In our last post, we defined a sales funnel and explained its importance. In this post, we look at some of the techniques you can apply at each stage of the funnel to grow your business.
To recap, the objective of a sales funnel is to measure the effectiveness of your sales process by seeing how many customers pass through each stage of the funnel and where the highest rates of customer churn are happening.
You will be able to assess:
- How many leads your sales funnel generate
- How many leads convert into paying customers
- How many paying customers repeat the transaction
- How many customers refer your business
By mapping out your customer journey in stages, enables you to deploy better tactics that improve your lead generation ability, conversion rates, customers retention and the number of referrals.
Summary of a Four Stage Sales Funnel
Lead generation is an exercise of building trust. Two important ways of building trust are to increase the visibility and transparency of your business.
Increase visibility by having a professional website and social media presence. This not only showcases your work but also connects with your audience on relevant online forums. Harness the web as a lead generation tool by making your business accessible. Building an online presence will allow you to communicate unique features about your service to a broader audience. Using clear, high-resolution images or video to showcase your work and posting short, descriptive, error-free content to highlight your services will reinforce a professional image and establish credibility. Publishing content online can go beyond a simple description of services to include regular streams of information such as instructional videos or how to guides. Offering useful content will enable you to better engage with prospective customers, by asserting yourself as a genuine expert and useful reference.
When building your profile on Bidvine, we maintain that a professional image lends credibility to your business and improves the likelihood of getting hired. The following link provides additional tips on how to build a great profile when using Bidvine as a lead generation service.
Increase transparency by sharing customer testimonials on your website; these short sound-bites help showcase your track record to build credibility. You can take this one step further by displaying reviews from third party websites to demonstrate impartiality. Although you can be subject to both positive and negative comments through third-party forums, the way you respond to these comments can make all the difference in building trust. Respond quickly and engage with your customers with honest, open and helpful dialogue to address any customer concerns. Looking credible in the eyes of prospective customers will increase the likelihood of converting these new leads into paying customers.
Make it easier for customers to convert by offering a simple, risk-free service, such as a free consultation. Customers will have an opportunity to become better acquainted with your business, while you can gain more insights into their needs and come up with well-matched solutions. A consultation will give you a chance to educate and collaborate with prospective customers, presenting them the full breadth of your services and the different ways that you can create value for their project.
The conversion process can be as simple as walking customers through the buying experience so that they have a clearer understanding of what they are committing to and how they can derive the most value from your service (build trust through clarity and transparency). Moreover, customers will more likely transact if you can create a seamless buying experience, by being accessible, responsive and accommodating.
- The following link, for example, offers a step-by-step summary of how seamless the journey can be when using Bidvine: How does Bidvine work
One of the most effective ways of satisfying customers is by delivering a seamless experience through focused attention, follow up support, and consistency of service. Customers will realize the value in what you have to offer when their needs are met, and will likely transact again if they have had a positive experience. Building relationships at the beginning of the sales process will allow you to understand customer pain-points better and offer relevant solutions. Being flexible and adaptative throughout the sales process will show that you are willing to help your customers reach their goals. Thus, adopting a “customer-centric mindset” creates opportunities for building trust and confidence by focusing on delivering a positive outcome.
Align your business goals with those of the customer by offering a service guarantee. The power of an unconditional promise can help you retain loyal customers, generate referrals and diffuse difficult situations. It also indicates that you stand by the quality of your service, and further builds credibility and trust. Bidvine, for example, has a policy which refunds professionals their credits within four days if the customer does not view their bid. Such a policy creates a mutually beneficial outcome since the customer’s success automatically translates into the success of our business.
Successfully closing out a job presents an opportune moment to ask for a referral, which can either be an online review (an indirect method) or a word-of-mouth referral to a family, friend or colleague (a direct method). Sometimes you can incentivize customers with a coupon or discount on their next purchase by giving a referral. Customers who have had positive experiences will likely provide a positive review, which can help you create brand equity for your business by improving the way it is perceived.
At Bidvine, we maintain that reviews are an important part of winning more business, demonstrating to customers how great your service is and what to expect when working with you. Reviews can also offer you additional insights into projects that you bid on. We wish you success on your journey!If you need any help in understanding any of the information provided to you today, reach out to our support team.