Five steps for breakthrough growth.

The “Sales Funnel” is a model I’ve used with several clients recently, and each time it’s made a major difference; providing objectivity, clarity and focus help turn the dial on sales, so I thought I’d share it with you.

One business I used it with, found that almost 90% of the people that considered their brand, ended up buying into it, but only a fraction of their target market even considered it: most weren’t aware the brand existed, others didn’t know what it did. Much of the team’s focus for next year will now be on “getting the word out there”.

Sales Funnel

Another business had high levels of awareness and consideration, but a lower percentage of people choosing them and fewer returning. As a result, they’ve diverted a significant portion of their advertising spend into product development and customer service. So the sales funnel can be pretty powerful, and it’s really easy to use. Here’s how:

1. Get the numbers

Estimate or calculate rough numbers - they don’t need to be 100% precise. You just need to see, with confidence, where most of your potential customers are falling out of the funnel. This shows you where the biggest holes are, and where you can make the most difference.

2. Understand the biggest holes

Do some research to really understand the reasons behind big holes. It may be that people don’t consider you because they’ve not heard of you, or because they associate you with something else. Although the effect may look the same, the solution will be very different.

3. Set big goals

Based on your new understanding, set just one or two big goals that will turn the dial, like “increasing awareness by 50%” or “doubling the percentage of repeat business”. Make sure they’re measurable, motivational and meaningful goals that directly address the holes.

4. Make clear plans

Define a small number of focused initiatives that will help you achieve the goals. Be ruthless in rooting out projects and investments that pull your resources into other, less valuable areas, and refocus them on delivering against the biggest opportunities.

5. Build a fan base

One of the biggest changes in our lifetime is social media. From the fifties to the noughties, your brand was defined by what you said about it, and your success was defined by how much you spent on saying it. That’s changed.  Now your brand is defined by what your customers say about it, and your success will increasingly be defined by your ability to create and empower a fan base that will say it for you.

Vocal advocates and loyal fans increase the numbers of people that will consider and then choose you. But the evangelist mantra of “you’ve justgotta get this!” is a game-changer. From iPads to Dollar Shave Club, fans become evangelists when they’re genuinely WOWed by what you do. How many of your customers do you wow every day?

Bottom line

Acquiring customers can be expensive. Using a tool like the sales funnel helps you target your time and effort onto the areas that will make the biggest difference. In the short term you can make big strides through refocusing your marketing and sales, but the longer term winners will be those that refocus their products and services to wow their fan base and create their own evangelists.  

To find out how to guarantee the success of your initiatives click here

To read more about building your sales pipeline click here