What Is Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel refers to the journey of potential leads through the sales process to become customers. Sales funnel strategy differs from one business to the other. There are different stages in the sales funnel, potential leads are filtered at each stage and finally becomes customers to your business.
Need For Sales Funnel
The marketing team works hard to generate leads in your business. Each and every lead generated will not be your customers; they come across the various stages of the sales process and finally, only a few of the generated leads will be your customers. But generally, there will be an expectation of more conversion rates. The sales funnel strategy is the marketing strategy designed to understand the stages that potential leads come across and identify the possible ways to increase the qualified leads and their conversion rate without any lead leakage.
Sales Funnel Stages
Generally, the sales funnel stages are broken down into three – top, middle, and bottom with several phases. Here we discuss each stage of the sales funnel and how it works.
Top Of The Funnel
The top of the funnel comprises two phases, the first is the awareness phase and the second is the interest phase.
Awareness Phase: Create awareness about your existence by advertising usage of your products, benefits of your products, or your new product with advanced technology. Awareness can be created by banners in public places, creating marketing campaigns or programs, advertisements, digital marketing, social media, and blog posts.
Interest Phase: If the potential lead faces any issues or challenges, they have that curiosity to find a better solution to fix their issue or challenge. With this interest, the potential lead will discover your product or solution in the market and reach your products for inquiry.
Middle Of The Funnel
The middle of the funnel comprises two phases evaluation phase and the decision phase.
Evaluation Phase: When the potential lead sincerely looks for the solution to fix the issue. Your sales team can make a follow-up call to initiate the process through a product demo or client meeting. In this process, you can understand the issue the prospect is facing and explain to them how the product will help them to fix the issue. In this phase, the potential lead evaluates your products or solution with your competitors and analyzes the better solution that fixes the issue. Provide the potential lead with your prospects, video tutorials, blogs, competitor comparisons, and use case of your products. Explain to them how your products stand out from competitors.
Decision Phase: When the potential lead understands more about your product and its benefits. It helps them to determine that your product is right for their current need to fix the issue. In this stage, the sales rep will submit their proposals, terms and conditions, and their agreement to the lead. The lead may accept or object to some of their proposals depending on the situation. Some leads may negotiate depending on their budget constraint. It may result in a winning deal or close deal; it is quite unpredictable. You should have a record of lost leads as well. It will help you to analyze the reason for losing and nurture the leads in the future to win back business.
Bottom Of The Funnel
The bottom of the funnel comprises three phases: purchase phase, re-evaluation phase, and repurchase phase. These phases differ depending on the business. In the case of B2C (Business to Consumer or Customer) sales, the bottom of the funnel ends with the purchase phase and repurchase phase. But in the case of the B2B sales funnel (B2B – Business to Business), it is common to offer contracts and that is to be renewed after a certain period and hence it involves all three phases.
Purchase Phase: When the potential lead accepts your proposal and settles with the negotiation. Now the potential lead turns into a customer by purchasing your products or services. The sales team moves the deal to the won stage in the sales pipeline and begins their services to the new customer.
Re-evaluation Phase: In the B2B sales funnel, the customer is familiar with the contract time period. When there is a need for renewal this re-evaluation phase takes place. In this phase, the customer re-evaluates the need for the contract and decides whether to renew or not.
Re-Purchase Phase: In this phase, if the customer really enjoys the benefit of your product or services and finds the need for your product or service in the future. Then the customer will purchase your product or service again.
Both marketing and sales teams adopt the best sales funnel strategies to optimize the lead in each stage of the sales funnel aimed at converting the potential leads into customers.
How To Create A Sales Funnel From Scratch?
Till now we discussed what the sales funnel actually is and how it works. Now we are going to learn how to build the best sales funnel for the business.
Step 1: Analyze Your Prospects
The more you understand your prospects, the more effective your sales funnel becomes. All the prospects will not be your customers. The client may not know the correct name or may not have clear knowledge about the product or mismatch your product or service as their need. Spending time on prospects who really do not need your products will waste your time. List the needs of the prospects and match them with your products or services. Understand their needs first and analyze whether they are a good fit for what you sell.
Step 2: Capture Your Potential Qualified Leads
The only way your sales funnel works is by marketing. Diversify your product/service through advertisements, dropping your content and videos on various platforms, marketing your products on social media.
Identify the lead source which offers you more qualified leads and nurture them with the product demos, educate the qualified leads with contents, videos, white papers of your products/services. Lead nurturing will help your leads to understand more about your products and their benefits.
Step 3: Build A Landing Page
Your marketing advertisements and other content need to take your prospects somewhere and direct them to a landing page like making an offer of free ebook downloads or videos that define the benefits of your products. The landing page which the prospects directed should steer the interest toward the next step.
There will be a lot of visitors on your landing page. The main focus is to capture the leads and not to push all the prospects for sale. The most important thing is that the landing page has a form for prospects to enter their information in order to capture their email address and continue your communication with them.
Step 4: Create An Email Drip Campaign
Now your prospects are aware of your products and their needs. Create your email series and nurture them regularly with your contents through email, not often but frequently like two emails a week.
The prospects who are really in need of your products will continue reading your content. Continue educating them on how your products or services will help them with the current demand. Increase their curiosity about your products.
Enhance their interest by offering discounts, coupon codes, and surprising gifts and drive them for decision-making (for the purchase of the products).
Step 5: Keep In Touch
In this action phase, either the lead would have purchased your products. If not, hear from them why the prospects are not interested in purchasing. Keep the communication going, in a different way create a new series for prospects who have not purchased your products to check with them every few months. Thank the prospects who purchased your products, involve them in the social media sphere and engage them by educating them more about your products and their special features.
Find The Cracks In Your Sales Funnel Stages
We should track our leads carefully, even potential qualified leads can leak out of the sale funnel if they are not nurtured carefully. It is good to analyze and have a clear idea of each and every step in your sales process. The best sales funnel helps you to track the leads and identify the reasons behind the loss of each and every lead. It is a good practice to have a record of the lost leads to follow-up and nurture them in the future.
The moment your business grows and transforms, so will your marketing efforts. Therefore, making transformations or the development of the funnel you will likely make mistakes. The most necessary thing is that you figure out any leaks in your funnel and plug them up rapidly.
The sales funnel has been introduced and what we can understand from it such as :
Once the content is published, such a landing page stays, but not getting any customer attention on your posts which can show a failure to realize your target audience. Create an awareness stage of your sales funnel and you must seek for your audience. Try to form customer personas and utilize them. Blindly publishing content and hoping it sticks will get you nowhere.
At such a level, the potential customer has nearly signed up for your newsletter or chased you on social media which indicates that they’re interested in what you have to present.
In order to assure you maintain their interest, you need to publish appropriate, targeted content for them. Provide them knowledge regarding your product or service rather than hard selling. In case you’re losing target audience from your sales funnel at this stage it can determine an issue with your content or your approach.
Losing people at the desired stage may determine your desirable offer isn’t as desirable as you thought. It’s the time to pay attention to your competitors. Things they are providing that you aren’t, the way you make your own offer more desirable than others kind of methods.
Win such a stage and you’ll become one step closer to a sales funnel.
Completing the hard yards, along with the content was killer and an offer must require. It is the time for implementing the action. In case you are losing people at such a stage of the game it can determine an issue with your buyer’s journey. Maybe your website is tough enough to utilize or your contact information is not obvious enough.
Whatever the cause, it’s something to be fixed ASAP.
Sales funnel is simply a visual representation of leads who pass through your sales process from start to end. The sales team can retain the ones who are ready to buy only under great effort. There are myriad ways you may lose your leads or remain stuck in the middle of the funnel. But how to spot and stop the leaks in your funnel effectively. Automate your sales funnel with sales funnel management software.
How Does An Automated Sales Funnel Work?
An automated sales funnel works by delivering messages or your content automatically through different platforms and technologies. An automated sales funnel enables you to capture more customers’ behavior data from the centralized database from anywhere around the clock.
An automated sales funnel can be time-based or behavior-based. In the time-based funnels for sales, the contents are delivered at a set of time intervals by capturing their email address in your landing page.
In behavioral-based funnels for sales, every move of the prospects is determined and the series of messages differ by their interest. Behavioral-based funnels for sales provide better results as it is based on the user’s interest.
An automated sales funnel can be created by tracking the prospect’s behavior and generating automated emails or messages. This can be done with a solid CRM. Make use of CRM for sales funnel management.
Many people realize that CRM is an automated database management system but it is not so. CRM software helps you to automate your sales process right from:
- Identifying qualified leads
- Prioritize the qualified leads
- Routing them to the right salesperson for conversion
- Timely follow-ups
- Setting reminders and generating automated emails to clients
- Tracking the sales activity at every stage of the sales funnel
- Identify the leaks in the sales funnel strategy
- Streamline the conversion process to bring leads to the bottom of the funnel
Automate your sales funnel with SalesBabu CRM. Choose your best sales funnel Management system and enhance your sales. Feel free to request a demo.
Sales funnel management is important for the sales to generate revenue. More sales conversion will generate more revenue. Missing a potential qualified lead is a big loss of golden opportunity. Carefully manage your leads in each and every stage of the sales. Automate your sales funnel to track your leads and their leakage. Identify the solution to clog your leakage and convert them into customers and grow your business with technology.