It’s no secret that sales funnels are essential to every B2B business. Though your sales funnel can be a labor of love to get off the ground, once it’s running, it can be a well-oiled machine, bringing in and nurturing new leads.
At least, it should, in theory.
Your sales funnel is your go-to guide that takes your customer from a cold lead to a converted loyalist. It consists of three stages – Attract, Nurture, and Convert.
As with any machine, sales funnels require a certain level of upkeep to ensure all the funnel parts are functioning. This generally means tweaking elements of your funnel for accuracy and fixing any pickles you may find yourself in.
Like your car or another machine, if you wait until the last minute for your scheduled service, you may find yourself in hot water. Maybe you won’t be stranded on the side of the road, but you could find yourself in a desert of leads with no oasis in clear sight.
In reality, the only true funnel emergency is when something “breaks.” And if any part of your funnel is broken, it cannot tell the story you want your audience to know, which means they won’t have a clear understanding of what you are offering and why it benefits them.
So, how can you prepare yourself for the inevitable revamping of your funnel?
Talking Shop and Your Needed Services
The best place to start is at the beginning – setting up your schedule to review each part of your sales funnel. Start by figuring out your timeline – are you going to check in every month, quarter, half-year, or year?
Each industry has quirks and needs, so I suggest regularly reviewing your business and comparing it to what’s going on in the world. Because we pivot periodically, you want to ensure your funnel is still building towards the company you want.
Then, decide what exactly you want to do each time you review your funnel. I suggest:
- Completing an audit of what’s working/what’s not from the last period (including your web copy)
- Assessing funnel growth against quarterly/annual goals
- Adding 1-2 new content pieces aligned with your needs
You can always add to these steps, but completing each of these items will set the foundation of your sales funnel review plan going forward.
Completing an Audit
Before you can fix the problem, you need to understand it. The overall audit of your sales funnel will help you know what is working and, well, what isn’t.
And just because something is not working now doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future. Maybe the content you have is not attracting the right kind of qualified leads you need now but may attract the leads you want 12-24 months from now. Save these pieces for later and focus in on what you need currently.
You should structure your funnel enough to have a clearly defined process for where people first come to your funnel, how you can nurture them, and how you convert them.
But, it also needs to be fluid enough to change as needed – like offering multiple lead magnets that draw someone to your funnel, or multiple nurture pieces to draw them towards conversion.
Speaking of clearly defined, let’s quickly review the elements of the funnel to make sure your foundation is intact:
- Attract — the first stage of your funnel where you draw in your audience/potential leads. This stage is where your lead magnets, like blog posts and social media posts.
- Engage — the middle of your funnel where you nurture the attracted leads. This stage is where specialized and segmented content comes in handy – downloadable pieces and informational meetings are great examples.
- Convert — the final stage of your funnel where your leads choose to work with you. Typically this is where you can find 1-on-1 conversations, demos, and the like.
You’ll also want to compare your funnel and all its parts to your business’ messaging and value proposition. You should make sure that what you are offering in each stage of your funnel is aligned with what you are doing (and saying you’re doing).
If you focus on providing an incredible tech solution to save small businesses money and time, your funnel should reflect that. Maybe you have an infographic that shows the key benefits of your product to attract an audience, a case study of a previous client to convince potential clients it’s worth their investment, and a demo to convert your leads. Each of these pieces should be aligned with your company’s messaging and core value proposition to prove to your audience why you are worth their time and money.
Assessing your web copy should be another critical piece of your funnel audit. All roads probably lead back to your website, so this essential building block could potentially make or break signing new clients.
And if you don’t have a website or have not updated yours in years, you’ll need to focus on creating an effective website that complements your funnel by speaking directly to your audience and their pain points.
Assessing Funnel Growth
Once you understand your strengths and weaknesses, you can assess your current funnel against your current and future goals — aka the business, you want to build.
This can easily be done by comparing each stage of your funnel to its last counterpart (previous month/quarter/year etc). If you see any significant differences in your funnel’s performance, then it’s a tell-tale sign to make some adjustments.
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is: “Is my funnel attracting the clients I need to meet my short-term goals, long-term goals, or both?” Depending on your answer (and your needs), you may be good to go until the next time you check in on your funnel or may need to take some time to make a few tweaks. (spoiler alert: you usually need to make a few tweaks, and that’s okay. The copy you write today may be different than the copy that works for you tomorrow. As your business grows and changes, so will the way you talk about it.)
Adding New Content Pieces
Once you’ve completed an audit, assessed your funnel’s growth, and reviewed your value proposition and messaging, you should have a rough idea of if your funnel is helping you meet your goals or not. For example, if your goal was to convert 10 leads this quarter, but you only converted 5, you know that somewhere along the line, your message got lost in translation.
One way to keep your funnel fresh is to add new content pieces periodically. Yep, that’s right; it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and create new, unique content.
What kind of content should you create though? And why?
Well, this depends on your business needs and your specific goals. If you are able to attract new leads but are having a hard time nurturing and converting them, you may need to write a few pieces that help segment your audience, like email campaigns that provide different use cases. Likewise, if you want to attract, nurture, and convert leads for a specific workshop or masterclass you are running, you should create content that speaks to the masterclass specifically (including why people should come, what’s in it for them, etc).
As with any other part of your business, your content needs to be relevant to your audience here and now. Planning and executing one to two new pieces of content each quarter will keep your content fresh, helping you attract and nurture more leads, with minimal to no scrambling on your part, so that you can continue to work on the other aspects of your business as well.
Remember, your content should be evergreen enough to be used multiple times but relevant enough that it is aligned with your current goal.
Sit Back, Relax, and Keep Growing Your Business
With regular tweaking, your sales funnel will continue to run as scheduled and grow your business. There may be some periods where your funnel needs serious help, like when you change a major part of your messaging or overall strategy. And, there may be other times where no changes are needed at all, like when your funnel is exceeding your goals. Both scenarios are okay.
Remember the fluidity I mentioned earlier? Keeping your sales funnel somewhat fluid ensures that when it’s time to make changes, they’re minor shifts instead of total redos.
With everything else you have to do to keep your business running, you may be looking for a little help. I’d love to connect and talk more about your sales funnel and its needs.