Updated January 13, 2017. You operate a small business. Chances are, you have a small staff. Even if you run a business with 100 employees, your marketing department may not be sophisticated enough, or large enough, to drill down to every potential customer segment you have. You may only have the time to develop one sales funnel, but is that all you need?
Some businesses have multiple sales channels. If that is the case with your business, you may need to create a sales funnel for each channel.
How to Create a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is nothing more than the path a customer takes to buy from you. If you don’t have multiple market segments with different marketing strategies, then you may need only one sales funnel. On the other hand, if different marketing segments enter your sales process through different marketing avenues, then you’ll need to think harder about how you reach each segment.
The ideal place to begin is with customer personas. Have you identified each of your market segments? If not, I’d encourage you to create a persona that represents each type of customer you hope to attract.
Next, think about where you’ll find those customers. Where do they hang out? If they’re online, are they on Facebook or Google+? Do they frequent forums? If so, which ones?
Now, you need to think backwards. How do you lead your customer from their hangout online to the final sales pitch and in the door? Start at the end and work your way back to the beginning. You’ll get a much better picture of how the process works.
For instance, if market segment A has a low e-mail sign-up rate but you tend to get them on the phone more, then you might include a phone call as a part of your sales funnel process. Should it be inbound or outbound? How do you acquire the phone number you’ll need to make the call? Work your way through the process from end to the beginning (at Facebook) and write it down.
What The Sales Funnel Does For You
The sales funnel is simply a way for you to map out how your customers move from prospect status to customer status. You won’t publish this information. It’s for in-house purposes. But it does allow you to visualize the process so you can improve it and make it more efficient and effective. In the end, your marketing efforts should be more productive.