When you are first learning how to start a small business, it can be difficult to find new customers. However, you can begin to grow
your business by creating an effectiv marketing and sales funnel.
A marketing and sales funnel is the way that you capture leads, qualify them into “real” opportunities, and convert them into customers. You obviously won’t convert everyone into a customer, but your funnel is your way of moving people step by step through your marketing and sales process.
It is important understand the three main components of your marketing and sales funnel. A lead is anyone that you have identified as a potential customer of your product or service. Maybe they filled out a form while visiting your website, maybe someone referred them to your business, or maybe it is someone you met while promoting your business door to door. They are simply people that you have identified as someone that you should be trying to sell to. It is the first important step to your small business marketing efforts.
An opportunity is someone that is more than just a lead – they have expressed a sincere interest in and ability to buy your product or service. Maybe they tried a free trial or sample of your product. Or perhaps they called asking for more information. Opportunities are potential customers that are one step further along in the sales cycle than your leads.
Finally, customers are the opportunities that actually buy your product or service. They have moved to the final step in your marketing and sales process.
The reason this concept of a marketing and sales funnel is so important is because you don’t want to simply try selling to every person in the world. As great as your product or service may be, only a certain portion of people are going to be interested in it, so you don’t want to waste time, money, and resources trying to sell to people that will never become customers of yours.
Another benefit of managing a marketing and sales funnel is that it allows you to scale your marketing efforts to reach a broader audience – without making it impossible for you to pursue your sales efforts because there are too many leads to pursue. Instead, an effective marketing and sales funnel allows you focus your sales efforts only on those potential customers that are most interested in your product or service.
Third, an effective marketing and sales funnel allows you to engage with more potential customers. Marketing is about more than just getting your name out there and letting people know who you are – it is also about giving potential customers a reason to proactively reach out and engage with you by taking action.
Finally, a good marketing and sales funnel allows you to ease people through your sales cycle, which is more effective than just trying to sell to them right away. Research shows that a customer has to interact with your brand and average of seven times before they decide to buy, so you want to create a funnel that allows you to build trust with your prospects so they will eventually buy from you.
Learn more about how to build your marketing and sales funnel by registering for our online small business training and mentoring program. Learn more or register here.