In marketing, the sales funnel refers to the steps customers go through to make a purchase. A sales funnel typically has three steps: the top, middle, and bottom, although the order of the steps varies depending on a company’s sales model.
The pain of missing a sale is well known to any business owner. Prospects drop out of the sales funnel after weeks of bids, presentations, chatter, and charm.
Sometimes things happen. Having the right sales funnel management help makes it less likely to happen. The sales funnel of many small businesses is more like a sieve, with holes created by missed appointments, forgotten follow-ups, patched-together spreadsheets, and sticky notes.
It’s possible to eliminate those holes in the sales funnel and turn near-misses into deals with marketing automation software.
What is the purpose of the sales funnel?
In every stage of your potential customer’s journey, you can use a sales funnel to evaluate their thoughts and actions. With insights like these, you can invest in the most effective marketing channels, generate the most relevant marketing messages during each stage, and increase your conversions.
Stages of the Sales Funnel
In your sales funnel, prospects move through several stages before deciding whether to buy (or not). Although every prospect’s path through your funnel will be different, they’ll evaluate it based on their interest level. Your offer will be evaluated against competition based on the problem they are trying to solve.
The process generally involves four stages:
Stage 1: Awareness
Getting people to notice your product or service is the first step in the sales funnel. It’s where people first become aware of your product or service. Advertisements, social media, or word of mouth may lead them to learn about your company.
It depends on your ability to generate sales and market to entice them down the funnel. In the lower and middle sales funnel stages, attention should be given to those prospects who have moved beyond awareness to interest.
For example, a prospect becomes aware of your company for the first time during the awareness stage. You may have found them through an ad, a blog, a Google search, or a colleague who mentioned your product or service.
Stage 2: Interest
A prospect’s interest level will determine whether they are interested in your brand after learning about it. Your offer will be evaluated against competition based on the problem they are trying to solve.
Stage 3: Decision
With the insight you provide about your company, prospects can learn more about your offer’s packaging and pricing options. A sales page, webinar, or call helps to influence prospects during this stage.
Stage 4: Action
This is the point at which all of your work is put to the test: whether the prospect purchases something. The deal isn’t lost if they don’t. To stay on top of your prospects’ minds, you can create nurture campaigns.
Creating a sales funnel for your business
Prospects must be able to move through your sales funnel before your sales funnel can exist. By using lead scoring, you can identify prospects’ behavior and engagement levels once you have them.
You can create your own sales funnel by following these five steps:
- Build a landing page
Most prospects will discover your company for the first time through a landing page. An ad, webinar, or ebook download landing page will be accessible if they click on it. Having a landing page that communicates your unique value proposition should be a top priority (considering that this may be the only chance you will have to wow prospects). You also need a form on the landing page to gather prospect information – to market to them in the future, you want to capture their email address.
- Offer something of value
The next step is to get your prospects’ email addresses by giving them something in exchange. You can offer something of value on your landing page by offering a lead magnet, such as an ebook or whitepaper.
- Start nurturing
Your prospects will then move from awareness to interest at this point. Furthermore, you can send educational content about your offering to each individual because you have all their email addresses.
The more you offer prospects in the Decision stage, the more likely they are to purchase. Demos, extended free trials, or special discounts are possible.
- Keep it going
If you do not acquire new clients, you will find out exactly why prospects do not want to buy. Regardless of your decision, stay in touch. Concentrate on educating new customers, keeping them engaged, and retaining them. Develop a follow-up series for prospects who do not make a purchase.
Create a sales funnel visualization and observe the metrics after its implementation. You will have a better understanding of where your business is succeeding and where it is falling short. The software eliminates the guesswork for your marketing department and presents clear solutions and answers.