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What is a Sales Funnel? How to Build and Optimize Your Sales Funnel?

One of the prime concepts of digital marketing as well as sales is the sales funnel. 

So, what is sales funnel? 

The sales funnel is the process of a customer’s journey from “lead” to “sale”. The sales funnel stages will simply portray how leads pass through your sales process from start to close. Its a visual picture of the number game in the form of a funnel. 

There are mainly three stages to the sales funnel, although the stages may vary depending upon the requirement of the business. 

Sales funnel stages 

1. Awareness 

Awareness is the top level of the sales funnel. Here the buyer looks for solutions of his/her problems and discovers products or services to pursue opportunities. 

2. Consideration 

Consideration is the middle level of the sales funnel. Here the buyer evaluates other different products or services and engages with sellers in order to choose the best of all. 

3. Decision 

Decision is the bottom level of the sales funnel. Here the buyer decides the solution based on his/her needs and makes the final decision of buying a particular product or service. 

The Importance of Understanding the Sales Funnel

Thorough understanding of the sales funnel is beneficial as it enables you to figure out potential gaps and obstacles within the system. When evaluating the number of leads getting into each stage of your sales funnel and the related conversion rates, you may come across considerable drop-offs. Prospects mostly exit the funnel when their requirements don’t align with the services you provide, and it’s impractical to wait for retention of each lead that enters.

For your sales team members, the attention should be on holding on to those prospects genuinely preferring your products or services. Although, the obstacles arise when a bulk  volume of leads completes your funnel, creating it difficult for the sales team members to forecast and transform them into customers. Such can lead to unqualified hot leads at the top of the funnel, resulting in dropouts due to sluggish response times or remaining in the middle, finally transforming into cold leads. Missing out on important opportunities lays down a risk for businesses, and there are several ways leads can be lost at multiple stages of the sales funnel.

Benefits of sales funnel 

  • Lead Disregard: The sales funnel enables sales team representatives to filter out leads that are not worth managing in the funnel for an elevated period of time.
  • Sales Forecasting: The sales funnel delivers an important view over sales forecasts for monthly, semi-annual, or annual periods.
  • Lead Engagement and Nurture: Guides marketers in occupying and nurturing leads depending on their stage in the funnel, customized impact accordingly.
  • Transparent Process Insight: Provides a clear overview of the complete process, encouraging the sales and marketing team members to stay attentive on their targets and goals.

Why is it important to build a sales funnel? 

It is important to build a sales funnel because it is an effective instrument for lead generation. Here are certain factors necessary to build a sales funnel – 

  • Identification of prospects 
  • Generation and engagement of leads 
  • Sales volume prediction 
  • Coordination between marketing and sales team 
  • Increases conversion rate 

How to build sales funnel? 

1. Implement CRM Software 

The CRM software helps you to make sales funnel management easy and efficient. An effective CRM software enables you to sort the qualifying leads. It also registers the enquires and conversations with details of the client. It helps to capture the maximum information of the customer’s requirement. Thus, you can qualify leads, track activities at every sales stage, monitor and also follow up at the right time through automation. 

Read our blog – How To Implement CRM Successfully

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2. Use social media 

Social media is another boon which can be used effectively at every stage of the sales funnel. In social media, the people who like, follow or share your social media feeds are your prospects. These customers check your product details on the website and may place the order as per their requirement. Thus, managing and active and interactive social media can result into a lead generating tool. 

3. Create a landing page 

A landing page is the major point of contact for your potential customers. The landing page can create your first impression on the customers. It should include necessary keywords for higher search engine visibility and also provide clear information of what products or services the customers will get from your business. 

4. Write informative blogs 

Blogging is not just to put some content on the platform but the main purpose is to provide information and knowledge to a vast group of people. These blogs helps to form a two way communication where the audience are able to respond. By providing your unique thoughts and ideas to the audience you can enhance your brand identity. 

5. Cross-sell and up-sell 

Cross-sell and up-sell is one of the major reasons behind gaining profits. Cross-sell or up-sell happens when the customers have reached the bottom level of the sales funnel and you could make use of the opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell.  

A Guide to Building a Funnel

  • Get the attention of your customers – Your sales funnel will only start working when users enter it. Even the foremost amazing sales funnel won’t fetch you results unless you will be able to attract your audience to enter it. Therefore the process starts with getting the proper content in front of your audience. Organic efforts like SEO optimization, blogs, SM posts, and paid marketing like Facebook ads and Google Adwords can help you grab their “attention”. 
  • Get started with nurturing campaigns – Now that your prospects have turned into leads, it’s time to begin marketing to them. However, confirm to not flood them with content. Keep the frequency of your marketing content to merely what is required to remain on top of their minds, not break their minds. Educating them, convincing them, and making a proposal they can’t refuse are all part of “lead nurturing”. At the tip of this nurture period, you should have inspired your leads to convert and make a purchase.
  • Get to know your audience –  Knowledge is power and the more you know about your audience, your sales funnel becomes much better. It is futile to market from a hilltop to everyone below. Rather, market to those users who are a good “fit” for your brand.

Sales funnel strategies

Let us take a closer look at the sales funnel strategies to optimize sales funnel management. 

1. Eliminate unnecessary steps in sales funnel 

Do not include unnecessary or extra steps in your sales funnel which makes a customer rethink the purchase decision. Keeping your sales funnel stages simple and short helps you to manage sales funnel efficiently. 

2. Manage your sales funnel with a CRM System

Prospect customers do not act in the same way as qualified customers. You need to correctly define the sales stages in the CRM. Knowing which sales stages you require in your sales CRM pipeline is the initial step to move your customers through the sales funnel stages. 

Benefits of using CRM system to manage sales funnel 

  • Helps you to define sales process. 
  • Identify leaks in sales funnel. 
  • Streamline the conversion process. 
  • Track activities at every stage 
  • Monitor and follow-up prospects. 
  • Reduces the time spent on each stage. 

Use SalesBabu CRM Software for smart sales funnel management!! 

Win More Leads with SalesBabu CRM Software :

SalesBabu CRM Software is a full-fledged Online Cloud based CRM Software that handles every sales funnel stage and allows you to focus on the right leads at the right time. The SalesBabu CRM provides complete visibility into the sales funnel from lead generation to lead conversion. Want to know how to convert more leads to deals? Check out our blog – Win More Leads With SalesBabu CRM Software

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3. Understand bottlenecks in your sales funnel 

Understanding even the minor bottlenecks in the sales process becomes important in the business. These bottlenecks will give you an outlook on where you need to improve yourself or inculcate new strategies in order to work smoothly. These bottlenecks may include poor demo, lack of follow-up, inaccurate quoting etc that can derail the sales funnel from the track. 

Simple mistakes that may ruin effective sales funnel management

  • You are not tracking enough data 
  • Unable to balance lead generation and lead management 
  • Including too many steps in the sales cycle
  • You are unable to overcome customer’s inhibitions 
  • Lack of automated features. But, if you are already using a CRM, and yet unable to make the utmost use of CRM to convert more leads to sales, then you are using it wrong. Want to know how? Refer this blog – Mistakes which ruin CRM and sales process
  • Your sales and marketing department are not aligned. 
  • Untrained employees. 

Wrap up

 A sales CRM like SalesBabu CRM, can help you manage your sales funnel smartly as every sales stage can be systemized and administered for a much more productive sales lifecycle.