Sales funnel optimisation: 4 common problems and how to fix them

When it comes to optimising the sales funnel, many businesses start by trying to increase their website traffic or the number of leads they have coming in. However, if the rest of your sales funnel doesn’t perform, you’ll end up wasting time, money and opportunities when leads don’t convert.

We’ve gathered the top four areas where companies often find problems in their sales funnel, so that you can focus your time on the area that will have the highest impact.

You have a large but inactive database

This points towards an issue in the middle of your funnel and is common for many companies.

You have a database of contacts that you have built over the years, but they’re rarely on your website or converting, and they’ve likely lost touch with your brand.

It could be that GDPR has left you feeling anxious about how you reach out to these clients, or maybe your outreach methods have become tired and repetitive.

This is the time to review how you keep in touch. Do you send email newsletters or nurture campaigns that are proving ineffective? Do you have a dedicated sales team in place with diarised activities to keep in touch with leads and contact them at the right times?

Sometimes in instances such as this, it can be beneficial to review your database, archiving anyone who hasn’t interacted with your business for some time or simply doesn’t fall within your target market.

Once you have a more manageable list of potential clients that you know you can reach out to, take steps to nurture them, for instance through email marketing or telemarketing.

If you can identify how they initially reached out to you, start there and send them relevant information. If they don’t respond to this or you aren’t sure which product or service they’re interested in, try a more general approach that splits out into different silos.

It may seem like a big job, but a good nurture programme can be key to any successful funnel and will pay off both in conversions and time saved in the future.

You have a large database and target them regularly, but they don’t convert

If you are having trouble getting your database to convert even with regular engagement, there are two main possibilities.

Your messaging is missing the mark:

Think about the tone of your communication. Maybe you are too sales focused too early and need to build more of a picture about each contact.

For example, if you’re an invoice finance company and somebody filled out a form to download your eBook “10 ways to grow your business”, they haven’t indicated a strong buying intent.

Bombarding them with sales heavy messaging or calls about your invoice finance products is unlikely to have a very high success rate.

Warm them up slowly with more content that they might find useful. Why not send them a link to your new blog “How invoice finance can help businesses to grow”, which cleverly links to a landing page called “Which invoice finance solution is most suitable for my business?”.

You’re targeting the wrong people:

If you aren’t targeting the right people, your chances of converting them are almost zero, no matter what messaging you use.

Using the example above, if your database contains companies that don’t trade on credit terms, they’re not going to be a good fit for your services.

Consider your target customer, what their interests are, their challenges and where they spend their time online. Then make sure your messaging, channels and offering aligns with this.

You have good website traffic but few leads

If this is the case, there’s a good chance that your website isn’t geared towards gathering data and your calls to action need optimising.

Consider the type of website you run. If you’re a service-based company, are you using a mix of call back requests, live chat and quote tools – and crucially linking to the right CTA at the right time? If you’ve built a great bank of content or resources, gated white papers, eBooks and subscription forms can be a great way to generate leads.

Try and find a way of offering value that will convince visitors to hand over their contact details, and make it clear to them that this is the logical next step with eye catching CTAs.

You have a high conversion rate but low traffic

This is by far the nicest problem to have. It shows that your sales funnel does work, and you’re in a great position to scale it up. The key is finding new ways to drive traffic to your website or to encourage enquiries and generate leads by other means.

Paid advertising is perhaps the quickest way to drive relevant traffic if you’re willing to spend money and feel confident you can achieve a good return on investment.

But there are other more longer term, cost-effective strategies that can help to increase customers.

For instance, by optimising your website for search engines, you can make sure you appear in front of companies searching for your services. Social media is another channel that can be a huge positive for businesses, especially in the brand-building stake. And telemarketing can help with both aspects, growing your brand amongst your database whilst introducing how you can assist, ensuring that you are the first port of call when a need arises.

What optimisation have you tried on your sales funnel? We’d love to hear what worked for you in the comments below!

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