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Do you have a highly trafficked site but aren’t getting enough sales of your web development services? Are customers clicking through your emails but failing to commit to your service?

Identifying problems in your customer acquisition starts with analyzing your sales funnel and redesigning it based on what strategies are most effective. Having a well-designed sales funnel means taking a holistic view of each stage of the process, not putting all of your energy into one aspect. Adopting this broad-ranging approach not only helps you attract quality leads and keep them, but it also drives customer loyalty and can even lead to referrals from satisfied customers.

Why Your Web Development Business Need a Sales Funnel

All businesses need a sales funnel, whether offering web development services or a physical product like socks. That’s because most customers don’t make a purchase the first time they see a new product or service. First, they acknowledge that a product or service exists. Then they think about it. Or they forget about the product or service and run across it later. Maybe they show some interest but aren’t yet sure the solution meets the need and is right for them.

The journey from the first contact to actually closing the sale can often be a long one. Most experts agree that it takes between seven and 15 touch points before a customer actually makes a sale.

So if you’re selling web development services, you want to control this journey so the customer ultimately ends up at the final destination of purchasing from you. A sales funnel is your plan to get them there, a programmatic series of interactions that helps in building awareness, drawing interest, and ultimately leading to a purchase.

All businesses need one or more sales funnels today because there’s a lot of competition online. Without one, a customer likely will see your service and then buy from someone else who has guided them with a sales funnel.

So how do you build a good sales funnel? Start with these five key tips.

  1. Traffic Generation BoostersDrawing traffic to your website is the primary mode of contact with leads. But how can you track the effectiveness of different methods of traffic generation?Sponsored ads are only worthwhile if they are converting into quality leads. Affiliate ads through partner sites (bloggers, loyal customers, complementary businesses) can be more effective. Affiliate ads work by giving the sites that host the ads a cut of every sale. So if a content writing business promotes your web development company on its site with one of your affiliate ads, the business gets a small percentage of the sale—and you only pay if the leads they send convert into paying customers. That’s win-win.But in order to evaluate their impact and pay out those who refer business to you, you need to have a system for tracking clicks and commission. Affiliate software can help streamline the process by tracking clicks and calculating commission, so you’re only paying for clicks that lead to actual sales.

    A good example is the affiliate program that we offer at ResellerClub.

    You can also increase organic traffic to your site by boosting the content. High-quality content such as blog posts and webinars allow you to add value to your products and increase engagement with leads and customers. Guest blog posts on other sites can also boost your SEO by driving links from trusted sources back to your landing page.

  2. Improve Lead Acquisition EfficienciesMake sure that the leads who click through to your site are immediately presented with a clear description of what your company has to offer, and a direct Call to Action (CTA). You don’t want to lose quality leads at the landing page level because your copy is confusing, or there’s no clear way to engage.Make sure your landing page not only has eye-catching branding, but also content that spells out your product or service. Communication is key here. Leads want to feel valued and have a clear understanding of your product. This includes having the option to contact a team member for a more personalized experience, which can be accomplished through Live Chat software. Leads who feel that a company is responsive and communicative are three times as likely to become customers.
  3. Increase Lead ConversionsAfter driving traffic, the next step for converting leads is instituting lead magnets on your landing page. Lead magnets are strategies for collecting lead data in exchange for a sample of your product or service.Convincing leads to sign up for a free service is an excellent first step. But moving from attracting leads to increase lead conversion, requires a great deal of persistence. If leads signed up for a mailing list or free trial, don’t just abandon the outreach. If they don’t voluntarily sign up for a paid subscription after a free trial month, consider other options for engagement, including offering discounts or special deals.For leads who follow your CTAs, generate a thank you page that provides them with more relevant services and ways to engage with your company. Constantly assessing how your affiliate ads are performing can also lead to some clues on where your quality leads are coming from and what stage conversion is occurring.
  4. Activate Your CRM SoftwareLead conversion and acquisition are challenging without a system that centralizes all of your data related to individual customers. That is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software becomes invaluable. CRM systems allow you to streamline your sales and support channels and track customer data, all on one platform.But collecting this data is only step one. Make the most of it by personalizing interactions through email marketing segmentation, targeted ads, and other tools that tailor your customer interaction to the individual. A/B testing gives you the opportunity to track how well your messaging is performing, and to adjust accordingly.
  5. Ways to Build Loyalty That LastsOnce you’ve converted leads to customers, retaining their loyalty is key. Not only do repeat customers provide 40 per cent of all sales on average, but loyal customers can also aid in the lead acquisition by becoming brand ambassadors.Achieving this goal starts with building customer loyalty. Offering perks and rewards to customers is a good place to start. Some companies offer a rewards or points system, while others provide discounts and insider access in exchange for an annual fee.Amazon Prime is a high profile example of a company that provides great value for an annual membership. Deciding which model works for your company is entirely up to you. But it is important that you build in a system for rewarding loyal customers; that is an indispensable stage in your sales funnel, much as persistence is necessary to boost lead conversions.

    Customer loyalty is also based on a sense of trust and communication. Your blog posts and support articles are an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to your customers that you care about their success. Blogging also helps you manage your business’ image and visibility to potential leads. Make sure you are constantly updating your content to reflect current best practices of your company.

But Only if You Look at Your Funnel

Identifying the different stages of your sales funnel can help you develop more efficient strategies for converting leads and acquiring customers. Take stock of the different stages to identify what’s working and what’s not.

The most successful companies are constantly assessing the effectiveness of different approaches along all stages of the sales funnel. Don’t stop at driving more traffic to your site or satisfying existing customers. Activating these tools along the sales funnel will lead to more effective customer acquisition and growth for your company.

JT Ripton

JT RiptonJT Ripton is a business consultant and freelance business and marketing writer out of Tempe, AZ. You can follow him on Twitter @JTRipton.

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