The concept of an online sales funnel is simple enough. To make one work, you simply have to attract visitors to your website, lead them through a series of information-gathering steps, and then finally convince them to make a purchase, sign up for a live consultation, or take some other step.

Naturally, there are a lot of intricacies that need to be managed along the way. Prospects won’t always behave exactly the way you want or expect them to, and most sales funnels require a bit of adjustment once a website goes live.

One issue we have seen numerous times, however, is that business owners and marketers tend to design sales funnels that are too narrow. That is, they don’t consider enough needs or situations to truly be effective when it comes to capturing leads.

To give you a sense of why this is important, and to ensure your online sales funnel is as broad as it should be, here are some things we want you to consider…

Information Comes Before Decisions

Far too often, we see marketers assume that potential clients or customers are ready to compare products or services side-by-side when analytics data suggests that they really want basic information.

It’s important to remember that many of the people that come to your website might not know enough about their own needs, or the available solutions, to be ready to make a decision. By giving them plenty of informational resources, you can help them along the way while building awareness of your own brand.

Different Customers Have Different Needs

Unless you happen to work in a very narrow category, you probably have a few different classes of customer to work with. Each of them might have their own needs, pain points, and hot buttons that drive their buying behavior.

It’s also worth noting that there may be people involved in the decision who don’t have the authority to make the final call. These could include researchers, department heads, or even administrative assistants who don’t have as much knowledge in your field as you might like. Be sure you have content and resources that can bring them up to speed quickly.

Buyers Move at Their Own Pace

Prospects who come to your website aren’t always going to move in a straight line towards a completed sale. Often, they’ll leave, turn their attention to other issues, and come back days, weeks, or even months later.

Knowing that, you should have various tools you can use to keep nurturing them, such as email reminders or retargeting ads. These put you in a position to win the business once your prospect has enough information to comfortably move forward.

You Can Have Multiple Conversion Points

This point follows on naturally from the last two. If you have different groups of buyers, all of whom move at their own speed and have their own motivations, then it doesn’t make sense to have one simple conversion goal in your website.

For instance, your primary aim might be to generate appointments for your sales staff through your website. However, if you can also encourage email subscriptions, demonstration video views, or orders of sample packages then you might be able to earn customers who might have otherwise gotten away. Offering multiple conversion points is a longer-term approach, but one that pays off over time.

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