The sales funnel is an essential tool for businesses to understand and optimize their customer journey. It provides a framework to analyze the customer journey from initial awareness to conversion, and helps companies generate leads and convert them into paying customers. The purpose of the funnel is to introduce your product or service to people, make them interested in it, and make them the right offer at the right time. It also incentivizes them with bonuses and discounts, collects their contact information, and ultimately increases their lifetime value. Having an online sales funnel allows you to get the best results from your sales leads.
It also allows you to understand your customers and measure progress at every stage of the sales process. Instead of striving to attract all potential customers, a well-structured sales funnel can allow you to speak directly with the right leads. A sales funnel consists of several steps, commonly known as the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. These steps may vary depending on the company's sales model.
If you've done your homework (including conducting market research), your unique selling proposition (USP) is clear and you've designed your sales funnel to attract “qualified leads for marketing” (MQL) based on user profiles created from demographic and psychographic data. Once you know the stages of the sales funnel, it's time to figure out where you're losing potential customers. Prospecting and marketing are all the things you do to get people to the first of your sales funnel stages. Potential customers who are in the middle and lower stages of the sales funnel are those you should pay the most attention to, since they go beyond awareness and focus on interest. Nowadays, a successful company depends on both sales and marketing to guide customers through the sales funnel and build customer loyalty.
This involves taking advantage of content marketing, customer data analysis, and two-way communication provided by social media marketing. When you have a well-organized sales funnel and you've analyzed the number of potential customers with whom you've established a working relationship, you can use it to predict sales volume. From the moment potential customers find out about your product or service to the moment they make a purchase (or don't), they go through different stages of your sales funnel. When leads move from MQL to SQL (“qualified leads for sales”), this means that they are nearing the end of the “consideration” phase and are now close to entering the “decision” phase of the sales funnel. Whatever your own stages of the sales funnel, the support you'll need to manage them will be the same. You can use a sales funnel to visualize every step a potential customer takes and discover delivery or departure points of their journey.
This process can vary from one potential customer to another due to variations in buyer personality, products, and types of niches, so your sales funnel can have as many stages as possible.