Every ideal customer you win is worth a tonne of money to your business, but your marketing isn’t generating a constant flow of ideal prospects. In this post, I’ll show you how you can build a sales funnel in Hubspot to attract and win all the customers you will ever need. Taking action on this post will be worth millions to you, so make sure you read to the end.
Why most marketing and sales processes fail
You’ve probably tried a bunch of marketing tactics. You’ve blogged, you’ve spent countless hours on social media and a load of money on advertising, but none of it has generated the consistent results you desire.
The reason isn’t that those marketing tactics don’t work; it’s because your ideal customers are finding it too difficult to buy from you.
The main job of marketing is to make it easier for your ideal customers to buy from you; here are a few examples of how:
Advertising and SEO - make it easier for your ideal customers to find you.
Content marketing - provides them with value, so they trust you and find it easier to buy from you.
Reviews and referrals - increase their trust in you, making it easier for them to buy from you.
Email nurturing and social media - builds familiarity and keeps you front of mind, making it easier for them to buy from you.
Complex solutions don’t need a complex sales process
One of the biggest mistakes people make when selling a complex solution is that they allow this complexity to seep into their marketing and sales process.
The expert understands the solution in-depth, including why it will work and why it won’t. They have invested years in building their expertise and feel it is vital to convey their expertise to their potential customer.
Unfortunately, when you try to convey all of the nuances, it makes your marketing and sales complicated. Even highly educated customers are looking for simple solutions to their problems. They are looking for the expert to make their decision simpler, not harder.
The internet has empowered them with all the information and the potential to research and get the answers they need. However, there’s now too much information. Much of it provides conflicting advice that leaves your potential customer more confused instead of giving them the answers they want.
If you’re doing your marketing and sales using traditional inbound or outbound methods, the chances are that you’ll only be adding to this confusion with yet more information.
Your ideal customers are the 20% that generate 80% of your results
All your customers are high value, and your ideal customers are even higher value for your business. Your ideal customers value their relationship with your business much higher than your average customers. That’s why they stick with you for much longer; you generate better results for them, they don’t argue over the price you charge, and you enjoy working with them.
Your ideal customers are probably 3 to 4 times more profitable than your average customers. That’s why you want to design your marketing and sales process to make it as easy as possible for them to buy from you. You do this by designing your marketing and sales to provide them with value at every interaction with you.
How to build a Hubspot sales funnel that makes it easier for your ideal customers to buy from you
You want to design your sales funnel to provide the highest possible value for your ideal customers and make it easy for them to buy.
1) Start with your ideal customer
Review your current customer base to identify your best customers. Which of these customers would you and your team describe as ideal?
Don’t worry if you only have one, or even if you have none. If you have none, look at your best customers’ attributes and create a combination of attributes to create your ideal customer profile.
- What type of company are they? (Industry, size and corporate structure are all popular attributes to use)
- Where are they based?
- Who are the contacts that decide on your service?
- Who do you work with on a day to day basis?
- What mindset do they have?
- Why do they value working with you?
You can go as detailed as you like in the description of your ideal customer. The most important thing is that you document it to share with your team and review and refine it regularly.
2) Identify their problems that you solve
The way that I like to approach this is to describe where your ideal customers are right now.
- What do they want to achieve?
- What problems are they encountering when trying to achieve this goal?
- What mistakes are they making?
- What are the consequences of this on their lives and in their job?
3) What does their life look like after you have successfully delivered your solution?
- How is their life different now that they have achieved their goal
- What are the consequences of this on their lives and in their job?
When you have been through this exercise, you can identify the big problem you help them solve and the three most critical supporting problems.
Create an attractive 90 Day Solution
When you create a sales funnel, you must sell something to solve their problem in the near term.
At LexisClick, we work with consultancy businesses that have complex sales processes and high-value customers. Commonly, it will take 12 to 18 months for their customers to really start to experience their solutions’ benefits. Unfortunately, this is too long for someone to buy a solution quickly.
I recommend that you look at the problems you have identified above and find the ones you can solve in 90 days or less. Which of these will all of your customers need to solve to benefit from your primary solution?
If you have identified more than one, choose the one that will be the most important for your ideal customers to fix first.
Package this up as a stand-alone solution that you provide as the first step a customer needs to take before buying your primary solution.
I call this your 90 Day Solution. The goal of your sales funnel will be to sell this 90-Day Solution.
Help them to self diagnose their related problem
Sales funnels must be as self-service as possible. A great way to get prospects into your funnel is to help them self diagnose a problem. You can do this with a quiz, scorecard, or offer that asks them important questions and gives them a score at the end.
It works similar to a doctor diagnosing an illness. You ask questions about the symptoms that customers display with the problems that you solve. When a prospect self diagnoses that they have a problem you solve and you present your solution, you empower your prospect to choose whether they enter your sales process.
You can see an example scorecard by using our scorecard that diagnoses what is stopping your ideal customers from buying from you.
Use our scorecard to see how it works
Doing this gives your prospects an easy way to enter your funnel and gives them control over the process.
When you use a scorecard, you can also capture important information to tailor your marketing messages to their specific situation.
Give them a small solution to build trust
When they’ve completed your scorecard, it’ll still be a big step for them to take to buy your 90-Day Solution. To get your ideal customers started solving their problem and their buying journey with you, give them a small solution to buy immediately.
The price point of this will typically be in the range of $49 - $299 (£39 - £299), so that it is a low-risk buying option for your prospect. You want to give them a lot of value for this investment, to display your expertise and build trust with them.
Think about the problems you can solve in under 2 hours and ideally in 1 hour or less.
Identify the most practical problem for your ideal customer to solve first to make it easier for them to buy your 90-Day Solution.
When you’ve found the problem you can solve first, package it up in a way that provides high value to your ideal customers. Many of our customers use a structured 1-hour consultancy call that they would previously have given away as part of their sales process. They then stack value into this call with 2 or 3 additional resources that support the consultancy call and cost nothing additional to deliver.
Following this initial product, the next step is for the customer to buy an opportunity to co-create the 90-Day Solution.
Give them an option to co-create your 90-Day Solution
The 90-Day Solution that you provide to your customers will follow the same process for every customer; however, each customer’s situation will be unique.
They will have their own goals and objectives. They will have their own stakeholders that need to be included in the process and their own priorities for the problems that they are currently experiencing.
A simple product to sell is a workshop to cover these off and co-create the 90-Day Solution that you provide to ensure that the customer gets maximum value from it.
It is essential this stage is stand alone, and the outcomes could be used independently of working with you. If all the outcomes are dependent on working with you, the customer can feel trapped and duped that this is just part of your sales process.
It is part of your sales process, but because the product’s outcome can be used independently of you, the customer is getting value for their investment. You are also allowing your customer to control the process and make their own decision to work with you on providing the 90 Day Solution.
The benefit of them co-creating the 90 Day Solution with you is that they will be more invested in it. They have designed how they will benefit from it and will be much more likely to realise its benefits.
Design your product where you will co-create your 90 Day Solution with your customer.
Create your landing pages and payment mechanism
Each of the products you have created will need a landing page and payment mechanism for your customers to engage with and buy them. You’ll need a landing page for your:
Scorecard or quiz
Your small solution (that we call your Gateway Product)
Your co-creation solution
Your 90-Day Solution
You’ll also need a payment mechanism for your 2, 3 and 4 above. Hubspot has all the landing page functionality built-in, and we use a combination of Stripe and ChargeBee to take payments.
Pro Tip: ChargeBee and Stripe is a simple and low-cost payment solution for products sold in Hubspot.
When you start, you can keep your landing page simple. The most important thing is to include compelling reasons why your customer should take each step with you.
We keep the scorecard landing page very simple, with a title, intro text, three bullets and a CTA.
The main product landing pages will typically include a title, two short explanatory paragraphs, a video, pricing and a CTA to buy.
When you have these in place, you can guide your prospects and customers to the next stage in your sales funnel.
Create your workflows
Now that you have your landing page and payment assets in place, you can create your workflows to help prospects and customers progress through each step in your funnel.
Only a tiny percentage of your prospects will move from stage to stage immediately. You must build your funnel so that they can if they want to, but work on the basis that very few will progress without some further encouragement.
Each of the workflows you build must have a clear goal. I always recommend that whenever you build a workflow, you start with its goal.
Pro Tip: When building workflows, start by defining the workflow goal
Here are the basic workflows you’ll need for the funnel I have been describing:
MQL Qualification - Goal qualify as MQL
Scorecard to Gateway Product - Goal purchase the gateway product
Gateway Product to Co-creation Product - Goal purchase the co-creation product
90 Day Solution Sale - Goal purchase the 90 Day Sale
Each of these workflows should run on contacts that you have identified as marketing qualified leads. If they are not qualified, the contact should be added to your MQL qualification workflow and either qualified or moved to another status.
Pro tip: Delete contacts that you cannot qualify to keep your Hubspot CRM tidy and reduce your costs.
You can choose to build either independent workflows or attach your workflows to your deal stages. Your choice will depend on what you want your workflows to achieve.
Build your sales funnel report
Start by building your pipeline and deal stage for your funnel. If you are using Hubspot Starter, you’ll have to use your main pipeline for this; if you are using Hubspot Sales Pro or Enterprise, you can create a dedicated pipeline for your sales funnel.
Decide on your deal stages you’ll typically need stages for each of the following:
90 Day Solution Sale
Follow-up in 30 days
When you have created each of your deal stages, you can build your sales funnel report to report on each stage.
As a minimum, you’ll want to report on the following:
Channels feeding the funnel
Quiz / Scorecard completions
Metrics for each of the deal stages
Why this won’t work for you
There’s a bunch of reasons why you’ll think this won’t work for you. Here’s what I’ve found with my customers who have raised these objections.
1) Your sales process is too complex
Yes, your sales process is too complex, making it difficult for your ideal customers to buy from you. The most important job that marketing can do is to make it easier to buy from you.
The sales funnel’s job is to make it easier for your ideal customer to buy from you. Going through the process that I have outlined above will make it easier to buy from you. We have run through this process for some very complex sales, including £250k machines for customers worth £200 million over their lifetime with the business and where these sales can be years in the winning.
If it can work for companies with sales processes like this, it can work for you too.
Pro tip: If you’re finding it hard to start with your primary service, do you have a supporting service that is a more accessible starting point?
2) Your customers all have different needs
Your customers are all different, and they also have a lot in common. The beauty is this process is designed to allow for the differences in your customers. When you design each stage to follow a process that identifies each customer’s unique situation, you’ll create a powerful sales funnel.
It is likely that your current sales process already follows this approach. You’ll have a similar process that you follow to extract your prospects current situation. Use this approach when designing the products for your sales funnel.
Pro tip: Review your sales process to identify the standard processes you are currently using to discover and understand your prospects’ different situations.
3) Your customers buy personal relationships
People indeed buy people, and building a sales funnel reduces the amount of direct contact you’ll have with prospects during your sales process.
A well-designed sales funnel makes your sales process more efficient and means that you get paid for the value that you create during the process instead of giving it away. When your customer pays for the value they receive, they’ll value it higher and will be more likely to realise the value.
Even though they have spent less time with you, they’ll value the time they spent with you more highly. So rather than decreasing the personal relationship, it increases the value of the relationship when done well.
Pro tip: When someone pays for the value they receive, they are more likely to realise the value.
Will this approach work for you?
This approach will work for most types of business. Now that you understand the process, you’ll notice it in use across the internet.
At LexisClick, we’ve designed this process for consultancy businesses and consultancy led sales processes. We find it works best when the annual customer value is at least $6,000 and the customer lifetime is at least three years.
The best way to find out if this process will work for you is to use the scorecard we’ve created. It’ll help you identify the problems you currently have and whether this approach will work for you.
Get your ideal customers lining up to do business with you
This post has given you an outline of building a high performing sales funnel for high-value sales in Hubspot.
Suppose you currently find that your sales and marketing takes a lot of time. In that case, you give a lot of value away during your sales process. If you’re also finding your marketing isn’t attracting enough of your ideal customers, I recommend building a sales funnel to make it easier for your ideal customers to buy.
When you make it easier for your ideal customers to buy from you, sales becomes easy. Your ideal customers will be lining up to do business with you, they’ll buy from you much faster than ever before, and you’ll waste a lot less time on sales and marketing.
You’ll know what marketing works and what doesn’t, you’ll be confident in hitting your growth targets, and you’ll have much more time available to increase the value you provide to your ideal customers that will attract even more of them to you.
P.s. Take your scorecard to see how the process works.
You can productise your consultancy fast and efficiently
I believe that consultants are the world’s most valuable problem solvers and can solve the world’s biggest problems. My mission is that other consultants don’t have to waste the time I have spent learning how to productise my consultancy business.
If you want to productise your consultancy, I have created a one-page cheat sheet that gives you a high-level overview of the steps to take and summarises this post.
If you have already started on your productising journey, you can score how you are doing using the scorecard that I have created.
Allow your consultancy to deliver the lifestyle and legacy you want
Productisating your consultancy can deliver the lifestyle that you want and allow you to leave a valuable legacy in the world. You don’t need to work to have the lifestyle you deserve and leave a legacy that you’ll be proud of. Productising isn’t a get rich scheme, but it will mean that you can achieve what you really want to achieve from your consultancy. It also doesn’t matter if you have recently started out or are planning to sell in the next few years. Now is always the best time to get started on productising your consultancy.