sales funnel

3 Signs Your Sales Funnel Is Broken (and How to Fix It)

A well-thought-out sales funnel can rake in thousands -- even millions -- of dollars in revenue for your business. So, why are you neglecting yours?
3 Signs Your Sales Funnel Is Broken (and How to Fix It)
Image credit: Giuseppe Miglino | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Entrepreneur, Growth Hacker and Marketer
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There’s nothing that can benefit and grow your business like a sales funnel. You take the customer by the hand and lead him or her through the process of getting to know your product. Along the way, you increase the customer's interest, negotiate the price and other details of the sale; and finally you make that sale.

Seems pretty basic, right?

Related: 4 Tools for Perfecting Your B2B Sales Funnel

When done right, a well-thought-out sales funnel can rake in thousands -- even millions -- of dollars in revenue for your business. When neglected, however, a badly done funnel can cost you much more. A staggering 68 percent of companies in a study described by Salesforce hadn't even measured their sales funnel. That’s a lot of money being thrown out the window.

If your own company has a conversion funnel in place but it’s not getting you the results you expected, you need to optimize your strategy.  Here are three signs your sales funnel may need some work.

1. The purchasing process is difficult to navigate

A sales funnel should run seamlessly from point A to B to C and so forth. If the process your business has now is confusing to customers, how do you expect to make profits? Potential consumers will exit out before they’ve even had a chance to add anything to their cart!

If the purchasing process is confusing to the consumer, it means that there are too many steps involved. If someone is already expressing interest in your brand, there’s no need to make that person opt-in using three separate emails or filling out multiple forms. This will only increase your bounce rate and decrease your conversions.

Related: 5 Steps to Building Your First Online Sales Funnel

You can recreate your landing page to be more user-friendly, if that’s where consumers are opting out. You can set up clear calls to action that take the consumer from offer to opt-in to purchase to repeating customer. Make it as simple as possible. Analyze where you can cut out extra steps that feel like an uphill battle for your customers, so that you can make their purchasing process easier and more enjoyable.

2. You're seeing fewer conversions than you predicted.

If you mapped out a sales funnel, you should already have an idea of how many conversions you can expect in the future. If your sales aren’t even close to the numbers you predicted, however, then something’s not quite working. But, why?

Because every business’s specific answer is going to differ, the simple answer is that you haven’t identified your funnel’s pain points. You can’t improve if you don’t diagnose the problem in the first place. So, see which stages of your funnel are struggling by doing two things:

  • Use Google Analytics to track your funnel progress.

  • Implement A/B testing.

Google Analytics will tell you everything you want to know about your funnel: how many people clicked through to the landing page, where they spent the most time, where they exited, how long they had to take to complete a purchase and more. By analyzing this data, you can get an idea of what you need to spend more time on in order to improve your funnel. This will result in more paying conversions.

A/B testing is all about comparing your content in different formats to see what reaches the most consumers in a meaningful way. Sadly, only 44 percent of companies, according to an Invesp infographic, utilize this important tool in their marketing strategies, a failing that can hurt a business tremendously.

It’s the little things that make the most difference to consumers, and through A/B testing, you can find out what generates more sales and what turns customers away. Something as simple as color scheme and wording can affect conversions by a landslide, so it’s worth your while to test out multiple variations of your copy.

3. You're not focusing on repeat customers.

If you spend all your time trying to bring in new customers while neglecting the ones you already have, you’re doing it wrong. Return customers spend roughly 67 percent more than new customers, according to Business.com. That’s a huge opportunity to increase revenue, and you simply can’t afford to neglect it.

A lot of businesses figure that once a customer makes a purchase, the funnel ends, but this couldn’t be more wrong. If return customers are willing to spend more than half of what new ones do, why wouldn’t you spend more time engaging with them?

Follow-up is important. According to a study fromLead Response Management, companies are 21 times more likely to qualify a lead if they reach out within five minutes versus 30 minutes after contact is made.

You might as well start flushing money down the toilet if you neglect the customers you already have, because they are where you can make the most profit.

Ask yourself what process the consumer goes through once he or she makes a purchase. Does this person receive a thank-you email from you expressing gratitude for the customer's loyalty? What about follow-up emails a few days or weeks later presenting more offers or discounts this customer could might find useful in the future?

Related: 3 Tweaks That Dramatically Improve Your Sales Funnel

Don’t let your business lose potential customers because your sales funnel isn’t optimized. Take time to analyze each piece of the puzzle in your conversion process so that you can bring in more revenue and keep your customers happy.

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