How do sales funnels work

7 reasons your sales funnel isn't working

Do you have customers queuing up? Do at least 20 people subscribe to your email list every day? Can't you keep up with your high bank balance because of all the "Kaa-ching !!" If all of that Not that's the case, you should read on ;-) Because in today's article I am going to track down the reasons why your sales funnel does not work or does not work so well. I'll also give you tips to get your sales funnel going.

What is a sales funnel anyway?

A sales funnel is the path from acquiring a customer to closing the sale: In other words, the path from lead to sale. The sales funnel is also often referred to as a sales channel, or in English also as a sales funnel or marketing funnel.

Here is an example of a sales funnel:

Step 1: Your potential customer, Erna, sees your ad on Facebook and clicks on it.
Step 2: Erna adds herself to your email list on your landing page. Now Erna is your prospect (lead).
Step 3: Erna will receive your follow up emails and your offer.
Step 4: Erna buy your offer. This is the sale.

Your paid offer can also be preceded by a free offer, for example a free preliminary talk or an invitation to a free event. Then the sale would take place during the preliminary discussion or during the event, which would lengthen the sales funnel a little.

Why you absolutely need a sales funnel if you want to market your offer online, I'll clarify in detail in another article. Just this much: A sales funnel gives you the constant flow of income that so many dream of. For this article, we will initially assume that you are already presenting an offer from yourself online and would like to have customers for it: a coaching package, a service, an online course, whatever.

Furthermore, we assume that your offer solves a problem, has a good price and that there is also a market, i.e. a demand for it. These are all criteria that your offer must first meet in order for your sales funnel to work at all can.

However, there are many sales funnels that meet these criteria, but which still don't work. It's about them now.

Why your sales funnel isn't working: causes and possible solutions

# 1 Too little or poor quality coverage

If you want to market your offer online and ultimately sell it, you need a certain reach. I will spare myself an estimate of the size at this point, that would of course be anything but serious. It is not only the quantity (quantity) that is important here, but also the quality (goodness). More on that in a moment.

The fact is: If you want to win five customers a month for your offer, it is most likely not enough if only 10 people a day visit your website at all. Because not every prospect who ends up in your sales funnel will also buy in the end. Why “most likely”? Well, exceptions always prove the rule.

The quality of your reach is also crucial: are you really reaching the customers you want? Just next to it is also over ;-) Therefore, 10,000 visitors a month do not bring you anything if they are the wrong ones. Or 11,000 Facebook fans. Or 12,000 Twitter followers ...

My advice: Regularly check the traffic, i.e. the page views on your website, blog or landing pages: Exactly where your sales funnel begins. If your problem is too little traffic, think carefully every day: What can I do today so that my landing page (blog, website ...) gets more traffic? And then do that. Assessing the quality of your reach is not that easy. For example, check who is commenting on you and who is subscribing to your email list. Are they mostly desired customers? Well!

# 2 Selling with pressure, not persuasion

As I have already explained in my article about online marketing DOs and DON’Ts, you can market your offer on the Internet in two ways: with pressure and with conviction. This is especially true for your sales funnel.

If you keep putting potential customers under pressure to buy from you, you might generate sales. But it is highly doubtful that these customers will come back. On a recent podcast I heard:

If you sell under pressure, your customer will end up regretting their decision. If you sell with conviction, he'll end up celebrating his decision.

My advice: Deal with the topic of landing pages, especially how to create good landing pages. Here I mean the content, not the design. A good landing page grabs the potential customer precisely with their problem, picks them up where they stand - and then leads them to the solution, to your product. The better your marketing, the less pressure you need. I use LeadPages for most landing pages because the creation of landing pages, squeeze pages, optin pages, etc. is super fast - and because these landing pages have been tested and have been proven to work!

# 3 Wrong strategy, too little testing

As you probably already know, there are a thousand possible online marketing strategies, at least ;-) Some work great, others not so well. Of course, it also depends on the offer.

What I often see here is the search for the Holy Grail. A lot of my customers want a step-by-step guide that they just have to follow and their sales will go through the roof. I keep emphasizing that there is no such thing. There is a lot of testing involved in online marketing - what doesn't work is eliminated. What goes well is repeated. Setting up a sales funnel once and then forgetting about it will regularly lead to disappointment. Online marketing is not the right choice for anyone who expects or wants this.

My advice: In order to apply strategies that work, you have to know them first. If your sales funnel isn't working, focus on items like this one. Research which strategies work well and suit your offer. Find out if others have succeeded with your strategy. If so, what exactly did you do? And how can you use this knowledge for yourself? In addition: don't forget the testing! Observe what is going on and what is not, continuously optimize your sales funnel. This is a process that can take weeks or months.

# 4 Spam instead of added value

Many are not so aware that they are actually spamming and not adding any value. This can be observed particularly well on Twitter, by the way: some people there do nothing other than “buy my product! Buy my product! ”- send tweets. This is spam, not added value. And it's annoying. No matter how good the product is, I would never buy it ;-)

My advice: Regularly review the content you post. Don't just keep an eye on your blog articles, but above all your social media posts. Especially in the social media channels, where communication is very fast-paced, you sometimes tend not to even notice that you are doing too much promotion and delivering too little added value. With a social media editorial plan, for example, I make sure that I don't post promotions too often, but also that I often share good content.

# 5 Expectations too high & impatience

I recently heard a podcast episode about an entrepreneur who was also having trouble making sales. She was rightly proud to have built a community of several thousand people within a few months. Then she brought out a book. It sold 20 times and she was disappointed.

Disappointment is often caused by expectations that are too high and unrealistic. If the whole thing is paired with impatience, the thought of throwing everything away is often inevitable.

My advice: Realize that having a large reach or community doesn't automatically mean that your sales funnel works and sales come in on their own. How many out of 100 landing page visitors subscribe to your newsletter? If it's 10%, that's pretty good! And how many of them end up buying from you? Calculate 1% to 5%, which is a good guideline depending on the offer. And then work out how many email subscribers you need to get the sales you want. If you then have the feeling “Oh God, I can never do that!”, Your previous estimates may have been unrealistic ;-)

# 6 Bad communication

Your offer is in demand, it solves a problem and it is attractive - you think. But your desired customers see it differently, because they do not understand your offer. They neither understand what they are getting nor what problem your offer solves. They may not even know they have a problem ;-)

Putting yourself in the shoes of your own dream customers is the hardest thing in marketing, I think. At least if you are not your own dream customer ;-) But this ability is the basis for being able to successfully market your own offer, no matter how good it is.

My advice: Talk to your desired customers as often as possible. Set up surveys, for example with Surveymonkey, or do a mini market research with the help of a simple Word document. This helps me a lot in developing new online courses and other offers, but of course also in the planning and production of free content. Pay attention not only to WHAT your dream customer wants, but also HOW they name what they want. Is he talking about “customer acquisition” or “acquisition”? These are important insights that you can and should use for your marketing.

# 7 No consistency

Marketing is a discipline that requires perseverance. Whether you use blog articles, podcasts, videos, or webinars to fill your sales funnel, you need to be consistent in your marketing efforts. Don't even stop for three weeks because you “don't have time”. Nobody said that marketing costs no time! Well, at least not me ;-) Nevertheless, marketing, especially online marketing, is much better than cold calling because you can reach a lot more people with the same effort.

My advice: Think about which marketing activities you want to carry out regularly and create a marketing plan. Always keep your sales funnel in mind and to what extent your marketing is causing it to fill. Then use tools like an editorial plan to ensure consistency.

If all of that gets too much for you, work with Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) to outsource individual tasks. I recently had a very good experience with Fiverr. The main thing is that the consistency and quality are right! You don't have to do every social media posting yourself. For example, Julia now supports me in planning my tweets: She takes on the operational work, i.e. planning the blog articles, podcasts or videos I have selected via Hootsuite. This is how I can ensure consistency on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter now :-)

What's the problem?

A well-functioning sales funnel is not rocket science, but neither is it built overnight. Find out exactly where your sales funnel is actually stuck: Traffic? Traffic quality? Do the customers not understand your offer?

There are many reasons why some sales funnels work great and others don't. I have shown some of them to you in this article and gave you tips on how to meet these challenges.

My questions to you:

Leave a comment, I'm looking forward to it :-)