As a business owner, it’s important to generate leads, appointments, and clients each month to keep your company thriving. A sales funnel can help you do just that.
But how do you build sales funnels that converts leads, appointments and clients?
And how can you do this in a way that is:
After helping hundreds of business owners build successful appointment and application sales funnels, in this article, I’ll show you how to build a sales funnel that converts leads into appointments and clients successfully every month in your business.
Let’s get started!
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the process of turning prospects into customers through various stages of marketing communications.
The goal of any good sales funnel is to move potential customers through the different stages of the buying journey until they eventually purchase from your company.
How to build an appointment sales funnel (summary)
Here’s a step-by-step overview on how to build a sales funnel to generate new leads, appointments and clients each month in your business:
- Step 1: Choose the best sales funnel software for your business
- Step 2: Create an opt-in landing page to generate leads
- Step 3: Create an educational video to convert leads to clients
- Step 4: Promote the sales funnel using lead generation strategies
- Step 5: Follow up with leads via email marketing until they convert
Here’s a helpful diagram of the sales funnel process:
Tip: To learn how to do each of these steps in more detail, watch my free Masterclass training on the ‘5 Steps to getting predictable appointments’ each month in your business.
Choose the right funnel for YOU
Before you keep reading… You should know that there are literally hundreds of different types of sales funnels that you can create for your business!
In fact, here is a picture of me holding the “Funnel Hacker’s Cookbook” by Russell Brunson from ClickFunnels.
Inside, you’ll find the “recipe” for almost every type of funnel you can think of, depending on the goal of your business…
Because there are hundreds of funnels to choose from, it’s sometimes hard to find the right kind of funnel for you and your business.
So, what if like most of my clients, your goal is to generate more high-quality leads and sales appointments with your ideal clients each month?
What is the best lead generation funnel specifically for that?
After testing lots of different funnels, I’ve found what I call the…
‘Automated Appointment Funnel‘
… To be the best choice for building a lead generation funnel in your business!
So, let me show you how to build this ‘Automated Appointment Funnel’ in more detail.
How to build a sales funnel (step-by-step)
Here’s a detailed step-by-step process you can follow to build your own sales funnel.
Step 1: Choose the right sales funnel software
There are hundreds of sales funnel tools to choose from, so it’s important to choose the right one for your business.
In my own business, I use Kartra as my all-in-one funnel-building tool. For most clients, I’d recommend using Kartra too (see my full Kartra review).
You can see my full list of the best funnel builders.
Once you’ve chosen your funnel-building software, you can start building your sales funnel!
Tip: You can see my full training on building a sales funnel here.
Step 2: Create an opt-in page
A good opt-in page will have:
- A big painful problem you solve
- Simple layout
- No distractions
- Clear call-to-actoin
- Free lead magnet
Here’s an example of what this opt-in page looks like:
And when people click on the shiny blue button, they see an opt-in form like this:
Note: I’m always split-testing my opt-in page. So if you want to see the latest version of what it looks like, click here. Chances are, whatever you see me using RIGHT NOW is what is working best at this time.
Additional tips for an effective opt-in page:
- Big headline at the top. It’s important the headline on your landing page talks about the biggest and most painful problem your potential clients have and how they can solve that problem.
- Be specific in your headline. A headline that says “How to get 10, 15, 30 or more sales appointments each month” is better than a headline that says “How to get more appointments”. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for potential customers to visualize the result and take action.
- Be balanced in your headline. Make your headline promise exciting, but not too unrealistic where it doesn’t sound believable.
- Make it clear who this is for. Don’t make your landing page a “one-size fits all”. For example, my landing page focuses on how to get appointments. This will automatically filter out people looking to make more sales in an eCommerce store (which are not my ideal clients). I also have landing pages that are specific to different niches such as financial advisors and accounting firms.
- Keep it simple. The fewer distractions you have on your landing page, the more likely your potential clients will take action and go to the next step in your funnel. Avoid distractions on your landing pages.
- Make it fast. People are not very patient these days. The faster your landing page loads up, the more conversions you’ll get.
Any leads that go to your opt-in page will now have entered your sales funnel and they can leads can move to the next step (watch an educational video).
Step 3: Have an educational video
The video page is designed to build trust with your leads and motivate them to go to the next step in your sales process (e.g. schedule an appointment).
You can build trust with your leads by using a lead magnet.
The best lead magnet I recommend you use is a video sales letter (VSL).
Why use a video sales letter?
Here’s the thing… Everyone says they can “solve a problem”!
For example, some business owners say “We can help you lower your taxes”, “we can help you plan for retirement”, “we can help you improve your productivity”, etc…. But actions speak louder than words.
So, if you can actually SHOW people how to solve their problem, it will build a lot more trust than words can on their own.
A video allows you to actually SHOW people how to solve this problem.
Sure, free PDF guides and eBooks are nice, but a video is a much more powerful way to build trust and get people excited to work with you.
Video is also a lot more engaging. This means people are more likely to consume the free educational content if it’s in a video format vs a written format.
At the end of the video, if people want to learn more, give them the opportunity to schedule a call / apply to work with you.
Here’s an example of what the video page looks like:
Here are some tips for your video sales letter:
- Explain how to solve a problem they have, what are some alternative solutions to solving this problem and why YOUR solution is better
- Keep the video length short (but not too short). Make the video as short as it needs to be while still long enough to cover all the important information you need to cover.
- Have a clear call-to-action. Make sure you tell people to go to the next step in your sales funnel (which is typically to schedule a call or fill out an application form).
You can see a real-life example of what my video sales letter looks like by clicking here.
If people like what they hear on the video, they can click on a button to ‘schedule a call’ or ‘apply to work with you’.
Tip: If you want to see in more detail how to build a lead generation funnel, be sure to watch my free Masterclass training which goes through how to both create and promote your lead funnel.
Step 4: Promote your sales funnel
You could have the best lead generation sales funnel in the world, but if no one actually sees it, it’s pointless!
So you need a way of getting people to see your new lead generation funnel by promoting the heck out of it!
However, not all methods to promote your sales funnel are the same.
Some work better than others.
Here are my top lead generation strategies to promote your funnel:
Google SEO lead generation (free)
Google SEO lead generation is when you answer questions your potential clients are asking in the form of a written blog post. In fact, the article you’re reading right now is a real-life example of this lead generation strategy in action. Throughout your article you also want to include links to your funnel (see what I did there?) so that website visitors convert into leads.
YouTube Search lead generation (free)
YouTube lead generation works similar to Google SEO lead generation. The main difference is that instead of creating written articles answering questions, you would create videos answering these questions.
LinkedIn Outreach (free)
LinkedIn lead generation allows you to reach out to potential clients who are interested in watching your video and learn more about how you can help them. LinkedIn works especially well for B2B lead generation, but it can also work for B2C too in some cases.
TikTok Ads (Paid advertising)
Lead generation on TikTok ads is becoming one of the best advertising channels for business owners.
And yes, TikTok is NOT just for young ones.
Business owners and even wealthy people are all using TikTok ads and our clients who are using TikTok ads are getting 2-5x better results compared to Facebook ads.
Facebook Ads (Paid advertising)
Facebook lead generation allows you to get leads, appointments and clients on-demand. The advantage of using Facebook ads is that it gets you quick results and is very scalable. The downside is that you need to pay for ads which can take a large chunk of your profits.
Other promotional channels
There are lots more ways to promote your sales funnel. Here is a full list of lead generation ideas. I’m sure there are some on that list that will work well for you!
Step 5: Follow up with leads via email marketing
A lot of businesses make the mistake of generating leads and then just forgetting about them. But if you don’t follow up with your leads, you’re never going to convert them into customers.
You should have a system in place for following up with your leads so that you can make sure you’re staying in touch with them and keeping them updated on your products or services.
See this video for more information on the best way to follow up with leads automatically.
The bottom line
Creating a successful lead generation funnel doesn’t have to be as confusing as it looks. All you need to do is follow a step-by-step plan to build and promote the sales funnel.
To learn how to create and promote your sales funnel in detail (with real-life examples) be sure to check out ‘Step 4’ of my free training by clicking here.
Tips for building successful sales funnels
Here are some bonus tips on launching a successful sales funnel:
Define Your Paying Customers
When it comes to marketing your business, it’s important to take the time to define your target audience. In other words, who are your paying customers?
This can be a tricky task, but it’s crucial to create effective marketing campaigns.
By understanding who your target audience is, you can craft better messages that will resonate with them.
Research your audience
You can use market research to get a better understanding of who your target audience will be. Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can start creating marketing campaigns that are tailored to them.
There are lots of ways to research what your audience is interested in. But I’ve found the best way is by simply speaking to existing and potential customers.
These people will actually TELL you what their problem is in their business or life and then it’s up to you to position your product or service as the right solution for them.
Research Your Competition
When you’re trying to reach a new audience, it’s important to research your competition.
- What are they doing that’s working?
- What isn’t working?
- How can you position yourself in a way that sets you apart?
Answering these questions can be difficult, but understanding your competition is a critical part of developing a successful marketing strategy.
Identify your sales funnel stages
There are typically four stages in a business’s sales funnel: awareness, interest, desire, and action.
Awareness is the first stage, where potential customers become aware of your product or service.
Interest is the next stage, where customers start to learn more about your product or service and what it could do for them.
Desire is the stage where customers become interested in buying your product or service.
Action is the final stage, where customers actually purchase your product or service
Improve your sales process over time
There are a number of ways to improve a business’s sales process over time. One way is to continuously measure and analyze the process to identify opportunities for improvement.
Another way is to train and coach sales personnel so that they are best equipped to sell the company’s products or services.
Additionally, businesses can use technology to improve their sales process by automating tasks or tracking activity.
By using these and other methods, businesses can continually improve their sales process and increase their sales volumes over time.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.