Introducing Sales Funnel
Funnel: An instrument that’s wide open on the top and narrow at the bottom, simply to prevent spillage. That’s a funnel.
Similarly, the sales funnel dipicts the journey of your customers from their ‘visitor phase’ to ‘becoming the customers’. Multiple visitors will visit your website (enter the funnel) but a few will buy from your store (thus, make their way out from the bottom of the funnel).
Being in the eCommerce world, it’s good to note that not every person around is your person when it comes to business. The goal is not to convert each and every visitor to a customer but to maintain a good customer retention policy to make the current customers happy and generate good future leads.
Sales funnel vary according to the organization’s model. But still, there is a cliche flow that basically goes with all kinds of business.
From a visitor to a customer
The flow is as simple as:
Visitor → Prospect → Lead → Customer
Let’s put this into sentences:
Visitors visit your website through social media, Google search results, advertisements or even through someone’s words. As soon as they visit your website, they’ll turn into prospects.
A prospect is someone who has gained some interest in your business and might want to know more.
Moving one, if the prospect signed up on your website or subscribed to know more that means he is really interested. Thus, converting himself from a prospect to a lead.
After examing your store from policies to offers, your lead might be ready to close the deal and end up buying. This action will turn the lead into a customer.
This is the flow that is used to define the sales funnel. Dividing these actions into four basic stages of the funnel.
Let’s get into each stage at a time. Making sure that your funnel doesn’t have any holes except the obvious bottom one to avoid your leads dropping in the mid-way.
The stages of the sales funnel:
#Stage 1: Awareness
This is the stage where the visitors enter your sales funnel. In other words, the visitors on your website defines this stage. To gain visitors, you need to make your SEO, advertising, marketing & content blogging game really strong.
Make the world around you aware of your service. What you are doing, how you can impact their lives and why you are worth giving the chance. This is one crucial stage because if you don’t get anyone to enter your sales funnel, forget that they will make it to the bottom of it.
The content you put up regarding your website or your service plays an important aspect. Content is the first thing that your visitors will have even before your products. If it is not strong enough to influence them to even visit your website, it’s worthless.
The 2018 B2B content marketing statistics from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) show that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers. And the CMI’s 2018 B2C content marketing stats reveal that 86% of B2C marketers think content marketing is a key strategy.
Then comes the SEO, the more you appear in the search results, the more visitors you’ll have.
Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. (Jody Nimetz Co., 2018) (Source: hubspot.com)
Lastly, we all know how many advertisements are effective. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s a boom. People are mostly glued to their mobile phones and the reason is internet/social media. Thus, facebook ads and other mediums will give you a huge profit.
Got the visitors. Now what?
Other than you, your visitors might have this thought in this form- ‘Visited the store, now what?’. What if they wanna know more?
Make sure, your website’s landing page is well designed and user-friendly. The navigations should be easily visible and don’t forget to make your ‘About’ section as good as you can.
To make these visitors move to the second stage of the funnel, you need to plan something. Tempt your customers with pop-ups like ‘subscribe to get 30% off on the first purchase’. Even a newsletter sign up will help them get connected to you in case they want to stay updated. This will help you in further stages of the sales funnel.
#Stage 2: Interest
You made your visitors turn into prospects by making them signup. You got their attention. At this stage, most of the prospects leave the funnel. With so much competition, it’s hard to maintain your prospect’s interest to make them turn into a lead.
Here, strategic email marketing will help you retain your prospects. Try to build a connection with them. Build as much contact as you can. Treat each prospect as a future customer.
Pay proper attention to entice your prospects by promising them the value they want. Make them interested enough to at least try your product/service.
How many organizations go beyond client expectations without the client even expecting them?
– Question yourself and make your prospects know that you care & will go beyond to provide them the best.
Send your customers email related to new arrivals & offers on your store. Send them notifications regarding the new blog that you’ve posted to make them connected. Good reviews, customer testimonials are all the ways to get that trust!
#Stage 3: Decision
This stage contains your leads: The prospects that finally want to go ahead and consider your service. But it requires a lot to make your leads take their final decision which actually matches your hope.
This stage is all about demos and followups with your leads.
The basic flow to follow for a closed deal goes like this:
- Pitching your leads about your service. This could be done via emails, ticket systems, conferences or even calls.
- Now, setting up the demo. Be prepared to display the best you can. This is a chance to set the foundation otherwise they’ll turn their faces.
- Demo delivered: Don’t think that your leads will turn into customers after taking the demo. You need to keep working with them even after the demo with followups!
- If they are impressed with what you have, they’ll go to negotiating the price.
- Lastly, closing the deal!
If you lack any stage, don’t expect your lead to move further. Any discomfort can lead to a lost lead.
The demo process is in itself a lot. It starts with contacting leads, sending them reminder emails, delivering the perfect demo and after all of this, follow-ups.
Did you know that new leads are nine times more likely to convert if you follow up within the first five minutes after they express interest? Wait 30+ minutes, and your lead is 21 times less likely to turn into a sale.
#Stage 4: Action
It’s hard to see your leads jump out of the sales funnel after a lot of pitching, demo delivery and followups without buying.
This happens, all you can do is go over again with these leads from stage 2. Moreover, focusing on the ones that are about to turn into customers.
You got your leads well aware, built the trust and have set the foundation. Now is the time to present the best offer to turn those leads into customers.
Congrats, your leads have got to the bottom of the funnel and have turned into customers. This is not the end of the task.
Give your customers gratitude for being your customer. Ask for their feedback and make sure to let them know that you are still there for any future support.
Moreover, keep following up with them!
The sales funnel is there, whether you know it or not. If you are still unaware of this fact, it’s high time you should start focusing & save your leads from falling back!
If you have suggestions to make something better, do let us know.
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Until next time. 👋
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