8 Ways To Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Every business has the potential to get more leads, more appointments, and increase sales. I’ve found that in most industries where they sell services or in a similar field, they grow their business from word of mouth and have a small list of clients and just work with that list of people. They don’t have a system or process to generate an abundance of qualified leads, nurture them and turn them into clients.
People are adamant and proud of either saying “I’m not advertising, I don’t have a funnel, I don’t do marketing” or… they are willing to throw money against the wall on short-term, outdated marketing strategies that’s warming up and sending customers right to their competitors. In this article I’m going to share 8 ways you can optimize each step in your funnel, And often double, or triple your revenue.
#1: Lead Generation
Five years ago before I started my gaming organization I worked in a restaurant. The head chef was a friend of my mom and very passionate about his craft. I consider him my first mentor and if there’s one thing I learned from this man it’s to go all-in on your passion.
What surprised me was that this restaurant only made a profit during lunch time on Tuesdays through Fridays. I came in at 10 am, prepared the mise en place (daily preparations) and between 11:45 am and 1 pm it was a complete massacre, the place was filled with guests and tables had to be brought in from the storage! what I found fascinating and kinda surprising was that on Mondays, the weekend and on random work days there was no turn up… nothing, nada…
After 1 am to closing time there was literally nothing to do than prep stuff for the next day. The staff were playing games, having conversations behind the bar and watching movies on the laptop.
Like this restaurant, most business owners rely on spontaneous… random walk-ins, cold calling, social media posting, networking, or on people contacting them via their website.
This is called hope marketing.
There is no real strategy behind it, just a numbers game. They might spend a lot on advertising, but just running ads to a sales funnel is not a strategy either.
I’ve been part of many groups where people complained about spending $500, $2000, $10000+ on advertising but getting no results. This is because the sales funnels as we know them are completely useless.
To have an effective lead generation strategy you need four things.
1) You need to be clear on who your Optimum Client is.
2) Always Capture their email First! (with a lead magnet)
3) Use direct response to send traffic to that lead magnet.
4) Content to create awareness, build an audience and retarget them to scale your lead generation for pennies.
#2: Systematically Turn Cold Leads into Appointments and Clients
Most people still manually prospect, then reach out to these prospects and qualify them in a sales conversation. This takes up loads of time. You have to do the research, coming up with creative ways to follow up with them and finally get them on the phone to close the sale.
There’s a better way…
It’s inbound marketing.
Once you have captured their information, you systematically nurture these leads by sending them through a dynamic marketing campaign.
In my opinion every business needs at least one core dynamic campaign where the majority of the fresh leads go through.
This is a systemized and automated campaign that follows up with leads who are interested, but who are not ready yet or are unaware of the problem, and turn them into pre-sold prospects who want to work with you by actually giving them what they want, showcase your expertise and compel them to apply for an appointment or buy your product.
Here’s how that works…
Instead of you having to hunt for new clients every day, they come to you.
You get your message in the form of advertising in front of thousands of potential prospects and send them to your funnel. You then give a lot of value by educating your prospects on the problem relevant to their situation and give the solution away, for free.
through nifty use of advertising, content marketing, and social media in a coordinated plan of attack you’ll be able to find yourself freeing up more time to focus on sales calls with qualified prospects and working with clients.
However, you can’t just keep sending email newsletters, articles, blogs and lead magnets to your list and expect them to book a call. The average lead-appointment conversion rate is 3%.
Now if you were an average person seeing this number you might even smile. $200 ad spent, 100 leads, 3 clients at $1500… worth it! (and it totally is) BUT! If you really want to scale you need to set up systems and campaigns that educate and inspire people to want to book an appointment or buy products on auto pilot.
By doing it this way you create a custom experience, establish trust and authority, prequalify leads and have them apply to book an appointment.
#3: Conversion Optimization
Now by chance this whole article is about this topic, conversion in leads, appointments, clients, customers – this is what scales your business.
Most business owners say that their NUMBER ONE problem is generating enough leads. While others say it’s a numbers game, I’d say it is definitely neither of those.
The biggest opportunity in any business is Conversion Optimization. Getting more clients with the same effort and ad spent.
When you’ve launched a new campaign it’s important to optimize each step. For example, if your landing page converts at 20%, and after a few headline tweaks, sub-head and button changes it now converts at 41%. this means you’ve now doubled the amount of leads coming in. Now imagine you’ve improved the ad copy a bit and the click through rate went from 1.5% to 2.5%.
Let’s play out the scenario’s with the same numbers.
Scenario 1: if the ad was served to 25000 people with a 1.5% CTR that means 375 people visited your landing page, which generated 75 new leads.
Scenario 2: if the ad was served to 25000 people with a 2.5% CTR that means 625 people visited the landing page, which of whom 256 new leads.
The benefits of improving each step include:
1. More relevant messaging to the audience increases the amount of actions.
2. Drastically lowers the cost per lead.
You need to be patient. To get the most accurate analytics, try to get at least 100 visitors/leads.
I’ve worked with multiple ad agencies and their golden tip for the optimization team (at least in The Netherlands) is “Build the campaign, let it sit, come in the next day, get yourself a coffee, boot up the computer and check the results, then decide what elements you want to improve.”
The primary goal of conversion optimization is that we want to improve each step in the campaign for maximum results.
Once the front end of the campaign is optimized, you want to increase the amount of appointments and new clients… obviously.
#4: Make an Offer They Can’t Resist
You need to know how many new leads book an appointment or call the office. How many of those become a client? If you don’t know, it’s time to figure that stuff out, today.
IF you don’t know your numbers, you’re losing money.
You need systems in place that sells the conversation… automatically.
For that we use direct response marketing and marketing automation. If you aren’t using any form of marketing automation, you need it, and if you are already using automation, you know it’s the best feeling of checking your emails in the morning and finding applications and phone numbers of potential clients to call, Instead of manually prospecting. It makes doing business, WAY more fun.
There’s various ways to get people to click on an ad, visit your website, call in or book an appointment. The focus lies on direct response to simultaneously build your brand and find the best prospects. You want to make such an irresistible offer at each step of the way, that it becomes super easy for qualified prospects to opt in, consume the content, book an appointment and become a client. The primary focus of your direct response should always be to target the right audience with the right message and give an incentive to take action immediately.
For example, an extreme down-sell we use at the agency is “Have us build a $2997 lead capture funnel for FREE, and professionally managed it for you for 14 days.”
This headline is very compelling to our potential best clients to book an appointment or fill in an application.
That’s because we know our Optimum Client. Once they see the power they want us to do their advertising and/or marketing for them and build Dynamic Ascension into their marketing campaigns.
After they’ve filled in the application, you now have the power to simply hand pick out the best ones and need a proven selling process to sell your products or services in person, over the phone or Skype.
Do you have selling scripts internalized to overcome specific objections. What happens if you have a new client, what do you do then?
For most people it ends there…
When I get a new client, the first thing I do is offer an additional service to “do it with them.” Whether they accept the offer or not, I also immediately ask for referrals.
“I also have what we call a VIP Date, this is where we come together and map it all out within one day, most of my clients who’ve taken me up on the VIP Date, enjoy bigger results and more clarity from the get go, would you be interested in this?”
“Do you know someone who might benefit of my services?” “Anyone else?” or “If you knew three people, who would they be?”
When prospects don’t buy the core offer, it doesn’t mean they don’t want your product or service. If it makes sense, I’d offer a down sell service.
How much is it costing you, by not providing these things?
#5: After Sale Magnificence
I always ask myself two questions when it comes to our own, and creating follow up strategies for clients.
2) “What set of follow up touch points do we have to follow up with our clients?”
3) “What set of follow up touch points do we have to follow up with prospects who’ve said “no” on the call and get them in anyway?”
New client road:
Every new client gets added to an automated sequence of just 2 emails that’s part of a process with intent to over deliver from the start and remove buyers remorse.
The first email is a very personal I am excited to “do some serious work together,” and build anticipation by mentioning a gift I send to their home.
The second email with a personal story of and asks for a referral.
When someone becomes a new client I want to pamper them a bit. So I give away my Total Life Domination Accelerator ($497) with strategies they can implement right away to start getting leads and new clients, usually before our first official strategy call.
Unconverted prospect road:
There’s two types of unconverted prospects.
1) Prospects who aren’t a good fit.
2) Prospects who’ve said “no.”
The first type of prospects fall into the category of people who you can’t help or they don’t need your service, in this case you just want to move on. If you can work with them in the future, put them on list of future clients and keep in contact.
What we do with prospects who’ve said no to the offer is follow up with them every 3 days for 15 touch points, this can be through email, text, social, phone calls or a combination of any of them.
we send articles, personal embedded on a specific page with a pixel that triggers a retargeting ad to keep top-of-mind with warm prospects. After 15 touch points we decide if someone is really worth following up with on the long term, and if they are we do 1 touch per 90 days then once every 6 months.
#6: Create a ‘BOOM’ Experience
I have a lot of friends who are business owners and post their clients’ testimonials on their personal Facebook profiles. It goes something like this – The client sends a Direct Message telling them about achieving ‘X’ result, and they respond with “BOOM.” You want to create that BOOM experience.
The more BOOM experiences you can provide for clients the more they buy and referrals they send. We call them… Brand Ambassadors.
The opportunity lies in knowing the ultimate outcome for your clients and over deliver on their expectations. Human nature is funny in some way, we are hardwired to react to certain things and reciprocate. When you set certain expectations and hardcore over deliver, people are inclined to feel ‘owed‘ to you.
I say the word probably to much, but the importance of the word is key, you want to nurture life time relationships at every step in the customer journey.
#7: The Value add
Most businesses sell only one core offer where they get most of their profits from. They’re actually leaving a lot of money on the table. Don’t just leave it at one transaction per customer, to accelerate growth we want to add value by having an additional ‘next level’ offer.
as you may know most of the revenue comes from 40% of your clients, these are usually your repeat customers or your highest paid customers (or both). we know that a smaller segment of clients want a more exclusive treatment. How else could you explain a $6000 Satchel or shoes?
I train at a gym that charges 25 euro per month for unlimited access to equipment and kickboxing classes. I know I’m an exclusive member, however they’ve never even tried to upsell me in any way. I would pay more to get a protein shake prepped after my training, access to the sun beds, personal training etc.
I’m working with a few beauty salons who were offering the standards; massages, facials and misc beauty products. After we’ve done some client research we’ve found that most of the woman are in the upper class. As a result we’ve created a new type of membership service and a vip-treatment which yields a higher quality service with premium pricing. For both salons they now drive more revenue just through their repeat-business memberships than all the services and products combined.
When do you offer an upsell?
Depending on your business model you can upsell new clients immediately after they become a client, for eCommerce you can add a specific product, bundle or discount on the check-out page that makes sense, if you sell a product through a marketing funnel, you can add what Russel Brunson calls a “bump” offer. He used one for his book Dotcom Secrets, you only pay worldwide shipping for $8, but there’s a bump offer for the audio version of the book for $37. Which comes to the next way to add more value to a new customer… Selling addons with increased value to make the lives of new customers easier, and speed up the process.
You can always repurpose the offers in other marketing campaigns, if someone doesn’t take you up on it now, they can do it another time.
reap the fruits of life time relationships. if you sell 1 service or product, think about broadening the product suite by finding other ways to add more value.
#8: Orchestrate Referrals Through Brand Ambassadors
You know what I find fascinating?
The majority of businesses get most of their customers from referrals (word of mouth) but almost none of them do it well. That’s because there’s no direct referral process. When my grandma goes out to eat at a nice restaurant, she tells everyone about her experience, her friends then visit that same restaurant and repeat the process, these are passive referrals.
There’s a stronger referral process. This includes what I already covered, by immediately asking new clients and unconverted prospects.
When you get a new client, it’s not just about asking them for the referrals, before asking them, tell them “Hey, I expect at least 3 referrals from you.” This puts the ball back on their side. Then you might add “Do you know anyone that might benefit from my service?”
A dirty but ethical trick I use is when people apply to work with me is they get access to a getting started page. On this page I explain the complete process of the call I’ll have with them as well as some cool information they could immediately use, one of these video’s asks them if they know someone who might be a good fit. By basing your relationships on goodwill, people feel more inclined to send you referrals because it makes them feel good if you are winning instead of just a small favor.
If you create a plan to execute and optimize on each step in this article you’ll not recognize your business back in 12 months. You’ll create more brand awareness, build a tribe of qualified leads, get more appointments, hand picked clients, gain high quality referrals and maximize profits.. Want me to build you a custom strategic marketing blueprint that does just that, for free? Click here to apply for a Consultation.