The sales funnel, a visual representation of the large number of prospective clients who become aware of your corporate brand—and then move through engagement to purchase, with numbers progressively getting smaller—is causing problems.
You see, it is being confused for a customer journey. Because this traditional model hasn’t come equipped with opt-out routes, it is being envisioned as a bottle-neck, complete with traffic jams and slowed progress as a large number of potential clients move closer and closer to an end that cannot accommodate their numbers.
And so, corporate brand managers and owners are jumping on-board, albeit subconsciously. They are making the funnel simple to enter, but hard to exit. They’re making the act of joining easy, but the act of buying difficult.
This is what the sales funnel has become for some—and the detriment could reach your corporate brand, in the form of consumer frustration and diminished sales. So what can you do to sidestep this trap?
We’re so glad you’ve asked.
The No-Bottle-Neck, Anti-Funnel Corporate Brand
There are things you can do, as a corporate brand, to turn that funnel/bottleneck on its head…to make the most desired action (the purchase), easy to move through. Here are a few of them:
- Know your ideal clients’ behaviour and use it to smooth the journey through the funnel. Map out the typical decision process and highlight the bumps and obstacles—the steps that are most difficult for your ideal client, or that are the least desirable. Then focus on creative ways to make those undesirable steps easier, more fun…whatever your ideal client would appreciate most.
- Use language that suggests designating certain funds for the types of purchase you’re wishing for them to make. People are more likely to push through the discomfort of a luxury purchase if “extra” money is used to pay for it (like earned points, a tax return, or holiday gift money, for instance).
- Beware of offering too many choices. It may seem that you’re doing your customers a favour by offering more; to the contrary, they will respond by either narrowing their selections or by leaving before selections are made. Do your research. Find out what is most important to your ideal client, and offer only those choices that address those preferences.
- Offer a coupon that aligns with the most difficult part of your customer’s journey. This will incentivise her to push through what she perceives to be challenging.
- Know, at what point along the journey, your ideal client is in the best, most open frame of mind. Do what you can to coordinate this with what has traditionally been a difficult step. This will cause her to rethink what she thought was difficult, and she will associate that shift with your corporate brand.
- Offer more emotional engagement during the times when you notice you’re losing the most prospects.
Here’s the moral of the story: Avoid confusing the sales funnel with the customer journey. Do your best to move away from the constriction that can stifle sales near the end of the journey, and make the journey something your ideal client can savour.
Wishing to learn more about creating a customer journey that is just as appealing as your product, service, and your corporate brand? Then sign up for our FREE B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Online Masterclass here.