Ways to Optimize Your Sales Funnel and Boost Sales

If you’re looking to optimize your sales funnel, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about creating an optimized sales funnel.

In an ideal world, every prospect would be engaged and ready to make a purchase as soon as you complete a sale. A customer must pass through a series of steps before they’re ready to buy. The good news is that you can predict these stages with data analysis and optimize them to create much more efficient sales funnels.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to use data analysis and Google Analytics to find your sales funnel’s weaknesses and optimize them. We’ll focus on four critical parts of a sales funnel: web traffic, visitors, leads, and Conversions. But first…

What is a Sales Funnel?

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a sequential ordering of customers, detailing the steps they must take to become customers. Sales funnels are part of the marketing funnel system, created by Bryan Eisenberg in his 1984 book “Beyond Marketing.” It’s important to note that an individual customer may not pass through all sales funnel stages.

Optimizing the stages of a sales funnel is crucial to increasing your revenue.

The Stages of an Optimized Sales Funnel

Traffic

The first stage of any optimized sales funnel is web traffic. Web traffic refers to people visiting your site but not yet engaged with your brand in any other way. Visitors are considered one-time visitors if they bypassed all pages other than their landing page or never went back at all after that first visit. These two groups should be separately analyzed because both represent valuable opportunities to increase conversions and, therefore, revenue. Let’s take a look at how you can optimize these groups by using data analysis software to the strengths and weaknesses of each group.

Visitors: Optimizing for One-time Visitors

One-time visitors are people who landed on your landing page and never went back. Perhaps they didn’t like what they saw, or maybe you just lost them in the shuffle of a busy day. Either way, these people should be brought back into the sales funnel at some point to maximize revenue potential. So how do we determine which steps in our sales funnel they’re missing? The answer is data analysis software such as Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Report for New Visitors

Google Analytics Report for New Visitors

In this example from Google Analytics, we see that only 13% of our one-time visitors completed our registration form. In other words, their abandonment rate was 87%, which tells us that there’s plenty of room for improvement in our funnel.

If you’ve taken the time to qualify the leads that landed on your landing page (most likely by using a form), Google Analytics can help you determine which parts of your funnel they’re missing and how to re-engage them. If we were interested in learning more about these one-time visitors, we could add events and goals to our lead generation form. This data is available as long as you’ve set up conversion tracking correctly on your website.

How Can You Optimize Your Sales Funnel?

Now that you know some common pitfalls of those who land only on the first page of your sales funnel, what should you do about it? Optimizing your sales funnel requires that you use data analysis software to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each stage. In the case of this example, we’d need to look at pages that were viewed after landing on our lead generation form to find out what these people are looking for.

Traffic: Optimizing for Visitors Who Make it Past the Landing Page

Optimizing a visitor’s path is easier because you have a bigger sample size, but it can still be difficult without proper analytics tools. The most crucial step here is capturing data from all visitors who make it past your landing page. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes if you’re using Google Analytics or another similar tool. Let’s start with the example above.

Optimizing We know that the registration form is an essential step for this group, so we’ll want to dig into Google Analytics to determine which fields are missing from our form.

Google Optimize Optimization Software          

You’re looking for information on your website’s most contentious areas. A common mistake here would be focusing too much on the funnel steps after visitors’ most often skipped (in this case, it was “Company Name”). It would help if you instead focused on what people need before clicking through your sales funnel.

How Can I Optimize My Sales Funnels?

Now that you’ve got a better idea of which parts of your sales funnel are getting ignored or incompletely filled out, it’s time to consider your options. Optimizing for one-time visitors can be done by adding events and goals to your lead generation form. This way, you’ll know exactly which fields are skipped over the most often. Optimizing for visitors who have made it past the funnel requires a thorough data analysis of all site traffic. This is easily done with Google’s Optimize tool, but some alternatives do just as well.

What Are Some Common Mistakes?

There are several common mistakes that businesses make when optimizing their sales funnels. Understanding what these mistakes are will help you avoid them during your optimization process. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones so that you don’t run into trouble on your site.

Assuming That Optimizing Your Sales Funnel Isn’t Worth the Time and Money

Optimization isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it at all. The biggest mistake here is not having data before starting the process, meaning that you’re about to spend time optimizing your funnel when you could just be using that time to market your business instead. Optimizing small funnels can turn a profit if done correctly, making it worth the effort in many cases! Optimizing large funnels initially won’t produce any results because of how big they are, which means that you should begin by optimizing smaller ones first.

Not Optimizing All Steps of Funnel

Optimization should be a process, not a one-time event. Optimizing less than all of your funnel’s steps will make it difficult to see results because you won’t know which stage is the problem (if any). Each method in your sales funnel is essential for finding out exactly where your visitors are having difficulties so that you can fix them.

Optimizing Each Step of Your Funnel        

Optimization requires that you use data analysis software to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each stage. This is often done simply by adding events and goals to your lead generation form in Google Analytics or other similar tools.

Not Understanding the Difference Between One-off Visitors and Repeat Customers

Optimization requires that you understand your customers’ purchasing habits regarding how many times they visit and buy from your website. Optimizing for one-time visitors requires that you track events and goals while optimizing for repeat customers involves tracking users with tools such as Analytics. Optimization should be a process, not a one-time event. Optimizing less than all of your funnel’s steps will make it difficult to see results because you won’t know which stage is the problem (if any).

Optimizing Too Short of a Sales Funnel

Optimization often requires that you go past traditional lead generation methods to learn how well different aspects of your funnel work. Your sales funnel needs to be at least three pages long ( stages) before you can begin optimizing it in any meaningful way.

Optimization should be a process, not a one-time event. Optimizing less than all of your funnel’s steps will make it difficult to see results because you won’t know which stage is the problem (if any). Optimizing your sales funnel continuously means checking necessary fields every couple of weeks instead of waiting until months have passed. This can help improve your site’s conversions and make more informed decisions later on down the road.

Optimizing Only One Step at a Time

Optimization requires that you understand how each stage interacts with your visitors, which means that you need to optimize each step of the sales funnels individually. Optimizing only one step at a time misses opportunities to improve your whole sales funnel and makes it more challenging to determine where your problems occur.

Optimize Each Step of Your Funnel        

Optimization requires that you use data analysis software to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each stage. This is often done simply by adding events and goals to your lead generation form in Google Analytics or other similar tools.

Optimizing Without Data Analysis Software

Optimization without using data analysis software means that you won’t know what’s working for you and what isn’t. Optimization requires that you understand how each stage in interacting with your visitors.

Optimizing a sales funnel is usefully putting together all the best marketing campaigns, website layouts, and service packages to design a well-organized system for increasing customer revenue. Optimization means testing a variety of options and then applying what you’ve learned to create better results.

How is a Sales Funnel Different from a Conversion Funnel?

A conversion funnel is a generic term for a website visitor’s steps before converting into a paying customer. Here are some examples:

  • They visit the site
  • Read articles about the product
  • Download an e-book
  • Contact support via email or chat
  • Sign up for a trial of the product

On the other hand, a sales funnel measures how much revenue each stage of the funnel is responsible for. For example:

  • The prospect visits your website and signs up for a trial
  • They do not sign up for the trial but download an e-book
  • They contact support via email or chat and convert into a paying customer
  • You could even say that by signing up for the free trial, they convert as well.

Typically, if you use Google Analytics to track conversions, you’ll see these as separate conversion events. But there are some tricks you can use to track them together more effectively! For example…

How to Connect Conversion Events with Sales Funnels in Google Analytics

Google Analytics isn’t great at connecting specific sales stages with specific conversion events, but it becomes much more manageable if you use Custom Goals.

Let’s look at the example of the prospect who signs up for a trial and downloads an e-book. If you set up Conversion Goals in Google Analytics to track both of these actions, they’ll show up as separate conversion events with no connection to each other.

The solution? Use Custom Goals instead!

Optimize Your Funnels Based on Revenue per Customer

1) Identify Key Sales Stages

First, identify several vital sales stages that indicate customers are ready to buy. For example:

  • Sign Up
  • Download Trial
  • Request E-Book or Demo
  • Contact Support
  • Add to Cart (unconfirmed purchase)
  • Purchase (fully converted customer)

2) Connect Conversion Events with Sales Funnels

Now, use a Custom Event to track each sales stage. For example, every time someone signs up for a trial you might add the following code:

ga(‘send’, ‘event’, [eventCategory], [eventAction], [eventValue], [customDimension1], [customDimension2]);

You can then track how they interact with your sales funnels in Google Analytics by setting up these events. You’ll need to set up Conversion Goals for the stages of your critical sales before continuing…

3) Optimize for Successful Customers

Take a look at your conversion funnel and identify any gaps between customers who sign up and download an e-book vs. those who convert into paying customers. If there’s a gap, perhaps your sign-up process needs improving.  

4) Optimize Your Funnel to Reduce Abandonment

Take another look at the conversion funnel and identify any gaps between customers who start your free trial or download an e-book vs. those who contact support via email or chat. If there’s a gap here, perhaps you can reduce friction by reducing the number of steps it takes to engage with support (e.g., adding chat functionality).

5) Optimize Your Funnels Based on Revenue per Customer

You should also take a look at your sales funnels along with other dimensions like revenue per customer! This is where things get really interesting.

For example, let’s say you have two different types of customers:

Type A – $100/month

Type B – $200/month

If you were optimizing based on revenue per customer, you’d want to make sure you’re sending the right messages to Type A and Type B customers.

As you can imagine, this is a lot easier said than done. However, using Custom Events will help you connect all of your data from multiple sources and optimize your funnels accordingly.

6) Optimize Your Funnels Using Multiple Dimensions

Finally, you may find that certain dimensions work better than others when it comes to converting potential customers.

For example, maybe you’ve noticed that people who view your product demo tend to be more likely to convert into customers than people who don’t watch the video.

In this case, you could create a custom dimension called “Demo Video Viewed” and link it to your conversion goals. Then, you could segment your funnel based on whether or not someone has viewed the demo video.

7) Optimizing Focused Traffic Sources

You can use the Multi-Channel Funnels report to analyze your sales funnel traffic sources if you’ve set up goals. Optimize your marketing channels to improve conversion rates along each step of the funnel, and then re-visit Optimizing for Successful Customers to see its effect on revenue per customer.

You’ve Optimized Your Sales Funnel!

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