Inbound marketers have a lot of unique opportunities when it comes to guiding individuals through the sales funnel. Different levels of interaction and different types of content offers can be made available to potential customers in order to help them flow through the sales funnel. Ultimately, the sales funnel is a process of curation: the right visitors to your website will become leads, the right leads will convert to prospects, and the right prospects will go on to complete a purchase.
Here are four crucial steps to guiding your ideal customers through the sales funnel:
Attract High Quality Visitors
First, you have to convert someone who is interested in your business to a site visitor. Converting at this stage requires your site to be easy to find, easy to navigate, and prominent in the media relevant to the demographics you target. Search engine optimization, social media and cross-blogging strategies may all be effective when attracting the right visitors to your site. Even visitors who never travel through the funnel to a completed purchase can be considered valuable assets here, as they can spread information about your site to others – which is why a great content marketing strategy is essential at this state.
Accommodate Visitors of all Stages
Once a person becomes a site visitor, they can be nurtured to become a marketing lead. This requires attracting the right type of visitor: one whose needs align with your offerings. An inbound marketing lead may be at any stage of their Buyer's Journey, from initial research to product comparisons immediately prior to a purchasing decision. Your website should support their needs, no matter which stage they arrive in.
Showcase Your Product or Service through Content Offers
To convert these visitors into leads provide enough information to educate them so they believe that your product or service will address their needs, and that they'll benefit tangibly from it. Well-managed content, ebooks, testimonials, and blog posts which address the specific needs of your prospective buyers facilitate these conversions.
Marketing and Sales Alignment
If your marketing efforts have been effective and your product or service meets the needs of the lead, they may decide to buy. At this point it is extremely important to have the help of your sales team in order to help your lead transition through a seamless sales process. Even the most incredible inbound marketing leads cannot fully become successful without the help of a sales team. The sales team is responsible for reaching out to a lead who is ready to convert at the bottom of the sales funnel in a timely manner and continuing their conversion process.
Because inbound marketing is structured around your Buyer's Journey, you can use it as a framework to raise the efficiency of every stage of the sales funnel. Recognize that each stage has its own criteria for success, and construct your marketing strategy appropriately.