YOU PROBABLY DON’T RECOGNIZE Elias St. Elmo Lewis by his name, but his work can mean pure marketing fire to your security industry business. In 1898, Lewis developed the AIDA marketing model, which stands for “attract Attention, maintain Interest, create Desire,” and later the fourth element, “get Action,” was added. The AIDA model is a universally recognized marketing formula proven to educate and persuade potential customers to buy a product or service.
Today we call this a marketing funnel, and it is a near supernatural vortex that turns total strangers into loyal customers by pulling in leads from the wider world and leading them down toward closing. At the top of the funnel (TOFU) are fresh leads who are just discovering your business or security products. In the middle of the funnel (MOFU) are leads who have become interested in learning more about security products and services based on the previous funnel efforts. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) are leads ready to be converted and make a purchase. Typically, the funnel is created using content, such as a combination of ads, videos and drip campaign emails to take the prospect through the process.
Why You Should Have a Sales Funnel
A well-structured and well-executed sales funnel not only helps you generate leads, but also helps you discover where potential customers drop off and identify areas of your sales process that need improving. A sales funnel provides the opportunity to connect with your potential customer, gain deep understanding of the buyer’s journey and learn more about their needs while demonstrating your expertise. It also helps you reach more customers, more effectively.
Despite all of its benefits, a whopping 68 percent of businesses generally do not understand their sales funnel. In our experience, the numbers are even higher in the security industry.
Sales Funnel Basics
A carefully crafted funnel helps ensure that only those genuinely interested in security technologies and the problems they solve enter the funnel, and are then nurtured through the process. According to Forrester, the average business-to-business customer will look at five or more pieces of content before making a purchase. Your content and the actions the lead takes can help you evaluate the lead's quality and readiness to take action.
At the top of your funnel is someone who knows nothing about your company or is not educated in security product offerings and capabilities. In many cases they do not know they have pain points because they do not know there are solutions designed to solve them. For example, they may be a manufacturing company whose processes are having delays because products are never where they should be but do not know that track and trace technology can solve the problem.
While it may be tempting to mistakenly believe that this stage is for shovelling in as many leads as possible (as in anyone and everyone), it is not. According to Sales Insights, over 50 percent of leads can be a bad fit for your business. This stage of the process is meant to attract the attention of as many potential customers as possible. At this stage, branded ads and videos are essential for gaining their awareness and gauging genuine interest.
At the middle of the funnel stage, potential customers are aware of your business but aren’t quite ready to buy, or they know need security but have not identified with whom they will do business. At this stage, higher functioning descriptive ads and more informative and personal emails are beneficial for establishing trust, educating about your offerings, identifying pain points and correlating them to solutions.
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel are the ones whose actions have demonstrated interest in a particular service, such as access control or video surveillance, by clicking on an ad, downloading a whitepaper or opening an email. At this point it is vital that you differentiate yourself from your competitors and make it clear why you are the best choice for their organization. To do this, it is important to use retargeting ads, email campaigns and search term PPC and retargeting ads to stay top of mind as they make their decision.
Executing the process well helps you choose, pursue and convert the right prospects by providing them with a seamless experience at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Ultimately, sales is a numbers game and the sales funnel helps you acquire and optimize opportunity by providing a clear roadmap for both you and your prospects.