A sales funnel is a marketing system that enables you to track the journey of a customer from just being a potential prospect to becoming a sold customer. A sales funnel is a strategy where you set stages in the sales process through which you can qualify a customer. The first stage accommodates the highest number of customers, and it narrows down as a customer reaches towards the final sale, giving it the structure of a funnel.
A good salesperson or social media marketing professional should be well versed in the concept of a sales funnel.
Why Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel or conversion funnel is one of the most popular marketing strategies most businesses use to track their sales. It is always better to have an organized approach towards sales rather than hitting any target randomly and failing.
Understanding a sales funnel and putting it to use in your business will simplify your sales process in many ways. A sales funnel gives you a clear vision of where your sales efforts are going. You get an idea of who your hot leads are and can focus on them. It helps you analyze your marketing campaigns and perform better. You can nurture your unconverted leads in an organized manner.
How to Use Sales Funnel in Your Business
As I mentioned before, a sales funnel is divided into different stages. The number of stages would depend upon the type of the business. At each stage, you attract your leads with different campaigns and qualify them as you go down the funnel.
The Top of the Funnel
This is the part of the funnel, where you’ll have the maximum number of leads. It can be a list of your target market whom you intend to make your customers. It is the point where you are informing your target market about the products or services you have to offer.
There are several ways in which you can inform your prospects about your business. Again, it largely depends on the nature of your business. For some businesses, it could be social media posts, blogs or paid ads, like cost-per-click or ads from Google Adwords.
For some businesses, it could just be cold calls or email campaigns. It is important to choose the right traffic source to inform your target market about your product. You want to spread the word to as many people as you can.
The Middle of the Funnel
Once you’ve informed your target market about your business, you wait for them to respond to that information. It could be as simple as signing up for your email list or giving some confirmation over a call. The number of people who respond positively at the initial stage, qualify to the middle of the funnel. These are the people who are your potential customers, who are interested in your product.
Now that you know the number of people who are interested in your product, it is easier to focus on them and work on attracting them further to purchase your product. At this stage, you begin to nurture your leads. You can offer these leads a free sample of your product, a free demo of your service, free entry to one of your programs, a free ebook, or any other gift.
There are upsell techniques that you can follow to do this. It is also called as the theory of reciprocity. Offering something for free to a potential customer develops his trust in you, and brings him closer towards the final sale. If you engage your customers effectively at this stage, there are higher chances of them getting converted.
The Bottom of the Funnel
You’ve given out information about your products, and you’ve offered something of value to your hot leads. Now, wait and watch who are the ones who are keen on your products. The interested people will register for your offer, moving further down the sales funnel.
These are the people who are close to getting converted. You can now pitch for the final sale. Closing a sale can sometimes be tricky. If you’re not cautious enough, some people might just slip out of the funnel. You have to follow up with care and well in time to close the sale.
Another important responsibility as a salesperson at this stage is to keep your customer happy and satisfied. You’ve put a lot of effort to get a customer to the bottom of the funnel. Some of these customers might purchase your products, and some might not. But you need to maintain the existing customers and keep working on the potential ones for future.
The sales funnel is a brilliant way to channelize your sales efforts effectively, and get the best results. Creating a sales funnel is like setting a game plan with specific action steps at each stage to ensure you achieve maximum sales. However, remember that you always have a chance to convert the leads who did not materialize in the first go; even the ones who didn’t respond at the first stage. It is all about persistent movements at the right time.