Until you start exploring the world of digital marketing and sales, it might be true that you may not have ever heard of the term “sales funnel”.
Nevertheless, sales funnel is actually a concept that relates to all types of action-based persuasions (not just sales) that occurs in the digital realm.A survey of CRM users reported that the most exciting opportunity users cited for acquiring CRM technology is the ability to improve the customer experience. That ranked higher than content marketing, mobile access, personalization, and social CRM capabilities. Click To Tweet
Hence as we referred in the title of this blog, we as one of the most popular vendors of easy to use CRM software we will go over the five main elements of the sales funnel and illustrate even further to show how they relate to the sales journey while digitally marketing and selling an offering.
In other words, it is a marketing strategy that helps businesses to convert strangers searching for their desired needs into leads and thereafter turn those leads into prospects and ultimately convert the prospects into customers.
The sales funnel consists of three sections:
Now the goal of the funnel is to get prospects into the top of the funnel and out through the bottom, which makes a completed sales process that results in a closed deal- which is exactly what you want for the growth of your business.
What is the difference between a sales funnel and a sales pipeline?
While most find confusion between these two buzzwords the basic difference between these two terms is that while the pipeline depicts the sales process from a salesperson’s perspective, the funnel shows the same process but from the perspective of the buyers while they are looking for finding their requirements in the marketplace.
Therefore like an upside-down pyramid, the funnel helps to identify and thereafter break down the buyer’s journey which can help businesses to perceive where customers have taken their actions and also where the opportunity lies for getting engaged with leads during each of the five stages in the funnel that include:
Hence now that we have a brief idea about what is a sales funnel, let us take deep dive into the five stages of the funnel and try to understand how reps should get them engaged during each of these five stages with leads for closing their deals and find business growth.
The awareness stage in the funnel is where the consumers find a new product or service in the marketplace.
Therefore at this stage sales reps can help drive the awareness for their product or services by using promotional tactics like cold calling, outreaching through emails, or even offer a free trial of their offerings on their business websites.
In this second stage of the funnel which is termed “interest”, over here the leads show real concern and interest in a brand’s products or services available in the marketplace.
Hence this is the right opportunity for the sales reps when they need to nurture these prospective leads by educating them more about their brand’s offerings which can be easily done by sending the prospects (over email drip sequence) case studies and testimonials, which can be used for building the prospective lead’s appreciation and trust for their brand.
Now as the prospects mover further down and enters the third stage of the funnel, it suggests that the prospective lead is further interested to evaluate and know more about the desired product or service.
Therefore over here the sales reps can find an opportunity to fill any gap in the prospect’s knowledge about their offering and illustrate more on the solutions that can solve the problems and pain-points of the prospective customer.
As the prospective leads move now to the second last stage in the sales funnel, it shows that the prospect has ultimately reached the final decision-making stage in their buyer’s journey, and are ready to buy the offering.
Hence at this stage salespersons working with these leads can continue to support the lead and send them additional contents for keeping up the engagement, so that it can help the prospects to travel the final few yards of the funnel and close the deal.
This is the final stage in the funnel, which shows that the lead has ultimately completed the purchase and has become a customer.
Now, this must be remembered that even though the prospect got converted and has come out of the funnel, the sales reps must continue to build a relationship with the customers after the close, to identify further opportunities for cross-selling and upselling to the existing customer and thereby boost their brand’s customer retention rate.
As one of the most popular vendors of Salesforce Alternative CRM tools, we have often found several people asking us- Why I should use a funnel to depict a sales process?
The answer to this question is- Because the sales funnel represents the number-game dynamic of the sales – since only a very small percentage of your overall leads turns into sales-ready prospects and after then only a small percentage of those turn into a sale.
Hence the funnel shape makes sense (which is wider at the top and narrow at the bottom) since the more you put on the top of the funnel, the more business comes out of the bottom and the sales funnel is a tool that helps reps visualize the buying journey from the perspective of the consumers.