Utilizing a sales funnel is a highly effective way to nurture prospects, capture invaluable data, and generate more revenue. Whether your company sells a product or service (or both), you should implement a sales funnel for these reasons. But if you really want to succeed with your marketing efforts, you'll need to focus on getting more sales leads into the top of your sales funnel, which is something we're going to discuss here.
You can't expect to capture many leads if your marketing efforts are limited to just one or two channels. Maybe you use cold calling to generate B2B leads, or perhaps you use social media. Even if these platforms are effective, you should venture into other channels to see what works and what doesn't. Known as multi-channel marketing, doing so will bring more prospects into your sales funnel.
The various channels that you use make up your lead generation "cookbook", which will help you to manage each strategy and to understand what works and what doesn't work for your business.
Identify Your Target Market
To whom exactly are you promoting your products or services? Mass marketing rarely works in the B2B environment. You need to identify your target audience – the audience who's most likely to buy your product or service – after which you can adjust your marketing campaigns to focus on this demographic. The more specific you can get, the more personalized your messaging will be; which will give you much better results.
Attract Prospects... Then Sell
It's important to remember that your goal when using a sales funnel isn't to initially sell a product or service, but rather to attract prospects so you can later nurture them into paying customers. Sure, selling a product or service is the end-goal. However, it's not what you should be trying to accomplish when initially contacting new prospects.
Depending on your industry and what you sell, studies have shown that it often takes a minimum of 3-5 correspondences with a prospect before that prospect buys a product or service. So, if you pitch your product or service during the initial stages of the relationship, it may discourage the prospect from taking action. Don't worry about selling your product or service just yet, but instead focus on attracting prospects to your sales funnel, after which you can make your pitch.
Create a Strong Message
According to the sales experts at SalesForce, a good message should consist of three characteristics: provocative, compelling, and maintained in a positive light. When creating your marketing message, try to implement these characteristics in it. Your message should stand out, while explaining to your audience whey they should choose your product or service.
Of course, attracting prospects to your sales funnel is only half the battle. You must also nurture those prospects into paying customers.