This week we are going to get into something that I am very familiar with and some of you might be too. We are going to dive into the sales funnel and how to manage and use it to make your sales grow.
Many people have never done any kind of sales before probably don’t know how it works or what it is. If you don’t understand the sales funnel and process, you might get discouraged when you are first starting your business.
Sales is a fun thing if you go into it with the right mindset. Some go into it thinking that everyone they talk to and see will open their wallets to them. If you think this, you have some hard knocks coming.
Starting a home-based or online business and selling your products or services will bring with it a ton of rejection. If you anticipate that rejection and get to the yes’s, you are set and on your way to success.
If on the other hand, you are discouraged to be told no or when you don’t close a deal, then you’ll find yourself giving up before you have a chance to see success.
Sit back and relax, because in today’s blog I’m going to lay it all out for you…
How to use simple sales funnels for massive sales
I’ve sold for years, and the sales funnel is something I use every day to keep me on track.
We are going to talk about what it is and why it is important in your business. This applies even if you are a one-person show in your home-based or online business.
The sales funnel is a way to guide your leads from your niche market. Take them through the sales process to get the most customers to come out of the bottom end.
If you don’t understand the sales funnel and the bigger picture that is the sales process, it is easy to become discouraged. This is hard when you are starting or working on your home-based or online business.
Setting up your own sales funnel will allow you to see your sales process from the top. This starts when you find prospects to call through to the bottom end when some turn into customers.
When setting up your sales funnel, you are defining how the sales process works for you, and for your niche market.
Some companies will need to get a prospect and turn them into a lead. They set up the first appointment, produce a quote, close the deal, then add them as a customer.
Whereas others may need to get a prospect, turn them into a lead, and set the first appointment. They create a presentation and have another discovery meeting.
After deciding on a package that fits the needs and budget of a customer, they produce a quote. Finally, they close the deal, then add them as a customer.
As you can see in the examples, the sales funnel, therefore the sales process looks different for each of them. The sales funnel will help you establish your metrics and goals, which will increase your success rate in sales.
As a business owner, especially those starting out and having never done sales before, you’ll find rejection is one of your greatest frustrations.
Many people don’t like to hear the word no, and you will a lot when you sell. In the sales funnel, you start at the top with a lot of leads that you find.
If you would like help finding prospects, I’ve covered this in previous blogs. You can also jump over to my podcast at mcfallri.com/podcast if you want to listen instead.
Using simple sales funnels to turn leads to customers
As you add leads to the top of the funnel and work them, some drop off at each level.
You call leads and some of them will become prospects. Some of them will set up initial appointments or calls with you, and some will want a presentation or proposal.
Out of those, some will want to set up a closing appointment or call.
Finally, some of them will say yes to your offer and give you money to work for them. The point is that throughout this process you will have any number fall off the list.
This is why the funnel is shaped the way it is and called a funnel. As you work leads through the funnel, a great thing will start to emerge when keeping track of your activity.
When you have done sales for a while and stuck to your process as defined by your sales funnel, you can start to take that data from your metrics.
You’ll be able to see how many leads you need to get a prospect. You’ll know how many prospects you need to contact to get the first appointment, so on and so forth.
Getting to the bottom of the funnel, you’ll know how many leads you need to find to get one customer. So, what does this all mean, and how does it work?
Start at the top with your leads, this is the big list you’ve put together based on your niche market.
Your niche market is the people that you want to contact based on location, and type of person or business. Then the size of business or age of the people, and other things that you’ve defined as your ideal customer.
From this description of your niche market, you find those people that fit your niche to make initial contact. Then you determine the steps to take them from a lead to get them to become a paying customer.
As I said earlier, determine your steps in your process for your business, then this becomes your funnel. When you starting working your funnel, you may find that you may need to tweak it, and that is fine.
Make sure you keep track of your activity through the funnel then as you do each step with each lead. You should set an arbitrary number of calls to leads you need to make in the beginning, this your goal.
After a few months of doing this, you’ll start to see real numbers. It will tell you how many leads you need to get one customer. These numbers measure all the activity you do in between. With these numbers, you can see where you need to work on.
Sales is a numbers game and you will throw in a lot leads at the top of the funnel. Some of these leads fall out through the sales process.
The goal is to know how much you need to throw into the top. This correlates with the number of customers you want to come out of the bottom.
How to set up your funnel
Set up your funnel based on the steps you need to do to turn your leads into a customer.
To be successful at selling, you have to use your funnel to layout the steps in your sales process. Keep track of each lead through the sales process.
Keeping track of the number of leads dropped in each stage of the funnel is telling. You will know how many leads you must have to get one customer at the bottom of your funnel.
Set up a system to keep track of your activity. You can gauge the number of leads you have to work through the funnel to get a customer.
This can be a spreadsheet you put in your weekly numbers into. Also, have a tally page to accumulate all your numbers.
Over time, you see the amount of activity you must do in each step to get a new customer. You set your goals based on real data. If you want a certain number of customers you will have to get a certain amount of leads.
Find the steps in your sales funnel you are weak at and improve on those areas to get better results. The more you improve in each area, the less you will lose in that part of the funnel.
If you want to be great at selling, you must have a system in place to help you do better.
The sales funnel is designed to help you set up a process. It lays out the correct stages you use in your home-based or online business. If you use it, you will easily sell products or services to customers.
If you set up a system and process, you’ll know what you need to do to get a new customer. Set up metrics to collect information about your work through the funnel.
You may find that you have to get 50 leads in the beginning to get one customer. As you get better it may be only 10 leads.
I hope you learned a lot about the sales funnel. When it comes to selling, don’t be discouraged, rather look at it as a fun challenge.
Think of it as if you are a gold miner digging for gold. Your mission is to get through all the dirt to find your golden nuggets.
If you use the sales funnel and have a great process in place, you can manage the numbers. You will set goals for yourself, and have some customers come out the bottom of that funnel.
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John McFall is the owner of McFall Research International, LLC focusing on strategies, tools, insights, and ideas for home-based and online business owners. All the information we provide has been tested and used by McFall Research International, LLC to give a real insight into the credibility and usefulness of everything we talk about. Our topics include processes, systems, marketing, and advertising, sales, and places for home-based and online business owners to make life easier, automate, save money, and have the best tools for success. We do this through our blog at www.mcfallri.com/blog and our podcast at www.mcfallri.com/podcast. We also provide free courses on starting home-based and online businesses and business coaching that can be found on our website www.mcfallri.com.