The latest guide in our Business High Five series, The SME Guide to Sales Optimisation, offers practical tips on how to boost your sales by optimising your sales funnel.
In this guide, your SME will benefit from insights on the following:
- Understanding a sales funnel
- How do conversions occur?
- Improving each stage of the sales funnel
- Practical tips on how to convert leads to customers
- How marketing can support the optimisation of your sales
Understanding a Sales funnel
A sales funnel is a medium for visualising where customers are in the process of making a purchasing decision.
How do Sales conversions occur?
Businesses all too frequently want to turn an opportunity into a deal straight away. Consider moving your prospects through your pipeline with a sequence of minor conversions. This will eventually result in a deal being completed. It’s easier to understand this by looking at a sales chart.
Improving each stage of the Sales Funnel
Let’s take a closer look at each level of the funnel and the strategies you can use to boost conversions at each stage.
Step 1: Increase Awareness
Ultimately, your goal is to ensure your target audience is aware of your business and what you offer. People cannot buy from you if they are unaware that you exist.
Step 2: Encourage Consideration
Once your audience is aware of your business, it’s vital that you generate enough trust and interest for them to consider you as an option
Step 3: Drive Preference
Now that you have your prospect’s attention, it’s time to educate them about your product or service. They have indicated they are receptive to more information, so you need to provide this quickly and in a compelling way.
Step 4: Simplify the Purchase
Now is the time to seal the deal and make the conversion. Remember, before they are willing to buy, the average buyer wants to view a deal at least SEVEN times.
Step 5: Build Loyalty
You’ve done well, now you need to keep the customer coming back to you. It is much cheaper to market to and retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one.
Practical tips on how to convert leads to customers
According to Lulalend’s Sales Operations Manager, Jasmine Beckett, spending time and money generating leads for your business is only worthwhile if you can turn these potential buyers into paying customers. Here are her three top tips for converting leads to customers.
- Qualify the prospect
- Follow up fast
- Structure your team
How marketing can support your Sales optimisation
Perhaps Marketing’s most important task is to clearly define who is the priority audience for the business’s products and services. “Develop a complete understanding of this audience including; What problem your product or service solves for them, how do they currently solve it, what are the end benefits to the customer from solving their problem and where will you find this audience.