How to Improve Your Sales Funnel

Yesterday’s post was all about sales funnel analysis. It is the necessary lead up to today’s post, so if you didn’t get a chance to read it already, quickly do that now.

What you should have now is a full look at your sales funnel, with audience sizes for each layer or level, and conversion rates going from each level to the next.

Using that as your baseline, now you need to identify which transition you want to improve. Do you want to get more people from Intent to Purchase? Purchase to Loyalty? Awareness to Interest?

You might ask, how do I pick one? The truth is, most marketers over time will focus on all levels of the funnel. But you want to start where you see the most opportunity. Where is your conversion rate lowest? Where are most people falling out of the funnel?

If it’s a toss-up, flip a coin. Know that you can’t go wrong. If you improve one level of the funnel, it should improve the overall performance. Then you move on to the next level and keep going until you’ve hit them all.

Once you have decided which level you are looking to affect, now it’s time to decide what to do to improve it. Make a list of all the things you do today that impact the conversion rate at that level of the funnel. At the bottom of this post I will list some examples for each level.

Once you have your list of what you do today, make a list of changes, new processes, and other ideas you think will improve performance. Assign a cost to each one, and an expected outcome. Then prioritize them based on the expected return on each activity. For example, if one idea will cost you nothing to put in place and you expect it to improve conversion rate by 1%, that would likely go at the top of your list.

Then execute those ideas at the top of your list and measure the impact that they have. I know it sounds like I’m simplifying a complicated process here, and I am. But at a high level, that’s all you have to do.

Some ideas for each level of the funnel:

  • Grow UNQUALIFIED PROSPECTS through new products, new features, or new uses for your products, thereby growing the target market
  • Grow AWARENESS through social media outreach, PR, and advertising
  • Grow INTEREST through email marketing and an improved website experience
  • Grow CONSIDERATION through special offers and promotions
  • Grow INTENT through outbound and inbound sales processes, discounts and deadlines, and promotional literature
  • Grow PURCHASE through sales people and coaching, pricing plans, contracts and checkout process improvement
  • Grow LOYALTY through membership programs, exclusive offers, email, surveys, and customer service improvements