relationships. One which will allow you to provide more value for your customers and therefore drive more growth to your business over the long term.
Rather than sitting down with the hope of a potential customer finding you based on referrals and word of mouth, sales funnel involves a well planned and built system that attracts the right leads and turns them into paying customers.
Winning companies have figured out how to acquire customers at profit and scale. The best way to do that is through a sales funnel. And not just a sales funnel but an automated sales system that reaches a good number of your audience within the shortest possible time.
To build a successful automated sales funnel, an understanding of the four phases of a sales funnel will help bring about a successful and profit oriented business
The Four Stages of an Automated Sales Funnel are:
This is the stage where you let people know your business exists.
It involves creating awareness and educating the people about what you do by providing information that might help them solve a particular need or problem they have, and becoming familiar with your business.
the goal at this stage is basically to get new visitors to opt into your email list so that you can keep communicating with them.
This can be done through content marketing, videos, paid ads or words of mouth or referrals across various platforms for communication.
To build an automated sales funnel at this stage,
Think about and make research on what problem your audience wants to solve. Then create content that will help them get closer to the solution and join your email list. Share them on multiple platforms where they might likely see them.
A good content will attract the right prospects and get them to join your email list which will allow you to begin building a relationship with them.Your main goal at this point is to attract high quality leads that will genuinely be interested in what you are selling.
Regular content such as blog articles, social media content, infographics, videos and reports from your website or blog can be very powerful in attracting and educating your ideal audience.
An automation will help make sure that these content get out to people easily and at the right time:As the content begins to pile up, more and more people will become familiar with your brand.
Fortunately, there are quite a number of tools that allow you to automate a major chunk of the blogging process and take some strain off your schedule. Some of them include BuzzSumo, Grammarly, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, and lots more
2. Interest & Evaluation
At this stage you have already gotten the attention of your audience. Now, it’s time to tell them more about your company and what you offer. you can begin to promote your company as a solution to the problems you discussed in the Awareness stage. This is where a lead magnet comes into play.
A lead magnet is something you offer for free in exchange for a lead’s contact information. The more specific you are about the benefits of signing up for your lead magnet, the better it will perform in terms of moving prospects to the sales stage.
Examples of good lead magnets you can use includes An industry report, A webinar, a mini-course that shares ideas on how to solve a problem.
You can offer higher end products at a discount that is only available for the time the consumer is in the process of signing up.
Once you’ve decided on a lead magnet, use automation to deliver it to your prospects.
automate your sales funnel with an opt-in form or landing page of your choice. It all depends on perfect choice for reach.
Also you can Use a social media advertisement or opt-in link to bring people to your website where they can gain access to your lead magnet offering. If you have a large em ail list, send them frequent updates on what you are offering and include your link.
3. Relationship Stage
Once people become aware of your brand and have opted into your email list, you want to continue to build a relationship with them.
The relationship stage involves building trust and positioning yourself as an authority in the minds of the people who have become aware that your business exist and have opted into your email list, making them feel comfortable buying from you.
In this stage, you nurture your prospects so that they will be ready to buy once they reach the sales stage.
Email Marketing communication tools are very popular means that will allow you to communicate with your audience effectively. Once someone joins your email list, you can keep communicating with them by sending emails.
Some other channels might include social media, webinars or even sponsored videos.
During the Relationship Stage, you also need to decide and install necessary buying beliefs that will eliminate competitors from your prospects’ minds and see your method as the best way to solve their problems and will make them buy from you.
Incorporate these beliefs into your sales funnel and Educate your prospects so that they will be ready to buy once they reach the Sales Stage.
Use articles, videos, testimonials, podcasts and other relevant content to educate your audience so that they view you as an expert on the topic.
Based on what answers they selected in the opt-in survey, you can send a more customized content to your leads, based on their interests through a segmented email list. this helps you personalize the experience at this stage.
You can opt to send an email sequence consisting of 5-7 emails that move prospects towards the final phase of your customer journey.
Examples of marketing automation tool to successfully implement this stage can be found in my previous article.
Combining relationship building with automation allows us to get higher ROI in the Sales Stage.
4. Sales Stage
This is the stage where your audience get to pay for or purchase your product or service usually based on a well established relationship you have with them.
Here, your prospects thinks you’re great. They’re ready to hand over their credit card number and seal the deal. The goal of this stage is to sell your product or service and maximize profits by upselling more products or services.
Anticipate any common objections that your customer may have and address them in your sales copy. Consider providing answers to frequently asked questions as well to streamline the buying process and reduce customer support time.
Throw in some examples of results that your other customers have achieved. Use detailed case studies, show testimonials and conduct customer interviews to build social proof.
Think about other products or services that you can upsell and cross sell during this stage to increase profits and provide a better customer experience.
Ask yourself, what’s the best way to get your customer to buy? You might want to Get across to your prospect on a phone call, use Webinars, Sales pages, VSLs etc
Marketing Success with an Automated Sales Funnel
To achieve marketing success in your business there are ways to remain an expert that others want to buy from. Automated sales funnels can be used to streamline and save time while you work on other products and new ideas.
Automating as many of the tasks in your funnel as possible helps you to spend more time having these valuable conversations and building relationships with your audience.