We learned about a sales funnel, why are sales funnel important,understanding
its stages in-depth in Part – I: Key Sales Funnel Stages For An International Education Agency.
In this post, we will cover topics such as how to use the content for each sales funnel stage, how to create sales funnel for your business, and how to optimize it.
But before all of that, let's glance at the 4 essential elements besides the usual sales funnel or what an ideal sales funnel for your education agency should look like?
The 4 crucial attributes to win over in each stage besides Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action are Storytelling, Automation, Confidence, and Winning Trust. These would determine the success of your sales funnel.
Of course, finding the cracks or leaks at various stages will help you pinpoint and optimize your operations, marketing, sales area, etc. The purpose is to identify & rectify:-
- The bottlenecks in your sales process
- From which stage you are losing track of potential leads
- The factors that are accelerating your leads to pass through a funnel
Both marketing and sales team usually adopts different strategies, tools, and tactics to optimize each stage of their sales process. We will cover this in detail later in the post.
For now, let’s start from the beginning.
Every prospect you’ll ever provide consultation will have different needs or reasons to opt for your service or product. In fact, they all make buying decisions differently. Thus, one universal sales funnel will never work for all. Obviously, you’ll need to make the best of it from experience.
Whether a prospect approaches you for guidance on a study in Australia or to secure OSHC for Australia or visa lodging assistance - until you weave a story around your pitch along with creating awareness - it will not be fruitful.
Storytelling isn’t about making some fictitious story but sharing a relevant example from your experience working in the industry. This is to propel the prospect to believe in your ability to handle the task at hand.
In today’s time, wherein if you don’t act upon a new lead within the first five minutes, there are higher chances of losing business [Check more on it here]. To compete with the more prominent education agencies, small businesses have to rely on process automation. This would free them up from manual processing and handling. Moreover, they could provide more attention to the needs of their clients.
This could be achieved via sales and marketing automation tools, depending upon your sales funnel. Education agents should look into CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, marketing automation, sales automation, OSHC comparison platform, etc.
Most agents would say no or turn their heads away from adopting such tools purely because of two reasons. Either they do not wish to spend extra for tools, or they like to do everything by themselves due to the entrepreneurial spirit in them.
But, what if it is free? Yes, you can become a KONPARE partner at no charge. In fact, the OSHC comparison tool is an additional revenue-generating platform for your international education agency. Request for a quick demo here.
According to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc., nearly 51% of sales organizations have already deployed or plan to deploy sales execution tools & technologies in the next five years powered by AI.
To understand & explore Confidence & Winning Trust we will need to focus on creating your sales funnel.
How to Create a Sales Funnel for Your Business?
Which factors you need to keep in mind or steps to follow to build your own sales funnel? For that, we will have to concentrate on the top, middle, and the bottom of funnel.
Both storytelling & automation are more likely to be a part of your marketing efforts and hence, lies on top of the funnel sections.
None of your sales efforts should appear in the Awareness & Interest stages. The top section has to be filled with all your marketing campaigns.
During the first two stages, your primary objective is to offer help & solve the client’s problem. Try to analyze, gather facts & figures to understand the needs & problems.
This would make your clients have intuitive confidence in your services. Furthermore, once you gather all the data & insights, you can customize the solution use it up in the middle of the funnel.
Meanwhile, your marketing campaign should focus on engaging & educating leads on topics of their interest. May it be in the form of a blog, video, podcast, social media post, newsletter, email campaigns. Basically, the ideal sales funnel for an education agency should include maximum engagement activities to help them move down your sales pipeline.
Try to avoid sales calls, sales emails, webinars, sales & product pages until you are sure that the visitor is no longer just a prospect but also a lead.
It is also noteworthy that your CTAs will work more effectively on a tailored-made sales landing page rather than a blog.
It would be best to hold on to any sales offers until you are sure that you have won a client's trust. Remember, Confidence & Winning Trust happens at every stage.
How to Use the Content for Each Stage of the Sales Funnel?
Step 1: Analyze Your Audience's Behavior (where do they click, page activity, etc.)
Step 2: Capture Prospect's Attention (organic ads, infographics, videos, etc.)
Step 3: Build A Landing Page (strong CTA with an offer, free e-book, video guide, etc.)
Step 4: Traffic & Lead Generation Strategies (Google Adwords, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, etc.)
Step 5: Upsell & Retention (sharing educational content, special discount, fee waiver, etc.)
By tracking conversion rates, you can measure the success of your sales funnel. For instance, how many of them signed up for an email list or clicked on an ad, etc. A few checkpoints to consider are as follows:
- Is your initial content capturing the attention of visitors?
- Do prospects trust you to share their contact information?
- Are your email campaigns & other marketing efforts running successfully?
- Do existing customers come back for more services, etc.?
The Need To Optimize Your Sales Funnel
A prospect has lots of options, and thus, marketing efficiently is the only way out. An optimized sales funnel will help you streamline and smoothly allow your clients to move to the next funnel stage.
How To Optimize Your Sales Funnel?
The best way to optimize your funnel is by focusing on points when your customer moves to the next stage. Run multiple organic & paid ads but customize them according to each buyer persona based on the data & insights you collected.
A/B testing your landing pages or email campaigns will also help you to convert prospects more efficiently. Wherever necessary, change language, images, offers, etc., to resonate with your target audience’s needs.
If one strategy doesn’t work, try to inculcate another one with a different approach. Whether you target OSHC health insurance, or visa application, enrollments, etc., test & align your headlines, body copy, images, and CTA.
Finally, the sales funnel optimization will work like a charm once you also tend to track customer retention rates. Whether they come back and opt for more services, do they refer friends, etc.
Building and optimizing a sales funnel is not an easy task, but it must be done to survive in a competitive marketplace. However, it is recommended to take your time instead of pushing your leads with the forceful sale. Build a sales funnel that represents what you and your customers want.