A sales funnel is a crucial component of the digital marketing industry. Used rightly, it can literally take a business from its non-existent state to a multi-million dollar automated marketing machine – seemingly overnight. In fact, a few professionals have built enviable careers around this simple, yet distinct marketing process.
A sales funnel can easily be compared t a real-life funnel. When a substance is poured into the funnel from the top of it, filtration occurs as the substance finds its way to its final destination. In the same way, you would find lots of visitors at the entry point of your sales funnel. However, unlike the well known real-life funnel, not all visitors will emerge at the final destination. A sales funnel can be described as a multi-step process that moves prospects into buyers – and loyal customers. It is a multi-stepped process in that a lot of processes occur within the timeframe where a prospect ‘enters’ your funnel and when they take action by purchasing your product/service.
How the Sales Funnel Process Works
Although a marketing sales funnel varies according to the approach a company adopts, it is generally divided into four stages.
The largest number of prospects are found at this stage. At this stage, a prospective customer has recognized a problem, begun the search for a solution, and identified an organization through social media platforms, email marketing, content marketing, or other channels.
The number of prospects reduces at this stage – and the sales conversion potential increases. The prospect generally sets out t find out more about the solutions an organization can provide at this stage.
Once the awareness has been established and the prospect has reached out to the organization to find solutions to their problems, making a decision is the next important step. A prospect will most likely make more research and consider an organization’s sales offers before a decision is made.
This is the final step or destination for a prospect. It is at this point that a prospect decides to purchase the product/service an organization offers.
Identify the Cracks and Leaks in your Sales Funnel
As much as a sales funnel helps you identify and channel good prospects, there could be leaks. If these prospects are not nurtured properly – even if they are very good – cracks might appear, leading to a loss. In order to prevent this from happening, effective management of your sales funnel is an essential step. Since you know the different stages of your sales funnel, look out for areas where you tend to lose track of prospects and positive actions that help to nurture those that eventually take action. You may just be giving up on the ‘no’s’ too easily, you may be following up wrongly, or you may even be too slow to take action. Whatever the case, effective management of your sales funnels not only attracts good prospects but make customers believe and trust in your service.
A sales funnel means a lot more than organizing prospects. It is about giving each prospective customer the attention and personalized treatment they desire. It is about following up with every prospect at the right time – at all times. Effective sales funnel management will help you achieve the reward every organization craves – closing more and more sales.