Advertising sales strategies: Sales funnel
Nowadays most part of businessmen have a general idea of a sales funnel concept. But not all of them actually apply it in their sales operations. Some of them are content with the current state of affairs, some of them apply it instinctively, but for the rest part of them sales funnel is just some distant economic theory only for scholars, which is completely inapplicable in real life.
Sales funnel as a marketing model
To put it simple, sales funnel describes the pattern which all your clients are following. This pattern consists of several stages. Knowing the quantity of visitors, calls, orders and purchases on each stage you can estimate effectiveness at each stage and overall effectiveness of the sales funnel.
The main aim of an advertising agency is to drag into the funnel as many clients as possible. In other words, to make the quantity of orders at the end of the funnel as close as possible to the quantity of clients entering it.
This task is a hard one, and it goes without saying that high conversion (or effectiveness) of the sales funnel is a result of hard work of all departments of the company, but mostly – sales department, of course.
How to build a sales funnel
The process of building a sales funnel and its subsequent application in business operations can be divided into 7 stages:
1. Developing an offer. Your agency must offer something unique. This uniqueness can be expressed in the terms of price, quality or, for example, deadlines. It is very important that the offer and its conditions are stated clearly. For example: Order OOH advertisement today and get a 15% discount for 10 days! It is better to make one strong offer than a lot of weak ones.
2. Search for prospective clients. The main target of this stage is to get contact information. You can search for them directly or via different services/advertising boards/b2b platforms etc. Today the most popular way to get contact info is via web-site. But in order to do this you will need to work a lot on your web-site promotion.
3. Provoking interest to the offer – i.e. dragging the clients into the funnel. It is obvious that at this stage you will need to initiate communication with clients. What means of communication to choose depends on you. Maybe you will choose cold-calling or e-mail send-out or maybe both at the same time. Or maybe you will decide to send your sales managers to visit your prospective clients… Or the clients will respond to the advertisement campaign you held.
4. Persuasion and confronting objections. There are a few clients that will turn to your agency for services without any doubts or fear. Most of them will ask questions and cast doubts on your answers, but this is only natural! The most important thing for you and your employees is to provide good reasoning and prove that your offer is very profitable in polite and unobtrusive manner.
5. Closing a deal. This is the lowest and the most significant stage, which reflects efficiency of your sales department and company as a whole. If you have overcome all the objections of the client, you sign a contract as a result. This is the closing stage of the funnel, but not the last one.
6. Result analysis. The main purpose of analysis is to calculate the ratio between the quantity of received orders and the quantity of offers made to clients, and find out at which stage of the funnel you lost the greatest number of prospective clients. In other words, you need to understand at which stage and why your prospective clients dropped out of the funnel.
7. Increasing conversion. Not all prospective clients will drop out completely, some of them will stay interested. That’s where you need to put all your effort. You need to drag them deep into the funnel by making a special offer or by personal or phone conversation, new quotation etc. They are already interested and know something about you, which means that they are more loyal.
Main advantages of sales funnel are its clarity, high information value and effectiveness. Apply it for building up you sales plan and your company won’t have any problems with gaining profits!