Sales funnel is one of the most essential concepts in the digital marketing world. And, we can define sales funnels as the journey that businesses take their prospective customers before they become customers. A typical sales funnel is segmented into different steps—all of which differ depending on the sales funnel.
Now, this model uses a funnel as a comparison because a business can start with a large number of prospective customers at the top of the sales process, only to end up with a few customers making the purchase. As each prospect passes through every funnel stage, it shows a deeper commitment towards the purchase goal. The majority of businesses today, whether conventional or online, use a sales funnel to guide their marketing strategies in every phase of the sales funnel.
The stages of a sales funnel
From when a prospect hears about your business, to the time they buy from you, the prospect passes through various stages of a sales funnel. At times, the journey might differ among different prospects, depending on their buying personas, the type of products or services you sell, as well as your niche.
So, before you start building a sales funnel, it’s important to have a clear vision of your business, create a strong eCommerce marketing strategy, and then identify your target audience. For instance, if you want to create an online fashion store, you must follow the steps specific to this industry to create your business and remain successful.
Therefore, you should note that it’s very possible to have as many stages as possible in your sales funnel. However, the following are the major steps that you must pay attention to when creating a sales funnel.
- The awareness stage – this is the stage where your prospects become aware of your business.
- Interest stage – in this stage, your prospects show interest in your products or services. They mostly do this by researching more about your products or services.
- Evaluation stage – this is the stage where your prospects evaluate products or services offered by your competitors as they near making their final decision.
- Decision-making stage – now, this is where your prospects make their final decision, and start the negotiation process.
- Purchase stage – your prospects turn into customers and purchase your products or services.
- Re-evaluation stage – at times, it common to come offering to include contracts that require renewal. Now, as your customers familiarize themselves with your offering, especially when your contract is about to expire, the customers can enter into a re-evaluation stage, and this is where they decide whether or not to renew the contract.
- Repurchase stage – this is where the customer repurchases your products or services.
How sales funnel can help businesses to attract leads
Sales funnel helps to build brand awareness
This is the first step of a lead generation process using a sales funnel. The only way a customer can buy from your business is when they are aware of what you offer. Now, this is the first job for any marketer—increasing brand awareness when creating a sales funnel. The best way to get your products or services out there is through search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. However, if you don’t have the budget or the right audience, you can opt for traditional marketing methods like radio and TV ads, billboards, and newspapers, among others.
In this stage, you should assume that your target audience isn’t aware of your business and the products or services that you offer. Therefore, the method that you choose to reach out to your target audience should be about letting them know who you are and what value you can add to their life. This is very crucial as it plays a major role in building the trust of your prospective leads.
For your lead generation goals to be successful, you must understand these essential components, especially the products or services you are marketing, the presentation or message you are sending out to your prospective leads, as well as the channels that you use to engage your customers. A solid sales funnel will help you to achieve this.
When it comes to lead generation, not every lead captured is qualified or viable to become a sales-ready lead. However, a sales funnel ensures that all your prospects go through lead qualification to check whether the lead can convert to a sales-ready or true marketing lead, which can ultimately turn into an opportunity. Lead qualification also lets you know whether your prospects require additional nurturing.
This is the step where you can get a good insight on how to send the right messages to the right people, and at the right time. Typically, this will involve conversions, opportunity marketing, and engagements from your sales and marketing team. This helps to determine the intimacy, interest, and intent understanding from your leads.