What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is one of the most important marketing concepts that you need to understand when starting a business. This marketing concept helps you map the journey of your customers when acquiring a product or service from your company.
But what exactly is a sales funnel?
The sales funnel, explained in a few words for beginners, is a process that helps you understand your potential customers' needs and desires so that you can communicate with them in the right way to get them one step closer to making a purchase. This process helps you define which are the best marketing strategies and communication channels to let your audience know that you're what they're looking for.
The concept's name comes as an analogy to a real-world funnel because it works in a very similar way: you pour a certain substance at the top (the beginning of the funnel) and filter it towards a specific destination (the end of the funnel). The only difference between a real-life funnel and a sales funnel is that in the second one, only a fraction of your potential customers (your pouring substance) will make it to the end and finalize their journey with a purchase.
Stages of a sales funnel
There are different types of sales funnel. You can find specific ones for digital businesses or others used for brick-and-mortar. Either of those come from a basic sales funnel. This sales funnel is divided into four stages:
Look at this stage as a courtship process, your goal here is to make the audience fall in love with you. This first stage of your funnel is key because its when your potential customers arrive. It's your opportunity to catch your prospect's attention, let them be aware of what you have to offer, and make them want to know more about your business.
At this stage, your prospects are visiting your website or your social media for the first time, they found you through an ad or a search engine, or maybe they heard about you from a friend. Either traffic source they come from, you have to provide a quick but attractive introduction to your company.
Stage 2: Interest
Once your potential customers notice you, they go into the interest phase. This means that they subscribe to your mailing list, follow you on social media, or add products to their wish list,
Even though they're interested in your offer, they're also researching other options and comparing your products or services with similar ones. So, this is the moment where you provide your prospects with content that shows makes you the better option. Show your visitors what makes you better than your competitors and the functional and emotional benefits that they'll get when acquiring your offer. This way they'll connect with your brand on a deeper level.
Stage 3: Decision
The decision stage is when your prospects are ready to buy and they're deciding between you and, sometimes, another couple of options. They're looking for the most convenient option for them. So, now is the time to throw some incentives and influence their final decision. You can offer free shipping, a discount code, a bonus product, or use re-targeting strategies to keep your business in their top of mind for when they make the purchase.
Stage 4: Action
This final stage of the sales funnel refers to your ending goal: the purchase. This is when your leads finally click that “pay” button or sign a contract with you to become clients. But this isn't really the end, you want your new customers to be happy and satisfied in order to come back, become recurring clients, and recommend your business to their friends.
This stage is as important as any other part of the sales funnel because it'll help you multiply a purchase and boost your sales. The way to do this is simple, let your clients know that you're grateful for their purchase and follow-up with them. Build a strong relationship with them so that in the future they become loyal to your company.
Why should you have a sales funnel?
Sales funnels are very powerful marketing tools that business owners use to grow and scale their companies. It's important to have one for your business because it will provide you with a clearer roadmap to lead a successful company with satisfied and happy clients. Having a sales funnel helps you build solid foundations for your business, generate new leads, and boost your sales in a faster way.
Moreover, you should have a sales funnel to keep track of your prospect's journey. It lets you know when a stage isn't having a positive outcome and make the necessary changes in your marketing strategies when something isn't working.
How to create a sales funnel?
As an entrepreneur that's just starting a company, creating a sales funnel might be a difficult marketing task. The first thing you need to do is to research your target audience. This will help you understand their needs, wishes, and buying behaviors so that you can develop strategies to send them the right message and information to meet those needs.
Then, you need to analyze and study your competition. Pay attention to all the areas that are working for them and those in which they need to improve. These second ones are opportunity areas that you can take advantage of in your sales funnel.
Once you know and understand your audience as well as your competitors, you can start defining all the marketing strategies and tactics that you'll use in each stage of your sales funnel. Then, develop all the content and media that you'll need to communicate with your prospects in each stage of the sales funnel.
Let's Bring it all together
Finally, you can put all your plans into action and put all of that content and information right where your prospects can see it. Start making the audience fall in love with you.
To make the process of creating your sales funnel easier, you can download sales funnel templates pdf, or visit sales funnel websites such as Funnellogics that provide pre-made and customizable sales funnel examples.
Have you been building your sales funnel? How is it going? Let me know in the comments below!
Further Reading and value on winwithfred.com: For more Sales funnel training, check out my videos and articles on Clickfunnels Training