How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel

A perfect sales funnel is the dream of every business. Actually building that perfect process, however, takes a lot of work, constant testing and regular monitoring in order to ensure that visitors are converted into customers.

Some companies, especially startups in the early stage, are content just to see the number of visitors rising without working towards improving the sales funnel. Sooner or later, they’ll have to rework this process if they want to see real success.

Turning visitors into customers relies on two important factors. First, you must find out what makes visitors want to purchase from a website. Second, experiment to figure out how to easily nudge visitors through the sales funnel. Here are some proven ways to reach those goals.

Show Credibility

One of the biggest turnoffs for a potential customer is a website that looks untrustworthy due to design flaws. A study from Stanford University showed that users determine credibility in a fairly superficial way through layout, color, clean writing and so on. This study shows how important it is to have a sleek, functional site with no glaring errors. Even one flaw that you might not notice could be enough to lose a percentage of your customers.

One way to prove credibility is through testimonials on the product page. A well-placed testimonial can help build trust in ways that sales copy never could. Not just any testimonial will do, as the ideal testimonial needs to back up your claims and show the benefits of your product.

Depending on what you’re selling, going in-depth with a case study can be even more effective than a testimonial. Try both and see what works best at attracting customers.

Tailor Your Message

Trust is a great thing to have. A semi-personal touch can also be helpful. Customizing your message by coding your website to include a visitor’s city or state can be useful if done intelligently. This design just one of the many tools you can test out to see if it works for your company.

Explaining a Complex Product

Not all products are self-explanatory. If what you’re selling is specialized or complicated, you need to communicate effectively with webpage visitors or you’ll end up losing them.

You probably can afford to be more in-depth than you would be for a simpler product. In some cases, it’s best to have a step-by-step process that includes how the product works and the differences between each model. When mapping out your approach, examine other effective examples of what a step-by-step process for a complicated product looks like.

Optimize Your Page

People spend countless hours building the perfect sales funnel, but they often neglect one of the most important factors: website speed. When a webpage loads slowly, visitors drop off at an alarming rate and won’t come back.

Web users expect a page to load in two seconds or less, according to surveys, and will leave the site if it takes much longer than that. Surveys also found that 79 percent of online shoppers who experience slow load times won’t come back to the site.

Don’t Forget the End

It’s natural to focus so much attention on getting the sale that you overlook the post-sale process. When the sales funnel comes to an end, there are still opportunities for a business. The Udemy blog breaks this down into two levels of customers: loyal fans and repeat customers. The fans might be keen to share their shopping experience with others, so why not encourage them to do so?

Repeat customers are even better, as they’re the gift that keeps on giving thanks to their continued support. Repeat customers can’t be easily found, as they’re the result of a great product or service and an effective sales funnel.

When you’re fine-tuning your sales tunnel, do so with the goal of creating loyal fans and repeat customers.

Image by Clark Street Mercantile

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Written by:
Kayla Matthews is a tech productivity blogger who writes for MakeUseOf and The Gadget Flow. Follow Kayla on Google+ and Twitter, or read her latest posts on her blog, Productivity Bytes.
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