How can I create a sales funnel for my SME?

Your sales funnel is the journey that people go through from not knowing much, if anything about your business to engaging and becoming a paying client or customer.  The first step in creating yours is to map out that journey clearly, then see what you can do at each stage to move the potential customer/client closer to a sale.  The steps are outlined below.  Go through them, be patient, doodle and draw – you’ll soon get your head around it.

Here are some steps to help you create a sales funnel for your small or medium-sized enterprise (SME):

1. Define Your Customer Journey: The first, most important step in creating a sales funnel is to understand your target audience and their needs. To do this, map out the typical stages your customers go through before making a purchase/engaging at a paying level. This might include stages like awareness, interest, consideration, decision, and action.

2. Identify Entry Points: Determine the various channels and touchpoints where potential customers can enter your sales funnel. These could include your website, social media platforms, online ads, referrals, events, or email marketing campaigns.

3. Create Awareness: Develop strategies to attract potential customers and generate awareness about your business. This could involve content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), advertising, partnerships, or public relations efforts. The goal here is to drive traffic to your website or landing pages.

4. Capture Leads: Offer something of value to capture the contact information of interested prospects. This can be done through lead magnets such as ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, or exclusive offers. Use forms or landing pages to collect their information, such as email addresses, names, or phone numbers.

5. Nurture Leads: Once you have captured leads, implement a lead nurturing strategy to build a relationship with them and move them closer to choosing your solution. This can include sending targeted emails, providing valuable content, sharing success stories or testimonials, and addressing common pain points or objections. The aim is to stay front-of-mind and move leads through the different stages of the funnel.

6. Convert Leads: When leads have progressed to the consideration and decision stages, focus on converting them into paying customers. Provide clear product or service information, highlight benefits and unique selling points, offer incentives or limited-time promotions, and address any remaining concerns or objections. Make it easy for leads to take the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a trial.

7. Retain and Upsell: Once leads become clients/customers, continue to engage and nurture the relationship. Offer excellent customer service, provide ongoing value through relevant content or resources, and identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling. Happy customers can become repeat customers and brand advocates.

8. Measure and Optimise: Monitor the performance of your sales funnel by tracking key metrics such as conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, or customer lifetime value. Analyse the data to identify bottlenecks or areas for improvement. Optimise your funnel by making adjustments to your messaging, targeting, or conversion processes based on the insights you gather.

Remember, every business and industry is unique, so your sales funnel should be tailored to your specific needs and target audience. Continually test and refine your funnel based on customer feedback and market changes to maximise its effectiveness in generating leads and driving conversions for your SME.

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