Sales Funnel Mistakes and Templates
Are your sales funnels leaking? While it’s not as difficult as we imagine to create a sales funnel, there is room for error. While a well-designed funnel will fast track your road to success, a poorly designed one will leave you stranded, wondering where you went wrong.
Here are 4 sales funnel mistakes that are easy to make, but just as easy to avoid
1. Not split testing
Split testing is everything. The first draft of everything is crap, whether it be the next big movie script or the sales and marketing copy for your site. Not that your copywriter will ever send you their first draft, but all copywriters understand that the best performing content becomes the control, and the object of the game is to beat the control. Even a difference of 1% in conversion rate makes the effort worthwhile when selling online.
2. Not nurturing leads
Don’t allow your sales team to ignore leads if they don’t buy immediately. Modern selling online is all about relationship building, not going in for the quick kill. You need to build rapport with your leads. Time is not linear as we once suspected, and that includes time to a sale. Your ideal customer may jump back and forth through their buying cycle rather than straight through it.
3. Mishandling up-sells and down-sells.
This really depends on your niche. It’s never really an issue in the often quoted example of a burger joint waitresses asking if you’d like fries with that. But in some niches, too many up-sells or down-sells do little but irritate your customer.
Don’t ignore the opportunity to offer something additional right at the point of purchase, when your customer has just made an order and are still receptive to other offers, but limit those additional offers to ones that make sense to offer (maybe they offer complementary goods or services) or have an affinity to the original offer.
4. Assuming what your customer can afford.
You do your customer a disservice if all you offer is a range of similar products at similar prices. Many people want to buy the premium model. They don’t want the budget one! There are others who just want an accessory – an impulse buy to make them feel they’ve picked up a bargain. You will often avoid this mistake when you do your market research properly, but never forget that low price points are only there to introduce people to your brand.
Always be testing and never be shy about letting people know what you have to offer – it’s advice that works just as strongly in the business world as it does the dating one.
Sales Funnel Templates
If you spend any great length of time online in your own niche, chances are you’ll have come across your competitors landing and squeeze pages – the outer edge of the black hole they call their sales funnel.
Here’s a quick rundown of what your competitors use to attract customers into their funnel so that you can get some ideas for your own.
1. The free ebook. This is the oldest one in the book (pardon the pun) and its efficacy has dropped off somewhat. However, its replacement – the free physical book – works a treat. Of course, usually, the recipient has to pay a minor shipping and handling fee, but usually it’s a good enough deal that it’s more than worthwhile for the recipient.
2. Free consultancy. For many potential customers, they crave the interaction with you or your business to learn how seriously they will be taken or to create a personal bond with your brand. Often they feel that given a virtual meeting with your team, they may have their problem solved without any further involvement.
3. Calendar/Event management. The interested party can choose from an online calendar to initiate contact, whether that is by phone or in person.
4. Webinars. Webinars are a great way to include video in your sales funnel and engage prospects at all levels of the buyer journey. The ability to answer Q&A directly on a webinar makes it a multipurpose tool for your business.
5. The impulse buy. This template makes use of the lead loss product to grab an immediate sale and follow it up with the rest of your sales cycle, including up-sell and down-sell offers.
6. The launch offer. This is where early subscribers are offered a deal for signing up for the “early bird offer”. By taking you up on this offer, the subscriber will get a special deal on your product when it launches, moving them through the funnel at a faster pace.
7. Direct advertising. This is the template used in advertising for a direct sale. The funnel is implicit in the ad targeting and is a very direct approach.
There is no typical sales funnel
Many are a combination of the above and as always, they require testing on a continual basis to ensure a smart return. Some work more efficiently than others in certain marketplaces. For example, calendar bookings to view properties work best for offline businesses such as realtors, while free books work best for consultants.