This article was written in 2020. Things have changed a lot since then:
- Sales Funnels section is now called Chatbot Builder, and the funnels that are created in it are Scripts.
- This article describes the previous way of creating a chatbot. Now we have a handy block builder.
People love messengers. 65% of Millennials and Generation Z prefer messages rather than calls or e-mails. Business needs contemporary tools working in the new communication channel. That is why we have created sales funnels.
What Are Sales Funnels?
Sales funnels are messenger newsletters. It is not about spam. Funnels are the same automated and triggered e-mails but in another channel. You create information message chains. Messages warm up a customer. The customer purchases a product or a service. This is the basic scenario.
Certainly, there are other scenarios as well. For example, employee training can be arranged via sales funnels. It is also possible to set up quality assessment surveys. Yet another option is to connect a payment system and create invoices automatically. The more creative an idea is, the more complex a sales funnel will be. The rest is technicalities.
Five Ways of Using Sales Funnels
1. Sales Funnel in the Strict Sense
Profit — more income and less Sales Department’s work.
The term Sales Funnel is borrowed from e-mail marketing. It is a predetermined scenario of letters or messages which warms up a recipient and brings them to a sale.
There are two prerequisites of a successful sales funnel.
- First, divide your audience. It is no use selling tours to Asia to those who would like to go to Europe. Study your customers and divide them into categories. For example, offer users to select interesting mass messaging themselves.
- Second, balance the information and advertisement content. Based on the experience of e-mail marketers and SMM specialists, a ratio of 80/20 or 90/10 can be recommended. It means that the majority of messages shall be aimed not at selling but at increasing loyalty through useful content.
2. Sales Funnel as an Accountant Assistant
Profit — no routine work of the Accounting Department.
A sales funnel can be integrated with PayPal and invoices can be issued via this payment system. The scenario suits both one-time and regular payments.
In the first case, an accountant creates an invoice by a couple of clicks. In the second case, a person is not involved at all. The system automatically generates an invoice in an established interval and sends it to the customer. Upon payment, it transfers the dialogue to the Logistics Department, the Customer Support Department, or other specialists.
3. Sales Funnels as a Feedback Collecting Tool
Profit — you will know what customers think of you.
Feedback is the simplest way to monitor the service quality. If customers leave unsatisfied, you’d better know it immediately rather than indirectly, via angry posts throughout the Internet. That is where quality assessment functions step in. They can also be set up via sales funnels.
It works as follows. When an operator finishes a dialogue, the system automatically proposes the customer to assess whether they are satisfied with the result. If not, the chat may be automatically transferred to the supervisor in order to solve the problem at once.
Surveys can be extended as well. In this case, customer’s answers get into a Google form which can be immediately processed by an operator or a manager.
4. Sales Funnels as a Coach and a HR Manager at the Same Time
Profit — less expenses for personnel trainings.
Automatic employee training is helpful when it is required to scale business smoothly. The function is also suitable for companies with many employees having same duties (for example, banks).
The process is as follows. You set up a training message chain. Every new employee subscribes to a corporate channel in a messenger and receives informational messages in automatic mode.
5. Sales Funnel as a Secretary
Profit — convenience for customers and benefits for the company.
Business can use sales funnels as webinar reminders. The notification system is easily customized. For example, you can plan 24-hour, 3-hour, and webinar start messages, or you can set up any other schedule yourself.
Messengers have an advantage over e-mail because users check their applications more often than e-mail, and over SMS notifications because SMS is significantly more expensive. Moreover, any additional information on a webinar can be sent to the same dialogue with a customer.
How to Start A Funnel
A funnel is started upon one of the four following events.
- The customer has done a certain action or has written a keyword. For example, you can start a funnel right after the first customer’s message, or set up a chat bot reacting to specified phrases.
- A special tag has been assigned to the dialogue. An operator can do it manually. A tag can be also assigned automatically when, for example, a customer has selected a certain item in the self-service menu. The tag will act as a trigger starting the sales funnel.
- The operator has finished the dialogue or it has been finished automatically.
- The customer has sent the code specified in the settings at funnel creation. A user obviously cannot know the code itself but you can encrypt the corresponding value in the start message using a mini landing button. We will discuss mini landings below.
Setting Up the Basic Funnel
A sales funnel consists of steps. Each step includes either an action directed at the customer, or a message. Customer’s messages, operators’ actions, or chat center’s settings can move the dialogue to the next step.
When setting up a simple sales funnel, answer five questions.
- What conditions shall be observed to bring a customer to this step?
- What message will a customer receive when moved to this step?
- Should a customer receive a message immediately or after a certain period of time?
- What actions are done in the system when moving to this step?
- Does this step fit into the general logic of the funnel and customer service?
We recommend that the last question is the first one to be answered and that the sales funnel scenario is developed as a mental map. In order to obtain the basic scenario, ask questions to an imaginary customer and assume they give positive answers alone. You can start from this logic and test it. Later it is possible to extend the process and deepen the funnel.
Then proceed to setting up. It is simple.
- Create a new funnel.
- Adjust the first step. Write a message you want or assign an action, for example, tag adding, dialogue transferring, or PDF sending. The step may include several potential customer’s answers.
- Set a time delay before message sending if required.
- Create the second and subsequent steps. Specify conditions which should bring a customer to these steps.
- Divide your audience.
- Adjust the funnel operation time if required. For example, the chain may start during business hours only.
- Save the settings and your sales funnel will start to work!
Let us make the structure more complicated with additional functions.
Add extended functions to the basic structure to increase the funnel efficiency.
Create a mini landing.
It is a landing page for mobile devices. Such pages contain as little information as possible — the company’s name, buttons with messengers, and a short message. Mini landings allow customers to select a convenient communication channel.
Structures are created directly in the Chat2Desk interface. Here you can also see statistics on views, clicks, and chats. Moreover, Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica can be connected to pages to monitor indicators as if working with usual websites.
Synchronize the online store with messengers
A website session can be linked to a messenger session. It will allow you to go after a customer if they have left goods in the cart. This function works together with mini landings. A user clicks on a button and receives a customized link to the website in their messenger.
When working with sales funnels, it is required to monitor a certain data pool:
- the number of funnel starts;
- the number of people who stopped the funnel;
- the number of people with the funnel being active right now;
- the percentage of people who reached the funnel end.
This entire statistics is available in Chat2Desk, right in the Sales Funnel Section. In addition, you can find other data on messengers, customers, and operator work in the Dashboard Section.
High achievements are hardly possible if working in separate applications which are not connected with each other. Therefore, sales funnels can be integrated with business services.
- Google Forms. They are helpful when collecting lead forms and conducting surveys. The system gathers data on one sheet which can be submitted to the Delivery Service or to a quality specialist.
- Payment Systems. Not only can sales funnels send invoices to customers, but also remind them to pay monthly subscription fees.
- CRM Systems. A sales funnel can greet customers, send them your commercial proposal, and warm them up with informational messages which explain your unique selling proposition.
Examples of How to Use Sales Funnels for Business
Funnels have helped a fast food restaurant in Voronezh make fast and convenient delivery.
- A client uses a messenger to authorize on the website, therefore the company can remind the customer to finish their order if they have left the cart.
- The system automatically generates a bill at ordering.
- After a customer has paid, funnels are sending messages on the order status.
As a result, customers reach the payment stage more often and the company keeps fewer operators in the staff. It is a double advantage. By the way, any store can work in a similar manner. Chat2Desk offers a respective ready-made solution.
A company specializing in nutrition trainings uses funnels for sales and informing participants of on-going webinars at the same time.
- The school informs participants on the subjects of new webinars and collects participants’ information with the help of a questionnaire developed preliminarily.
- Prior to the event, users receive two webinar reminders.
- The funnel does not finish until after the webinar. In its last message, the school shares a link to the video, thanks participants, and invites them to a new webinar.
- In order to warm up customers additionally, they receive helpful content which is recipes and nutrition advices.
Another company has built the entire course on the basis of sales funnels. Trainees receive daily tasks, menus, and exercises. When they are finished, the system collects feedback and opinions on the trainer’s work.
A company which produces private playgrounds uses funnels to automate the selection of components.
- Questions are sent to customers to clarify the location and purpose of the playground, as well as the number and ages of children. The company proposes potential solutions following the answers.
- In order to motivate customers, the company sends promotion codes and special offers.
- If a customer ceases to respond, they receive a reminder in a set time proposing to finish the survey.
By doing so, the company not only relieves its employees of routine work, but also brings back lost customers.
Sales funnels are a multi-purpose assistant which can be easily customized to perform individual tasks. They warm up and bring back customers, help establish communication within the company, and take the duties of the accountant and the secretary. Many extensions make it possible to use funnels together with external programs.
Do not hesitate to optimize your company’s work. Write to Chat2Desk and test the functions today.