10 Ways to build an effective sales funnel


What are Sales Funnels? Sales Funnels are a lead generation process. Why is a Sales Funnel important for me to know? It is used in business to build your customer base. The object is to have a consistent flow of leads. No 2 funnels are the same. In fact, if you ask the “experts”, everyone has a different opinion about what the process is and how many stages there are. So, I decided to give you the basics.

There are four stages of the Sales Funnel: Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action.

Awareness: The customer may have found you on social media or visited your website. Your products or services peaked their interest. This is typically when your marketing efforts are paying off.

Interest

Here is where the customer is interested in what you have to offer. This is when your content comes in handy such as your blog. The customer is either reading your blog, following your social media accounts or signing up for your free offering.

Decision

At this stage, the customer is determining if they’re interested in purchasing your products or service.

Action

The customer has made the decision to purchase your products or service. The real work however, doesn’t begin with getting the customer, it’s to turn them into loyal customers. Repeat customers who also refer you business.

Okay so how do I make this work for my business? To give you a breakdown of how it works, you’re essentially creating a system for customers to locate your business and to direct your customers to the next step of the sales process. Meaning, once the customer arrives to your website, what is the next step? For example, most of your customers will not make an immediate decision to use you as their Loan Officer, once they visit your website or social media accounts however, you don’t want to lose their attention once you’ve captured it. To keep their interest, you will set up a sales funnel or a marketing funnel.

So how do you create that sales funnel? There are various ways to generate leads i.e. create a sales funnel. I’m going to give a few tips on how to create a sales funnel for your business.

Step 1

Choose where you want your sales funnel to start. Is it your website? Blog or social media platforms? For example, start with your website. Create a popup on your home page with an offering your customers can’t refuse. Something free for example a “discovery call”, where you discuss the buyer’s options for purchasing or refinancing their homes. Request their contact information such as an email in exchange for the offering. Include a CTA or a “Call to Action” on your popup “call us today”. Make sure that it is clear and straight to the point.

Landing Page

Your website’s landing page is the first impression potential customers will see. Landing pages help with your conversion rate. The landing page focuses specifically on a single offering. If you’re offering a free First Time Home Buyer webinar or building your email list, create a landing page.

Now let’s move onto the next phase of the sales funnel. Instead of depending solely on your referral partners or leads from your bank, set up multiple channels where you’re generating leads. Here are a few tips for creating those channels:

Social Media

Social media is one of the most polarizing tools of our time. Loan Officers can actively search for customers, create a marketing campaign around the interests of their customers while engaging with them in real time.

Networking

We all have to “hit the pavement” and put ourselves out there to help our business grow. Networking is still an effective relationship building strategy. Join organizations or attend events at least once a month.

Facebook Ads

Most business owners “swear” by them others haven’t had as much success with Facebook Ads. The Ads have been known to “transform” businesses into successful empires and is one the cost-effective ways to advertise your business. Campaigns start at about $5.00 so it won’t “break the bank” if you’re on a tight budget.

Always include a CTA or a “Call to Action” wherever you start your sales funnel.

Tools to use to capture leads

Mailing List

A Mailing list is probably one of the most reliable, cost-effective ways to build your customer base and stay in touch with your customers. Once you build a large enough email list, you won’t have to “chase” customers as much. You will eventually have a complete list of customers whom you can market to consistently.

Webinars

Seriously, everywhere you turn to on social media someone is offering a webinar. It’s the second most effective lead generating marketing tool. Webinars allows business owners to build their brand as an industry expert. It’s also a great way to build your email list.

Video Marketing

Did you know that adding video marketing into your marketing strategy you can convert more leads, drive organic traffic to your website, and increase sales and revenue? Video Marketing is an innovative content strategy, if executed properly, it can be used as a great marketing tool. While Instagram and Snapchat are great tools for short clips, adding videos to Facebook and your website can essentially help you grow your business and reach a wider audience. “Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined”-Brightcove

Step 2

Schedule time each week for lead generation. It an ongoing process that requires a great deal of time and work however if done effectively it will produce great results. This means first, determining who your ideal client is, where to locate them, and creating a marketing strategy to attract your ideal customer.

Step 3

The Marketing Strategy. I always tell my clients to “switch up” your marketing strategy to keep things interesting and “fresh”. Meaning, get creative with your marketing to keep the interest of your existing and new customers. This includes, blogging, video marketing and your social media platforms. To attract your ideal customer, you must understand their behavior, what they’re interest are, and what are their pain points. Once you understand this you can create a marketing strategy.

Step 4

Content. Create content that speaks to more than one type of customer and referral partners. Categorize your content from first time home buyers, to referral partners such as realtors, to home inspectors. For example, create content for customers that prepares them for home ownership. Start with understanding the basics of credit, move onto savings and budgeting, the last step should include what to expect during the loan process. Here’s another tip: create a separate campaign for referral partners such as realtors. Instead of “flooding” their inbox with your loan programs, share information regarding the local economy and revitalized neighborhoods. Remember the object here is to attract customers and referral partners through your marketing efforts, while directing them through the sales process.

Now let’s put what we learned into place. For example, if you have an Instagram account, posting texts is not enough. Here’s a sales funnel you can implement into your business plan: Create a webinar, have your customers sign up to have access to the content, at the end of the webinar offer an eBook “10 steps to home ownership”. Now that you’ve captured your leads via email, educate your customers using your content, then market additional products or services.

Another option

Periscope

Periscope is a live streaming app that allows users to create their own channels. Use Periscope to “live stream” daily mortgage tips for your audience. Direct them to your Instagram account for more updates or your blog. From there, have the follower sign up for exclusive updates. Now that you have their information, provide the subscriber with useful content, a free webinar, then market your products or services. Once the customer has refinanced or purchase a home, create a new marketing campaign for home owner up keep/ maintenance, how to become a landlord or an investor.

Always monitor your results and track your analytics to see how effective your marketing efforts are and what you need to “tweak” in your sales funnel. Many of you already have an existing customer base. Go back through every email you have of your customers and compile the information into an excel spread sheet. Categorize the customers and referral partners, then create a marketing campaign for each funnel. Lead generation is an ongoing process. As time goes on you will know what works and what doesn’t. There will be a lot of trial and error but your hard work will eventually pay off.

More about the author: Shavaughn Baker is a Consultant with over 10 years in the mortgage industry. She specializes in providing marketing, branding and growth strategies for Loan Officers and Real Estate Professionals.

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