Building an effective sales funnel for your present & future
An effective sales funnel is the future of your business. It is the process that transforms consumers in your market into leads, then prospects and eventually your customers. The keys to an effective sales funnel are:
(1) Get leads into the top of your funnel & don’t let them fall out.
(2) Consistently identify which leads are prospects and move them down the funnel.
(3) Efficiently convert prospects into customers.
(4) Innovate, improve and REPEAT.
Get leads into the top and don’t let them fall out.
Pretty much all customers start as leads. A lead is a person who generally qualifies as a prospect for you now or in the future. In the pool business that is basically a homeowner with reasonable income who wants a pool. Based on our data of over 594,000 pool customers roughly 15% of households that inquire about getting a pool will purchase a pool within 5 years.
Keep leads in your sales funnel for 5 years to maximize sales.
The numbers speak for themselves. Basically for every 100 consumers that enter your sales funnel, 15 of them will buy pools within 5 years. If you only focus on leads that are immediate prospects, and you do a relatively good job converting leads into prospects and then into customers you will close 20% to 30%. That equals between 3 to 5 new customers – not bad!
However, if you do a good job keeping most of these 100 leads in your sales funnel for 5 years, you may capture between 50% to 60% of those customers. That could mean an additional 7 to 10 additional projects for every 100 leads over 5 years.
Whats make such a big difference?
Most of your competitors do not have an effective sale funnels. In other words everyone is spending almost all of their resources chasing the lowest hanging fruit, and the same low hanging fruit (meaning the same leads).
Also most pool builders do not leverage the benefits that come from building brand recognition with consumers. A ‘lead’ today is a ‘prospect’ next year and a customer the year after that. If you start while they are a lead and continue to nurture them through the funnel, they will never be your competitor’s low hanging fruit – they will ONLY be yours.
Also we all know that referrals are the gravy. An effective sales channel creates the sweetest of low hanging fruit – the referral.
Once you build an effective sales funnel, you will be the only one harvesting the middle and high fruit. The trick is to figure out how to “set it and forget it.” The good news is that with technology you can do it. Is this worth your investment?
Is this worth your investment? We think so because effectively keeping leads in your funnel can increase your revenue 2 to 3 times.
Technology techniques to keep leads in your sales funnel
There is a HUGE positive difference to your bottom line if you effectively keep leads in your funnel. Almost all leads have value. The key is setting up automated systems to nurture all of your leads. Properly nurturing your leads will:
(1) Keep them in your funnel so that you can get the most possible sales out of your leads over time.
This is most easily be accomplished with a combination of social media engagement and direct communication via automated drip marketing campaign. Social media and technical communication platforms are the only efficient way to stay in touch with your lead funnel.
(2) Once you have your systems in place you need to create a consistent, evolving content strategy.
This is a fancy way of figuring out what you are going to tell your leads, when are you are going to say it and how are you going to say it. Content strategies are effective if they are designed and implemented well. Haphazardly posting pictures or emailing the same message multiple times will not have the effect of nurturing your leads like a well developed media campaign will.
Your content should have multiple objectives:
(1) Keep leads entertained and engaged so that they continue to look at your content.
(2) Slow-cook leads into prospects which means feeding their desire to get a pool, addressing the logical questions about getting a pool, building a relationship of familiarity and trust and creating triggers so that you can easily identify when it is time to treat an individual lead like a prospect.
(3) Your content should also help you build referral channels. One of the best thing about qualified pool consumers is that they know and hang out with other pool people. Creating incentives to share content and information about your business will feed the above objectives and also continue to fill your pipeline with new leads.
If this sounds overwhelming – well it can be, but you are a lot closer than you think. We can help. If you have questions feel free to reach out – you and our industry has a friend in technology center of San Francisco.
David Grossblatt , @dmgrossblatt
In addition to running Swimming Pool Quotes (for the last 10 years), David runs the Founder’s Dojo in the heart of San Francisco. Founder’s Dojo is an incubator for cutting edge technology companies.