How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel


There are questions that every SaaS entrepreneur needs to answer for their sales process to build and scale up.

How to convert prospective customers into paying customers? How to convince them to register? How to convince them to use your products versus somebody else? There may be only few people coming to your website or many coming but not signing up.


You’d need to identify blockages in your customer acquisition funnel which may have a scaling issue or satisfaction problem. Usually, all sales and marketing funnels have blockage points, and as you remove one, the blockage will move to another place.



      Optimising your funnel will have a positive impact on your customer acquisition & retention metrics, which will in turn positively impact your customer acquisition cost (CAC). This should also help you bring down the churn rate



    Let’s take a look on how to remove these blockage points.


    Identifying Blockage Points


    In any situation, the best way to identify your growth areas is to identify what’s stopping you from achieving it? Ask yourself, what is stopping you from getting 10x output?




    Answering these questions will boost your clarity about the strengths and weaknesses of your strategies.



    Customer Interaction: Learn to connect and qualify customers


    If you had to sell a pet house you’ll ask whether he has a pet. Only if he has a pet, you’ll sell a pet house, right? So, ask questions. If you are selling software to a gamer, ask what games he plays. You need to ask if he is in the market you are looking for. First check if the customer qualifies for your product/service. Don’t talk to customers, who’ll never be a customer.


    Make your website riveting and human-centric: customize according to your customer’s needs

    • Are people aware enough to want to visit your site?

    • What will motivate them?

    • Is it conveying a problem they face every day or it is all sales oriented and full of market stats?

    • Is any step annoying that repels prospects like asking excessive questions when someone is new to the site?

    • Make sure to give new information in a way the customer feels he already knew and use your customer acquisition techniques when he agrees and is most receptive to the content; and this art will only come by understanding your customer by customer interaction (# Step 1).

    • Map out customer’s buying cycle and then start designing a process.




    Chalk out the deep concerns



    Answering these will give you the next steps to guide your prospects in the direction you desire to.


    Addressing their concerns directly will also enhance your credibility as a company, your passion as a service provider and the customer would want to stick around for a longer period of time with you.


    Getting superb results will require brainstorming their concerns, issues which even they have not consciously identified. Only those solutions will stand out and provide value that will delight your prospect.


    Because prospects:

    • Don’t want to waste time on anything that is not directly relevant to the problem.

    • If it doesn’t come up in the first page of Google search results, they are not bothered to look further.

    • Doubt about whether they have come across the best product/service.

    • Whether they are getting the best deal or not.

    • Cannot stand an annoying design.


    Tools to generate interest

    • Recommended by friends, respected bloggers or famous sites

    • Highlight the magnitude/future aggravation of the problem

    • Giving out something for free

    • Addressing Information/advise seekers

    • Educate them with free hacks

    • Anything valuable



    What you can do to get more traffic


    Use Free Products

    As mentioned above a free product or service can act as a tool to generate interest, driving more traffic to your website. For instance, Website Grader tool.



    It is a free tool that bloggers recommend, making it's marketing a low cost affair. Plus it takes very less information from the users, creates value for the customer, generates trust, uses expert validation to prove ratings, and hence, customers sticks to the opportunity presented.


    Always offer yourself before demanding




    Educate before you demand


    Providing value through relevant and industry education can be the best investment you can make. Because as one learns, he develops respect and trust for the person who is educating and is more open and willing to listen to his suggestions. So start giving out useful information for free to develop a loyal base of users who are willing to try what you have to offer.


    Use Data: the fuel of the 21st century


    For instance, companies like Crunchbase, Tracxn provide data as service to help enterprises source funding and monitor sector landscape. Crawlers feed data into a huge and constantly expanding database, which the companies can use to source potential prospects to closed deals. Moreover, you can also issue your own surveys and collect data.



    Getting them to register: What’s stopping?




    Tools to generate interest

    • Feedback, shares, reviews looks promising initiating leads

    •  Make them care about the product through education

    • Offering new solutions

    • Recommended by a friend

    For this you can put together the most persuading value rich content /product/service description before you ask them to register. Clarity is very important which brings us back to #Step 1 Customer interaction. Only clarity in what you have to offer and how it is useful exhorts a prospect to click the register icon.


    For instance, Posterous, a blogging site acquired by Twitter, didn’t required you to sign up to start using it. You simply email them your first post, and it gets your registration information from your email address.




    Getting down to Website design



    Use A/B testing to identify which design works better and keep improving.

    1. Use quotes to emphasize and highlight benefits.

    2. Show them how thousands are using the same site and there is no threat to their privacy. 


    3. Add Video demonstrating the product on the first page will give a great first impression.



    Closing Strategies


    It is important is to build the demand of your prospects in advance and turn their implied needs into explicit needs. You can, then, make a clear offer that targets the needs of your customers and closes the deal.


    Your work is not done when you create your sales funnel. In fact, this is where it all begins. You need to gather data and analyze and improve your funnel if you want to get better results. You can hold monthly/ quarterly sessions to tackle the new blockages. Assign one member to do the customer research, keep updating and present the possible customer view point. Keep track of the number of prospects entering each stage, from top of the funnel to the closed deal.



    The idea is to make it a 'no brainer' for customers to take the next step. The transitions should be so natural, customers won't even consciously decide to progress- they'll just do it.


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