When someone visits a particular website in search of a specific service or product, some transactions are very simple – the user chooses what they are looking for and pays for it right away. However some transactions need more careful consideration. Cars, homes, business solutions, and anything else that involves large costs are not usually bought impulsively, but rather require more time and thought. Potential customers in these types of transactions have to go through a long and arduous process that involves research, discussion, and negotiation before making a final transaction. This process is widely referred to by marketers and business owners as the sales funnel.
Each stage of a sales funnel is focused on converting qualified traffic into paying clients. And the only way to do this is when the funnel is focused on those leads with the most conversion potential. In other words, it’s about both filtering out the users that don’t intend to become a company’s customers and catering to the target audience.
Although this may seem like a task unrelated to web design, nothing is farther from the truth. Modern web design agencies and teams should be able to provide their clients with a wide range of services related to creating websites. This is especially important when dealing with companies that rely on an online presence as a primary tool for brand awareness, traffic generation, client conversion, and boosting sales. Moreover, providing customers with extensive services wins loyal clients that will always come back to you for assistance (for example, when they need to update their sites), refer new clients to you.
If you have never created a sales funnel, now is the time to start. Let’s take a look at some of the vital basics of this process and how you can implement them into your web design process.
Creating a Path from Lead to Client
It’s important to understand that a sales funnel consists of many steps that gradually convert website visitors into paying clients. Although you can easily find multiple examples of sales funnels on the Internet, each business has its unique version. Someone else’s sales funnel won’t necessarily work for you – your business model, product, service, website, and everything is unique. Therefore, when looking through examples, they should help you get new ideas but not act as an exact blueprint for your own sales funnel.
When developing a sales funnel, it’s important to lay it all out and see the exact number of steps a visitor needs to convert into a customer. Talk to the company you’re creating the site for and discuss this matter with them. It’s imperative to understand what milestone a prospect must reach in order to move on to the next stage.
Checking out a company’s previous analytics and transactions can help develop the funnel you are working on, as you will understand how they handle their sales. If your web design client has already had a website, you should review how many times someone had to return back to their site before converting. It will also help you get a better perspective on what drove some customers away and what made others respond. If your client didn’t have a website before, you could look into this by creating a user persona and examining the way people have responded to this absence on the web.
Defining the Target Audience
It’s natural that not every single person will want to get the products or services your web design client provides. However, there should be enough demand out there to develop and sustain your client’s business. This is why the target audience should always be the main focus of the sales funnel.
This is another point when you can take advantage of user personas. For example, if the company you’re creating the site for is targeting consumers, it’s best to consider such demographics like age, income, gender, and other factors. Whereas if it’s a B2B company, you should review firmographics, including industries, company revenue, company size, and so on.
No matter the approach, it’s vital to always collect as much data as possible. When all the data is collected, it’s time to define the audience segment that best fits the customer portrait.
You should note that you might discover several different audiences at the same time while doing research. In this case, you should determine which audience is the most valuable for the success of your client’s company and consider the other audiences as potential supplementary revenue sources.
Comprehending Customer Purchasing Processes
When narrowing down customer audiences, it’s vital to have an idea of how these people shop. If this process is not understood, it is going to be a lot more difficult to establish a connection between your client’s company and their target audience. A firm grasp of this dynamic will help create the conditions for smoother movement of potential clients through the sales funnel because you will know exactly what to give them at each step of the purchasing process.
Analytics data is one of the most reliable sources for understanding purchasing processes. It allows one to track website visitors, the number of their visits, and the time required for them to make a purchase. While your client’s company will most likely do this in the long run, it’s still best for you as a designer to understand this dimension because you are the one creating the actual funnel.
Developing a Plan for Every Sales Funnel Stage
One final yet basic thing you will have to take care of when creating a sales funnel is to plan out each one of its stages. You will have to outline a particular strategy in detail for every stage. This helps guarantee effective targeting of the client base. The very top of the sales funnel must be focused on drawing as many visitors to the website as possible. At the same time, the following stages must gradually narrow down the visitors to prospective and then actual customers.
It’s also essential to consider how a user will move from one stage to the next one. Always make sure you get as many details as you can from the company you are working with. All the criteria and details must be specific. You and the company should consider actions required for advancement by users and what might turn them away, etc. Considering all of these things will help establish a better connection with the audience and allow for a smoother environment more friendly to prospective customers. Otherwise, you run the risk of focusing to convert the wrong people with the sales funnel instead of the target audience.
Today, web design is not only about creating good-looking sites. It is a complex set of solutions that should end creating user-friendly, converting websites. The sales funnel is a vital part of these sites, and it begins to form in the first stages of website design. It may seem at first that web designers shouldn’t deal with sales funnels because it’s a marketing thing. But, the reality is that if web design specialists are to be effective they must understand this part of any website and be able to incorporate it in the sites they themselves design.