Let’s talk about sales funnels.
It’s a topic I rarely talk about… even with my clients, because everyone tends to make sales funnels way too complicated.
Whenever sales funnels are the topic, the conversion tends to be very technical and focused on the actual implementation. But that’s not going to be the case today, don’t worry.
Instead, we’re going back to basics and dive into the principles of sales funnels and how you can create the best sales funnels that convert your audience into buyers.
Let’s jump right in.
Calculate your conversion rate
A sales funnel is the path prospects take from getting to know you to the actual buy.
Many people will get to know you, but only some will end up buying from you. The people who ultimately purchase something, we categorize as sales conversions.
Let me show you an easy way to calculate your conversion rate:
Conversion rate = (Number of conversions / total amount of people) * 100%
This is the formula you need to learn about your conversion rate, and I promise you, it’s worth keeping track of this to scale up. I will talk more about this later.
Discover the 4 phases of a sales funnel
Earlier, we talked about sales funnels as a path or journey prospects go through. We can even illustrate it with a quick example.
Imagine a shopping street in front of you. A lot of people will pass your store; some people will walk straight by the store, while others will stop and look in through the windows. Then you’ll see another group of people entering the store. From this group, some people will leave the store again without buying anything, and left is the group of people who make a purchase.
Following this example, let’s put some specific terms to the different phases of this buyer journey.
- Awareness: customers become aware of your brand. They know you exist.
- Interest: customers want more now. They like what you have to offer.
- Trust: customers trust what you have to offer. They believe your offer is right for them. If they don’t trust you, they are not going to waste money on your offering.
- Action: customers decide to make the purchase.
As you see, none of these phases have to do with technical systems, but simply the principles behind sales funnels. I call this framework AITA (Awareness, Interest, Trust, Action).
If, however, you are interested in what systems you can use to implement your sales funnel, have a look at either Click Funnels or Leadpages. The latter is the tool I use at the moment.
Whether you have an offline or online store, these are the phases all of your clients or potential customers go through. It’s a simple human process.
You can think of it a bit like dating:
- Awareness: I know you exist and you’re single
- Interest: I like you
- Trust: I will date you
- Action: I will move in with you
It doesn’t have to be as complicated as most people make it.
Go through ALL the phases
When people create a sales funnel, I often see that they focus most of their attention on the first two phases (Awareness and Interest).
But these two are not enough to convert prospects into buyers. You need to take prospects through ALL the four phases.
Once potential customers know you, and like you, you need to build trust and help them take action. Otherwise, nothing will happen; no one will convert.
Typically, too many people are caught up in vanity metrics like followers and likes, and that’s one reason why so many tend to stick to Awareness and Interest.
You need to take it one step further and start building trust with people. Naturally, this can be challenging because your customers value different elements.
For instance, imagine I tell my audience there’s a new podcast episode every Tuesday. Some days it will appear on Wednesday, other days on Thursday, and some weeks it will not even launch.
Think about the impression this will leave with my audience. If they can’t rely on me for showing up consistently as I promised, do you think they want to count on me to coach and guide them in their business?
Now, this is one way of building trust. But there are so many other ways. Content marketing is one of my personal favorites.
And yes, I know there are plenty of people opposing this because they fear giving away too much free information. But this is something you need to get over. It’s really simple.
If you can’t show customers that what you have to offer is valuable, then you’re going to have a HARD TIME convincing them to take ACTION.
Typically, you’ll only gain trust once customers know you and your offering. They want to know you’re legit.
Limit the doorways
While potential prospects are experienced shoppers, you need to help them take action and ultimately make the final purchase.
What I see a lot of people do is they create way too many doors for customers to go through.
Imagine this: you’ve found a pair of shoes you want to buy, but no one wants to help you find the right size. When it’s time to pay, you can’t find the counter because it’s hidden all the way in the back, through the store, kitchen, and toilet, and finally…there it is.
That sounds like a terrible shopping experience, right?
To avoid this experience, you need to limit the actions (or doorways) that customers must go through to make a purchase. Every time you include another link or another page, people will fall off, and the result is clear: you will end up with fewer conversions.
People simply can’t bother going through all those steps, and instead, they will be off to the next site or shop, which offers a much better shopping experience.
So, put on the consumer hat and ask yourself: is this an enjoyable buying experience?
Maybe you're also interested in: How to Make 10k a Month, Every Month
Know the strategy behind your sales funnel
In the beginning, I showed you how to calculate your conversion rate, and you need that one now.
So, how many people see you vs. how many people buy from you.
Let’s say we have 1,000 visits to our website and 100 sales. That’s a 10% conversion rate.
Naturally, your conversion rate can vary depending on the quality of your traffic, the different steps involved, and the segments you’re building. Still, I strongly recommend aiming for one that’s higher than 3%.
For the last launch we did, our conversion rate was 16%, and this has been extremely helpful to calculate backward. Because once you have that percentage, you know how your sales engine works.
Once you have insights on this, you can start working on your traffic.
For instance, if we know that 100 out of 600 will buy and we want to double our conversion, we have to increase the traffic to 1200. Remember not to focus on traffic alone, but also to optimize your conversion.
Vanity metrics like followers and likes are NOT the real stats you need to build your sales engine.
Instead, I advise you to focus on optimizing two parts:
- Build your engine
- Attract more people
Because if you know that you can sell to 2 out of 10 people, if everything is converting well, you can start adding fuel to the fire, optimize your sales funnel and convert even more prospects to loyal customers!
Now it’s up to you to get started, but before you get your hands dirty, remember these key takeaways:
- Go through ALL the phases of the AITA formula (Awareness, Interest, Trust, Action).
- Don’t overcomplicate your sales funnel with too many doorways and actions.
- Make sure your sales funnel converts before you start spending money on ads.
- Once you’ve confirmed it converts, you can add fuel to the fire and scale up.
To help you lure in prospects and convert them to customers, I've created a free guide for you, Start Your List. It's a step-by-step guide that shows you how to
- Create your first lead magnet
- Set up your email list
- Attract your first 100 email subscribers