Table of Contents
- What Is a Sales Funnel?
- 1. Define Your Sales Funnel
- 2. Define Your Target Audience
- 3. Create High-Quality Content
- 4. Use Compelling CTAs
- 5. Optimize Your Landing Pages
- 6. Simplify the Sales Process
- 7. Use Social Proof
- 8. Retargeting and Remarketing
- 9. A/B Testing
- 10. Use Analytics to Monitor and Improve
- How CTV Advertising Can Keep Your Funnel Full
- Sales Funnel Optimization: Final Thoughts
The process of increasing sales and creating successful relationships with happy customers is both a challenge and an opportunity for businesses. To realize these goals, businesses need to consider sales funnel optimization.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a conceptual tool that businesses use during the sales process to convert potential sales leads into actual sales, increase sales numbers, and improve their overall ROI (return on investment) and other core digital marketing metrics.
To best understand the concept of a sales funnel, it’s helpful to picture an actual funnel. When pouring a liquid into a funnel, the liquid first goes into a wide-open top and is then concentrated down into a much smaller, focused point.
Sales funnels operate in much the same way. The large, open end of your sales funnel is the first engagement that potential customers have with your business. The goal of this approach is to guide the potential customer through the full funnel with a targeted sales approach, fine-tuning the stream of customer engagement until you arrive at a successful sale. Ideally, a sales funnel helps convert interest in your company into loyal paying customers.
Sales Funnel vs. Marketing Funnel
If your business has been focused on sales and marketing in the past, you have probably also heard of a concept called a marketing funnel. While both sales funnels and marketing funnels are conceptual models, the difference is the kind of engagement each funnel has to the point of sales.
Marketing funnels begin with the generation of awareness (top-of-funnel marketing) of your product or service among your main customer demographic. The purpose of the marketing funnel is to move a specific demographic of consumers towards active engagement with your company. The sales funnel, on the other hand, takes active engagement and moves it through the browsing and shopping processes and, ultimately, concludes with the final point of sales.
1. Define Your Sales Funnel
The first step to building a successful sales funnel is to define the best model for your business’s needs. Each model corresponds to different resources, goals, customer bases, and so on.
For example, if your marketing strategy involves building a relatively small but highly loyal customer base in a niche market, your sales funnel model should have a greater emphasis on customer retention. On the other hand, if you are looking to maximize single sales in a large market, your funnel should focus on spreading awareness and generating interest.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Effective sales funnel optimization requires you to define your target audience clearly. Focus on specific demographic information of the most likely customer. What is their age? What is their gender? What is their occupation? What are their interests and hobbies? Are they on social media? Answering questions like these can help you better optimize your sales funnel and increase your rate of converting customer engagement into successful sales.
3. Create High-Quality Content
No sales strategy can reach maximum success without high-quality content to go with it. This is particularly important for both top and middle-of-funnel marketing. Once you have a firm understanding of your sales funnel optimization template and your target audience, you can start creating the best content to maximize customer interest and guide them to the final point of sale.
Expert content creators can help you make specialized sales content to address the core problem or pain point that your product or service seeks to resolve. By taking advantage of relevant media, you can effectively connect your high-quality sales content to your target audience.
4. Use Compelling CTAs
A compelling call to action (CTA) at the end of your sales pitch will help further maximize your company’s sales funnel optimization strategy. Ideally, your sales funnel will inform your target audience how your company’s product or service will fix a problem.
However, without a compelling CTA, you will have more difficulty funneling that information into an actual sale. Giving your customers a specific course of action to put that information to use helps further move them to the sale itself.
5. Optimize Your Landing Pages
A landing page is an important element of any sales funnel optimization strategy. After all, if you use SEO tools to attract the interest of potential customers online, your landing page will be one of the first things they see.
You should optimize your landing page to inform visitors of your products or services in a visually appealing way. You should also move them toward a sale by, for example, adding simple call-to-action buttons or contact information.
6. Simplify the Sales Process
Though an effective funnel will get your target audience’s attention, this attention may not last. Overly complex sales processes can cause frustration and irritation for potential customers, and significantly increase the possibility of them abandoning the potential sale. Optimize your sales process for simplicity and efficiency to reduce the chances of losing customer interest at the bottom of the funnel.
7. Use Social Proof
Social proof is another useful tool in the sales funnel optimization process. Potential customers are much more likely to convert their initial interest into an actual sale if they are presented with adequate social proof and trust signals from other customers throughout the process. Positive product or service reviews, consumer ratings, and persuasive case studies are all examples of social proof that can help increase your sales conversions.
8. Retargeting and Remarketing
For many businesses, the final endpoint of the sales funnel is not an individual sale, but rather the construction of a reliable customer base. To get to this point, your company’s sales funnel should make use of retargeting and remarketing strategies to retain the interest of customers who have engaged in the past.
Retargeting can help you maintain the attention of potential customers who may have visited your company’s website and guide them toward an initial sale. Remarketing can help you continue your engagement with past customers, facilitate future sales, and build social proof.
9. A/B Testing
A/B testing is a data-driven process through which companies can get real-time feedback from potential customers on the best front-end content. In most cases, A/B testing is used in website design. It helps provide data on which site design layout, landing page, or website interface is most appealing and convenient to customers.
However, A/B testing is also useful for gathering feedback on other kinds of advertising content as well. When developing your company’s sales funnel strategy, you can use A/B testing to gather data on the best sales content and strategies for your particular customer base.
10. Use Analytics to Monitor and Improve
Finally, analytical tools are an indispensable resource in the continual process of refining and improving your sales funnel strategy. Sales analytics tools help you identify major trends among your target audience, see which engagement strategies work and which don’t, and ensure that your sales content reaches your target audience better than competitors.
How CTV Advertising Can Keep Your Funnel Full
When developing and optimizing your company’s sales funnel, it’s important to have a strategy in place to target your ideal audience and track the success of your campaigns. And Connected TV advertising can be a powerful tool to do just that—allowing you to reach your audiences while they are ready to be engaged, and then measure the impact of your streaming TV ads.
By working with a performance marketing platform like MNTN Performance TV, you can bring the accuracy of digital reporting to television. In fact, CTV advertising via the MNTN platform yielded a +914% increase in conversion events YoY from June ‘21 to June ’22. Our technology covers targeting, measurement, and automated optimization to ensure your TV advertising campaigns succeed.
Get in touch with MNTN today to request a demo.
Sales Funnel Optimization: Final Thoughts
Businesses both large and small are turning to sales funnel optimization strategies to convert customer interest into actual sales. However, not all sales funnels are made equal. Learning about the best sales funnel optimization strategies for your business can improve your overall marketing outlook without wasting time and resources.