“Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.”
This quote by Stephen Covey says it all. If you want to increase sales, it‘s important to optimize the bottom of your funnel, complete deals and record sales to put cash in your bank account. You need to begin with the final aim of your funnel in mind, which is profit.
Profit is your revenue or total earnings less expenses. Revenue can also be defined as being equal to your gross salary, which may be calculated as x users paying y in monthly revenues after getting in front of z prospective users during a month, a week or a work day.
If you start by observing the objectives of users or businesses, you can figure out the different flows that you need to design to fulfill the goals of both. User objectives may be varied; they may be looking for facts or information, may want to order or download something, or other similar activities.
Business objectives, on the other hand, may consist of creating leads, generating likes, acquiring subscribers or customers, and so on.
Build an Effective Marketing and Sales Funnel
An effective funnel that is aligned with needs for both sales and marketing generates a wide variety of leads and is more effective in converting these leads to sales. A funnel that is not aligned with this collaborative equation can cost you not only money but also time and effort, and also affects your ROI.
In order to derive better results and build a fully integrated marketing and sales process, sales needs to hold marketing responsible for implementation of their half of the conversion funnel. Another factor that marketing needs to keep in mind is the numbers that sales must have in order to deliver its revenue goals.
If you need more compelling reasons as to why you should start with the end in mind, here they are:
1. The bottom of the funnel optimization: Where sales and transactions take place
Your conversions happen at the bottom of the funnel. The instruments that make your conversions happen include the shopping cart, payment processors, and various forms such as lead generation forms, webinar sign-up forms, white paper downloads, and so on.
Here your focus needs to be on effective lead management programs and sales optimization. You need to identify, prioritize and interact with your most probable, hot leads. Once a prospect makes a decision and follows on through the flow to complete the action you desire, the only thing that might stand in the way is the transactional point.
This is usually a form and is probably the most boring, tedious part of any website. Optimizing this part of the interaction will benefit the conversion rate. It may involve testing the form’s usability and making it as user-friendly as possible. Keep the form short and glitch-free to reduce user anxiety and frustration. Sometimes the most well-managed lead will not follow through and end up as planned.
When this happens, you need to act fast, look for the reasons and quickly determine the factors that affected the closure. If the lead stays with sales, then you need to go back to lead nurturing.
2. The middle of the funnel optimization: Where marketing and sales provide information and nurturing
What the middle of the funnel contains is many different kinds of information and content to educate and prepare customers for lead generation and conversion. When leads enter the cycle, marketing and sales need to make a combined, cooperative effort to nurture them.
In order to optimize this part of the funnel, sales representatives need to discern very quickly whether a lead is ready for conversion. Once a sales representative determines that a lead isn’t ready for conversion, then the user needs to be sent back to marketing as quickly as possible for further nurturing.
This is where your website, e-books, newsletters, white papers and other marketing tools are needed to answer your prospects’ questions, find solutions to their objections and lead them on to take action.
You also need to optimize ways to instill confidence in your users to convince them that you’ll keep your promises and fulfill their needs and wants. This is a very important stage, as it is crucial that the relationship that begins when a lead enters the funnel continues to grow and develop as the lead progresses through the funnel.
Once marketing has nurtured the lead so it is ready to go back to sales, the transition should be well-timed and seamless. Here is a stepwise presentation of the process:
- Sales representatives determine whether a lead is ready for conversion.
- If the lead is not ready, it is referred back to the marketing department for further nurturing.
- Marketing takes over and provides information and assurance, and builds the lead’s confidence in the business to prep the lead for conversion.
- Marketing continues to enhance the relationship that was initiated when the lead entered the funnel.
- Once the lead is nurtured and ready for purchase, it is handed back to sales for conversion.
3. Top of the funnel optimization: Where marketing employs persuasion
Most people generally start at the top of the conversion funnel when they enter the website. The top of the funnel includes your landing pages and any other entry pages where traffic is directed from search, PPC or other entry points. It is here that the initial persuasion takes place.
Your landing page has to convince prospects that they are on the right website, the one that can provide them with the products or services they are searching for. It should also persuade them to spend time exploring the website so they can gain more knowledge and discover more about the products or services they need.
This can be facilitated by providing messages that are relevant to their searches and needs. Your landing page needs to provide a very clear and convincing value proposition and a powerful call to action in order to engage the prospects.
Marketing needs to play its part in generating the best-qualified sales leads to begin the process of conversion. You need to define your ideal leads, because if you haven’t done so, you’ll lose your leads at a much faster rate than you can acquire them. You need to develop user personas.
It is a sound practice to collaborate and come to an agreement with sales to determine who follows up on leads, how they are engaged and the speed of the entire process. You should utilize marketing automation to quantify the effectiveness of your lead qualification by using continuous and consistent analysis of data.
When they want to enhance sales, most organizations start by concentrating their efforts at the top of the funnel. They do this in the belief that it generates more leads, which could mean more conversions.
But in truth, if you need more sales, the fastest method to generate the desired sales is to begin at the bottom of the funnel. When sales and marketing are working in conjunction, supporting each other, the purchase funnel’s efficiency is improved and the results are immediately evident; only the best leads go into the funnel and more sales conversions come out of it.
So it makes sense to begin by keeping in mind the desired end result and where you want your business to be in the future. That way, you can clearly chart your path and make your vision a reality.