“It is possible to make money sleeping”. This phrase can cause distrust in many people. However, it is true. It’s that famous saying: “work while they sleep”, but adapted to the technological reality in which society finds itself.
No, you won’t need to spend hours working like a workaholic. By knowing the concept of a sales funnel, you will know how to generate qualified leads and profit in a short time.
By the end of this reading, you will be able to generate sales online and earn money while you sleep. Check out the topics that will be covered:
What is a Sales Funnel
The sales funnel, also known as the pipeline, is the path that a customer takes from the moment he or she meets a company until the purchase is finalized. It is important to emphasize that this does not end after purchase: the path continues even after conversion.
And, for it to be covered in an organized way, it is the company’s duty to create an efficient funnel, divided into stages such as top, middle and bottom.
You, company or entrepreneur, must produce adequate content for each step of the funnel. For example, providing free materials to turn visitors into leads.
Sales Funnel Steps
According to Thiago Romariz, head of content and PR at EBANX, content “educates” the top of the funnel.
This statement couldn’t be more accurate! After all, the top of the funnel is when your visitor will become a lead.
Many Marketing experts say that this is the stage of awareness because, until then, your visitor didn’t even know he had a certain problem. When he comes in contact with your content, he identifies a problem and starts looking for ways to solve it.
An example: here in Brazil, there is no financial education subject in most school grades. Soon, many grow up with this gap in training. Anyway, college, work, travel and marriage (in some cases) happen without this deep knowledge of finance. That is, for most people this problem does not exist.
However, when contacting an e-book titled “The Basics of Financial Education”, a person realizes that they are investing wrongly and that savings are not the best place to save money. In addition, he also notes that, as he is now, he will have financial problems in his retirement.
There, problem identified! It is natural that she starts to look for more knowledge on the subject to solve this identified demand.
So it’s easy to understand the importance of educating the top of the funnel. This is the moment when the company/entrepreneur must position itself as an authority on the subject. This is the stage in which there is more movement, whether by visitors or material.
The production of content for the top of the funnel must be continuous as, most of the time, people will contact your company through these materials.
By producing rich content such as e-books, webinars or infographics, you will be providing material capable of helping your visitor and, in return, you will receive their data, turning them into a lead. That way you can advance it into the funnel.
Middle of Funnel
In the middle of a funnel, your visitor has already identified that they have a problem and, therefore, they are no longer just a visitor. He’s already interacted on some content produced by you in some way, so he’s become a lead.
Despite having already understood that there is a problem, at this stage of the sales funnel the person is still not looking to buy. This is the time to just consider the purchase. That is, the lead is evaluating various options in the market and seeing which one fits their needs and budget.
At the top of the funnel, you’ve already shown yourself to be an authority for that person, remember? Now is the time to build a trusting relationship with her. Stay calm, don’t run over the process and don’t offer products in any way.
The lead has already read a lot about the subject and has already consumed a lot of free materials. Your goal should be to help him with practical tips and techniques, even if, in the future, he decides to buy another company’s product.
If the second step of the sales funnel is the consideration of the purchase, the bottom of the funnel is the decisive moment. In other words, now you make your name and want to sell your product and/or service.
A certain person has identified that you have a problem, saw you as an authority on the subject, started consuming your content, and came to the conclusion that he cannot solve his issues alone: he needs to buy something to help him.
It is at this stage that MQLs ( Qualified Marketing Leads ) appear. That is, the guys who are ready to be taken to the sales team and close the deal!
On our blog, you can read more about metrics, management and lead generation methods.
And if you want to know a little more about all the steps in a sales funnel, you can watch this video.
A working Sales Funnel
You already understand all the steps. Now, check out a practical example to, once and for all, fix this knowledge:.
“Unfortunately, you’re stricken with bad breath, which is very bad. So, when looking for causes of bad breath, you find Dentinho’s blog. There, at the top of the funnel, you discover that one of the causes of bad breath is tartar.” Identified problem: you have tartar.
So, you sign up for that office’s email list to start receiving tips on how to eliminate tartar: that way, you’ve already become a lead. Right now, we’re in the middle of the funnel.
In the meantime, you start looking at Dentinho’s website for methods and techniques to remove tartar from your tooth. After all, you want to get rid of bad breath. But it’s worth remembering that, at this stage, you’re consuming content from several different sites.
After a lot of research and trying, you realize that you won’t be able to solve this problem yourself. You’re going to need a cleanup: we’ve reached the bottom of the funnel. We urgently need to make an appointment to do a thorough cleaning. For sure, you will remember Dentinho’s Office, the one who helped you there at the beginning of this “ungrateful” journey.
For you, the problems with tartar are coming to an end. For the office, you have become an MQL and will soon be passed on to someone from the secretariat to make an appointment.
See how easy it is to build an efficient sales funnel? Now for the interesting part: our dear dentist Dentinho didn’t write that blog post JUST for you. That content was produced at some point and, over the years, served to educate the top of the funnel, as explained at the beginning of this text.
It is possible that you read the post at 3 am on a Sunday, while Doctor Dentinho was sleeping peacefully. From that moment on, you were inserted in the sales funnel of his office without him “moving a finger”.
How to Create an Efficient Sales Funnel?
Creating a sales funnel is not a “small bug,” far from it. On the other hand, doing it efficiently can be a little more complicated task. However, let’s get rid of this complexity. Basically, if you want to create a sales funnel capable of working while you sleep, you need to follow five very simple steps. Are they:
1. Define who your persona is
First, you need to know which persona is different from the target audience, however complementary they are. It may sound silly, but it’s important to take the time to think about your persona and then, even longer, to “draw it”.
A single business can have multiple personas and “talk” to all of them at the same time, but you need to define who they are: you need to know who you’re selling to. The copy, content distribution and CTAs are some targets that change according to the persona. In general, almost everything is different when we talk about different avatars .
When creating a persona, it is important to take into account certain factors such as profession, age, gender, region, salary range, hobbies, marital status, desires and fears, for example. It’s much more complete than just thinking about the target audience.
2. Create offers for the persona
Now that you’ve defined who you’re going to sell to, you need to start creating content and offers for those people. As stated above, the content changes depending on the avatar. Always remember this.
The sales funnel logic is: a visitor knows your site, becomes a lead, an opportunity, and then a customer. So he needs to get into your funnel somehow. Hence, the importance of creating offers based on the personas of your digital business.
A very important tip is the use of mental triggers . You can use them in your communication to be more persuasive and assertive in driving the lead to the offer, as well as in converting the offer itself.
Before wanting to sell something, you need to add value. So, offer free webinars , e-books, infographics and templates in exchange for the visitor’s name and email address.
3 . Automate email flows
The automation of e-mails is essential for a well-built funnel because, in addition to streamlining the work of the online entrepreneur, it makes the CAC (Virtual Taxpayer Service Center) much smaller. After all, leads will always be “warm up” and, therefore, have greater potential to become customers in the future.
Streams can contain rich content, newsletters, updates and offers. This is a way to keep your lead base always in touch with your business, even if it’s not offering products directly.
Again, back to that conversation of making sales while you sleep: Automating emails will make your business available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If a lead converts to one of your landing pages, it immediately receives the content. That is, the need to make all the manual effort ends.
4. Produce relevant content
You need relevant content for two reasons: First, to get people into your funnel. Second, for them to remain in their structure until the purchase is made, which is more complicated. These contents can be produced through social networks, email marketing, newsletters, blogs, among others.
Content that is made for sales should take the lead to one place: your offer. But don’t forget the 95% educational content and only 5% sales-oriented content, ok?
This number is important because people can no longer stand being harassed by invasive advertisements.
Remember that, in the first two stages of the funnel, your main mission is to inform and educate. The selling part is just for the bottom of the funnel.
5. Create Enchanting Landing Pages
The lead has gone through every step of your sales funnel and has come to the conclusion that you are the right person to help. So, he goes to his sales page and is surprised by a lot of clutter: wrong words, too much unfounded information, incomplete texts, random images…
Anyway, a real mess. Would you, in place of this lead, trust the company?
Your landing page is the perfect place to write a good copy, make the offer clear and have good support for any doubts. In addition, of course, to offering an interesting quality product for sales.
Do you want more tips for creating an efficient sales funnel? Check out this video recorded in partnership with Pontomais, the largest time attendance platform in Latin America, and create your funnel right now.
The Buying Journey
The buying journey is something that practically collides with the concept of a sales funnel. Each persona in your business has a distinct shopping journey and it’s your job to “talk” to all of these personas.
In general, the buying journey is divided into four very well-defined stages: discovery; recognition of the problem; consideration of the solution and decision to purchase. These are the same points covered within a sales funnel.
Sales Funnel + Buying Journey
You’re invited to a wedding that’s planned a year from now, or when the pandemic passes: free food, everyone likes it.
At first, you stop and think: “I don’t know if I have the right clothes for the event”, but you go on with your life. Thus began the learning and discovery of the problem.
As the months go by, you’ll realize that you really don’t have the outfit you need to go to the wedding. That is, you start the problem recognition phase. These first two steps, discovery and recognition, are at the top of the funnel.
Now that you’ve identified the problem, you’ll start to consider a solution. Is it better to rent or buy an outfit for the wedding? How many stores in your city do this? Are they open? Is it possible to buy online? Is this friend who is going to marry such a friend? The last one was a joke.
Ok, you don’t have clothes, you didn’t like the options that are for rent and you decided to buy. Simple: you go to the site you liked the most, find yourself in doubt between three models and make the purchase for the wedding. Thus, it has already secured itself for the event, even in social isolation. We reach the bottom of the funnel.
This was a simple everyday example. Throughout life, this type of decision is very common. However, this shopping journey can often be difficult and time-consuming. If you’ve never traveled to the United States and aren’t fluent in English, the shopping journey to a Disney vacation can be a little more complex than choosing an outfit for your friend’s wedding.
Once again, the importance of a well-structured sales pipeline is reiterated . The more content, the more tips, techniques and help, the more likely people are to become buyers.
“Do I really need a sales funnel?”
Don’t feel bad about the question: it’s normal for companies and entrepreneurs to think that way. After all, creating an efficient sales funnel is not an easy task. However, you do need a sales funnel.
There are some steps within digital entrepreneurship that are critical, for example, mapping out where your leads are coming from. You need to know which channel in your company is performing best and, when you identify a flaw, fix it as quickly as possible.
A well-structured sales funnel offers several advantages, such as:
Do you really believe your business will thrive without these elements?
You must already be “ace” in the sales funnel, right? So it’s time to get “hands-on”!
Remember what was discussed at the beginning about selling while you sleep? Imagine that, at your little nap time, a lead converts in your funnel and asks to receive the free e-book. Obviously, he will want to receive the material right away.
At that point, enter the various tools you’ll need to use to create a powerful sales funnel. First, a device to create landing pages with offers for your audience.
When a visitor converts to some of your material, he becomes a lead. But where do all these leads go? You need a platform capable of building your lead list in a way that you can communicate with them.
You’ll also need a tool capable of automating your processes, that is, sending materials and sending out e-mails without having to do all this manually for each new lead. It’s so much that it gets tiring just reading…
However, there is a tool capable of concentrating all this in just one place. Furthermore, by using it, you can build an efficient sales funnel without needing a programmer, designer or Marketing agency.
Even better: you’ll be able to do this in just a few minutes. Check out this video and learn how to create your sales funnel in less than twenty minutes.
Are you ready to build and run your sales funnel? Before, understand better about the scenario in which Content Marketing finds itself and how the sector is moving in a period of social isolation.
Content Marketing in the Sales Funnel
As already exemplified, the top of the sales funnel is a crucial step in captivating your potential customer. It is the time when you must “educate him”, sharing quality content and proving to be an authority on the subject.
Most of the time, users will come in contact with your products or services through these materials. Due to its importance, a specific part of this text will be dedicated only to the subject.
What is Content Marketing?
It is a Marketing strategy focused on engaging your target audience and increasing your network of customers and potential customers (leads) through content creation . But it’s not just any kind of content, it must be relevant.
This means that the main objective will be to generate value for people, in order to create a positive image of your brand so that sales occur naturally.
Even if the objective is to sell, the focus should not be that during production. Try to bring in your material information, benefits, data, contextualization and curiosities about the theme. Think about helping others with what you can best share.
Clear up doubts, teach the reader or viewer, have empathy: this is related to healing the “pains” of your persona. Sales will only be a consequence of the entire process executed in a clear and professional manner.
How to produce quality content?
First, keep in mind your target audience and your persona’s needs. This way, it will be easier to define the subjects, language and approach of your posts. After defining some agendas, that is, specific themes, think about gathering relevant information related to them.
On the other hand, it can’t be just any information: stick to reliable sources such as Research Institutes, market professionals who have experience or training in what you will be covering and data shared by renowned media outlets.
There is still another way, even more creative, to make your content full of professionalism: do interviews with people in the field and address specific topics that are related to your product or service.
Thus, it is possible to “catch a hook” and start listing the benefits and characteristics of what you sell, without turning the material into something completely advertising.
Pillars like good writing, links to other content (internal and external), quality images, citation of sources and SEO should not be forgotten. Only then will you have chances to stand out from the competition.
Also, don’t forget to adapt the language to the chosen platform: find out how, next!
Where to post content and why?
Social networks, blogs, institutional websites and emails. There are several platforms for serving your brand’s content. Each requires a distinct language, format, and approach for the strategy to work.
Before, you need to keep in mind that content production is not restricted to writing: videos, podcasts, photos, infographics and other images are also part of this universe.
And that’s exactly why you should also think about design when starting to produce content, especially for social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube are some examples of social networks. Instagram is primarily a visual network with a mostly younger audience. Therefore, strive for quality images, with good lighting and a determined focus.
Well-constructed captions that complement the photos are also very much needed. Besides, videos for IGTV and reels are other options of the tool. Speaking of videos, don’t forget YouTube. There, content production should be focused on denser audiovisual products, but that still manage to hold the reader’s attention.
LinkedIn has a more professional appeal. Informative texts, data and graphics are a good bet for a good dialogue with the public. On Facebook, mixing images and shorter texts can bring satisfactory results. On Twitter, think about getting your message across as directly as possible and on TikTok, focus on dynamism and humor.
Usually, it’s very difficult to be able to dedicate yourself to all platforms with the same commitment. So choose the one that most relates to your target audience and focus on it. This does not prevent you from dialoguing with different audiences, but there must be a focus of communication for quality.
Most customers want authenticity from the brands they are involved with and make purchases with. This trend makes the “conversational tone” to be prioritized in the content. Even if your audience is highly formal, try to humanize your contact with them. Be open to dialogue to increase engagement.
Also, personalization is a big trend for this year. The contemporary shopper expects companies to share highly personalized experiences.
The more you target your buyers and define your persona, the more personalized content you can deliver. The goal of providing dynamic content is not just to produce interesting content, but to deliver the ideal content to drive your leads further into the sales funnel.
With HeroSpark, you’ll be able to create highly converting funnels that generate real results for your digital business. Build your sales funnel in less than five minutes, without depending on programmers, designers or agencies. Learn more and have a funnel optimized for your goals.