A sales funnel is a process that moves prospects from the initial stage of awareness or interest to their goal, which is usually conversion into a paying customer.
It is a framework that marketers use to track the progress of leads through the company’s sales process. It is typically designed in the shape of an inverted pyramid. It starts with the widest part at the top (the widest part represents all potential customers) and narrows to individual customers at the bottom (representing actual sales).
A typical sales funnel is divided into five stages: Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Purchase and Repeat/Referrals.
One of the main ways sales funnels differ from websites is that a website will have multiple navigation points whereas a sales funnel will have just a single point of action where the visitor can either enter his email, click a video, make a purchase, etc.
This way, a sales funnel is much more conversion oriented than a traditional website. The idea behind a sales funnel is to take the uncertainty out of the buying decision by guiding people through a systematic process that goes from solving their problem, to educating them about your product or service, to finally making the purchase.
The fundamental goals of a website and a sales funnel are different in nature and they can be summarised as below,
- Build an attractive offer,
- Capture leads through landing pages,
- Guide visitors through the buying process with personalized messages,
- Convert visitors into buyers,
- Allow customers to make repeat purchases,
- Generate interest in your business or cause, product or service online,
- Provide more information on your product or service with details on features, pricing, etc.
- Provide a way for your customers or clients to contact you,
- Improve the overall branding of your business,
- Building social proof for your business with details of your existing clients and customers, testimonials, etc.,
- Give a detailed insight of your business with an in-depth ‘About Us’ page.,
- Provide information about your team members, office locations, etc.
- Informing your clients on your company culture, things you stand for as a brand,
- Build relationships with potential customers.
As effective as sales funnels are in driving up conversions and revenue for your business, it is important to consider the following factors while building them. Let's have a look at these factors,
If the right prospects are not attracted to the sales funnel, then the chances of making a sale are slim.
First, it is important to understand what defines a good prospect. They are people who have some level of interest in what is being offered at the funnel.
Second, if your offer is a B2C product, they must have some disposable income or have access to funds that are not being used elsewhere. Then, they should be at least somewhat knowledgeable about the product or service being offered at this stage of the funnel.
Third, prospects must have an established desire for what is being offered at this stage of the funnel. It may be that they don't know how their problem will be solved yet but they just need more information before they decide on buying something from you.
Once you have brought in prospects and leads into the funnel, the next most important aspect is to qualify the leads and see how likely they are to make a purchase.
It is a vital step as not all leads are equal for your business and their value has to be evaluated at the earliest stage possible so that you do not waste more resources towards less valuable leads. This is known as lead scoring or lead qualification.
Lead qualification is mainly based on the following factors,
The time you spend on qualifying your leads provides you with many advantages such as
Nurturing leads is a critical step in the sales funnel conversion process. Your prospects need to build trust in your company before they are ready to buy your product or service.
A typical way to do this is through lead nurturing which consists of sending emails or using tools like webinars for example to get information about potential buyers' needs and show how your products can meet these needs.
The purpose of nurturing leads is to provide prospects with a series of content, whether it be educational or interactive, that they need to become paying customers.
You can use two types of lead nurturing techniques: prospecting and retargeting.
The prospecting technique consists of sending information about your company and products to potential customers through email, social media, and forums.
The retargeting technique consists of following up on past interactions with prospects by sending them ads or promotional material via email or social media.
Nurturing leads also helps you by letting you know which prospects need more attention and which ones are less interested, so that you can focus on the right people.
This helps increase your lead conversion rate and reduce your spent time, effort and money on uninterested leads.
Lead nurturing also provides a meaningful opportunity for companies to build relationships, answer questions, and provide resources that will help their prospects make informed decisions about the company’s products or services.
There are plenty of reasons why customer retention is important:
Sales funnels can be simple or complex in design and can include many moving parts. There are many things to keep in mind when building a sales funnel but there are two key components:
In order to achieve the above mentioned points, it is important to use the right software tools to map, build, and track your funnel.
Tools like MarketPlan will help you with easing the whole process by making it so efficient to map your whole funnel before building it and track how well it converts in order to keep optimizing it continuously.
There are no shortage of funnel builders in the market, but it is crucial to choose the right one that suits your exact requirements and patterns of usage.
The Tools you are using ideally must be,
A sales funnel when done right can be an incredibly important source of revenue generator for a business. They provide a framework for marketing campaigns to ensure that they are providing value to customers at each stage of the campaign.
However, in order to be a funnel to be effective, it is important to make sure you follow the right steps as explained above. See how you can use MarketPlan for free to start mapping your own funnels today!
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