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What Is A Sales Funnel And How Can It Help Your Business?

What Is A Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is a visual representation of the steps required to sell your product or service. The idea of a sales funnel is that you need to bring people in at the top, and then move them through each step on their way to purchasing your product.

The whole point of having a sales funnel is so that you can visualize the steps and stages in the sales process. Many businesses don’t have a clear picture of how they get customers, which leads to them not knowing what they can do to improve their chances of making more sales.

Stages In A Sales Funnel

At the top of the funnel lies Awareness. This is where your potential client/customer first hears about you. They’re coming in at the very early stages of their buyer’s journey, just looking for info to see if they even need what you’re selling.

Next comes Interest. Now they know they have a problem and are looking for options to solve it so your job here is to help them find you.

After that comes Decision, when your potential client/customer decides whether or not to purchase from you. If they’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve clearly done something right and are well on your way toward making that sale happen.

Finally, there’s Action your customer buys from you and becomes an actual paying client/customer.

Awareness

In the first stage of the sales funnel, known as awareness, you need to raise awareness of your product and your brand. You can do this with content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and PPC advertising.

Awareness is where you introduce people to your business with the aim of getting them increasingly interested in the product or service you offer. The more someone knows about what you have to offer and why it’s beneficial for them, the more likely they are to buy from you.

Interest

The middle stage of the funnel is called interest. In this stage, potential customers are starting to consider and research products or services that you offer. They might have downloaded a free ebook from your website, for example, in exchange for their contact information.

At this stage, your sales team can reach out to the customer with helpful information. The focus here should be on educating them about your product/service so that they can evaluate if it’s a good fit for them. This is where you and your competitors get compared, so it’s important to know how you stack up against others in the industry i.e., what makes you different? How can you provide more value? What features do you offer that is unique?

Decision

The decision stage is where the prospect finally decides whether to buy your product or go elsewhere. It’s important to ask yourself if the prospect meets the following criteria:

  • Do they know what they want?
  • Are they willing to buy?
  • Do they have the money?
  • Do they have the authority to buy?
  • Do they have a need for your solution?

Action

At the end of your sales funnel, you should have a close. A close is simply an action that makes it obvious to your customer that they are now your client. Actions such as signing a contract or paying for a product are very noticeable and obvious.

If you are selling products, then you need to make sure that the person buying that product is completely satisfied with their purchase, otherwise, they will not be happy with the way they were treated and more than likely tell others how disappointed they were with their experience.

Benefits Of A Sales Funnel

A sales funnel can help you in numerous ways:

  • Understand where leads are coming from so that you know which of your marketing strategies are generating the best return on investment.
  • Identify where leads are dropping out so that you can introduce a better strategy to guide them further through the funnel and closer to a purchase.
  • Forecast future sales based on past conversion rates so that you can plan your revenue and expenses more accurately.
  • Better understand your customer’s journey, assess what it is they want and adapt your products or services accordingly.

Visualization

“One of the most important benefits of a sales funnel is the ability to visualize the entire sales process.”

Sales funnels help businesses show prospects exactly where they are in the sales process and what they need to do to close a deal. Visualization helps your team understand each step of the buyer’s journey, which makes it easier to align their content around that context. Good visualization also helps you understand:

  • The stages of your funnel
  • How many people are dropping out at each stage
  • What content or channels are performing best at bringing people into your funnel

Spotting Leaks

Let’s say your current sales funnel is looking like this:

Visitors > 15% > Leads > 10% > Prospects > 3% > Customers

This means that you expect 85% of visitors to leave your website and never return, 90% of leads to not convert, 97% of prospects to not buy from you, and 3% will remain loyal customers. Not ideal! But now you know where the leaks are; it’s time to go back and patch them up.

For example, in order for someone to go from a visitor to a lead, the customer usually has to give their contact information in exchange for something free. So if you notice that fewer than 15% of visitors are opting in to your newsletter or downloading your eBook, you’ve got a leaky funnel and have just spotted an excellent opportunity for optimization.

Forecasting

Forecasting is the process of anticipating how your pipeline and business will grow. It helps you determine whether your sales funnel is producing results, allows you to predict the outcome of a situation, and examines the impact of different forecasts on your business.

If you’re looking at just one metric, such as revenue or the number of deals in your pipeline, it’s impossible to forecast anything accurately. That’s because they don’t tell you enough about what’s happening in your sales funnel. So before we get into how to forecast properly, let’s talk about three metrics that provide an accurate picture of what’s happening in your sales funnel:

Define your own sales funnel and track every step to drive revenue.

A sales funnel is a visual representation of the steps it takes to sell your product to customers.

You can use your sales funnel to:

  • Understand your market: Ask yourself who you’re selling to and what they want to buy.
  • Track progress toward goals: Use your funnel to calculate how many new customers you need each month.
  • Make informed decisions based on data: If you haven’t been converting sales in the last stage of your funnel, then perhaps it’s time for a change.
  • Forecast future sales: After tracking customer behavior for a few months, you can estimate how many people will convert at each stage of the funnel and predict revenue

Conclusion 

In conclusion, you must understand that a sales funnel is a simple strategy that can have a big impact on your business. It’s not some complicated, mysterious thing that only big businesses can use. Anyone can set up one for their business, big or small. In the end, it’s just about finding out what works for you and your business and then building from there.
PS: If you need help creating a sales funnel for your business, kindly reach out to us today via www.ideaious.com/business or shoot us an email via Engage@ideaious.com (We have worked with more than 50+ businesses from several industries over the course of 7 years and we believe we have what it takes to get you the results you want).

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