Everyone wants to be lean these days.
Lean startup, design thinking, agile, disruptive, etc etc
Often being used in a big word salad.
The Lean Startup movement has spawned or popularised a number of valuable concepts.
One of them is the Minimum Viable Product.
Wikipedia describes an MVP as:
“a product which has just enough features to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development. Gathering insights from an MVP is often less expensive than using a product with more features which increase costs and risk in the case where the product fails, for example due to incorrect assumptions.”
It’s a great concept that reduces risk, increases speed and lowers cost to market.
and the concept can be taken and used in other areas of your marketing
The Minimum Viable Funnel
If you want to generate leads and sales through your digital properties you need some kind of sales funnel.
As much as it would be nice to throw up a website with a contact form and the floodgates open; it doesn’t happen.
A funnel moves someone from awareness to a lead to a paying customer. Online funnels can do this extremely efficiently by using marketing automation.
They show a prospect that you can solve their problem, prove you have solved it before and offer to solve it specifically for them.
But what goes into a funnel?
The answer is; it depends.
It depends on the target market, the length of the sales cycle, pricing, decision makers and all the other variables.
But there’s good news. Once you’ve built one the rest are much faster, cheaper and more effective.
Your first funnel is your Minimum Viable Funnel (MVF).
This is the process you need to go through to build an MVF:
Persona – you need to clearly define who you’re targeting. For a B2B sale; what industry are they in? job title? primary focus? what keeps them awake at night? what would make their life easier? Without a clearly defined persona you are throwing stuff at a wall and hoping it sticks.
Map – What does your funnel look like? For most of my clients (and myself) it starts with a lead magnet. A document or tool you offer to a prospect that is likely to start to solve their problem or deliver value. This is permission to contact. You then follow up with case studies, free gifts, reports, offers, invitations whatever proves to the prospect they are better off with you than without you.
Deploy – I find that most of the content inside a funnel has already been created by the business. This needs to be entered into a platform that can automate and deliver the content to the prospect. I recommend Active Campaign who have just released a marketplace of automations to make it even easier to build.
Track – Knowing what you’re measuring is extremely important. At the end of the day it’s about generating sales but we need to diagnose which bit of the funnel is working and which isn’t working.
Analyse – Lead magnet not being downloaded? Change it. No appointments? Change the offer. Emails not being read? Swap the copy.
Systematise – Once the funnel is working (creating leads) you have two choices – get more eyeballs on it through increased traffic or target another persona with a different funnel. You have learned what works so the next one will be faster to create and see results faster.
Creating an Effective Funnel
If you are getting any traffic to your website creating a funnel on your site will see results. My Growth Guide funnel creates 6+ enquiries a week with no paid marketing or promotion.
I’m working with an ecommerce retailer who has just launched a basic funnel. The initial results have been great:
4 in 10 people who visit the page leave their email address. Now we know the lead magnet is working we can fully focus on generating sales out of these prospects through the funnel.
If you want more sales you need a funnel.
Don’t spend a lifetime building it because you don’t learn until you launch.