Sales Funnel Stages: The Journey From Initial Contact to Final Sale
With the ever rise in the population of the world, comes an ever ending opportunity of gaining consumers. But with the pool of companies out there ready to compete with your services, how can one make sure that they successfully earn the maximum customers and never lose them in the future? Here is when sales funnel comes to play.
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So, before beginning with anything, you might ask:
What is a sales funnel?
It is basically a marketing term used to describe the journey of a potential customer from viewing a product and finally buying it. Sales funnels exist in every business, whether you see it or not. Its strategy involves gathering a group of interested viewers at the tip of the funnel and pushing maximum possible users down to receive at the end as consumers.
Why Sales Funnel?
Have you ever given a surprise test at school? Carrying your business forward without planning your sales funnel is somewhat similar. Despite being capable of handling your business, you would not be able to yield the best results due to the lack of preparation.
In this highly competitive business world, be prepared for your upcoming marketing and sales strategies. That is the exact reason why you need to build your sales funnel in advance.
Stages of a Sales Funnel
Here I have broken down the four stages for you that every customer has to go through in a sales funnel:
Open your G-mail account and check your inbox. What do you see? A plethora of marketers trying to grab your attention with their alluring offers, coupons, vouchers, etc.
Advertisements are found almost everywhere- in emails, social media sites, text messages, and many more. But can you deny the fact that these advertisements are the source of our curiosity into a company and its service in the first place?
Grab the eyeballs! Increase your visibility. Make sure that the customers have the name of your brand on the top of their heads. Create social media and email marketing campaigns. Try to reach out to them personally.
Let us assume you were successful in grabbing a viewer’s attention, and now they are aware of your brand. What next? Now you need to convert your viewers into potential leads in the next sales funnel stages. How? By developing an interest in their minds.
This second stage is when a customer tries to get a solution to their problems using the resources available to them. Here is your chance of attracting them by convincing them how their problems can be fixed using your services.
For instance, the Indian hair care brand Vedix offers a ‘dosha assessment questionnaire’ for hair type analysis. They convince their audience how their products can fix their ‘doshas’ and rejuvenate their hair.
Similarly, different brands use different strategies to tempt their prospects. But the bottom line is, even if you succeed in developing a speck of interest in your audience’s minds, you can work on amplifying this on the next stage.
It is the stage in which a customer has made up their mind to make a purchase but may have some options of brands that offer similar services. Building trust is very crucial here because now, the consumers will analyze all the alternatives available to them in the market, and will choose the best one.
Nurturing your leads and keeping them in touch with your brand will help you channel them down the funnel. Give them offers, promo codes, free trial/shipping, etc. to make it too compelling for them to resist your services.
Here’s an example of how Swiggy offer promo codes to their first buyers:
Here comes the end of your funnel, where you finally succeed in selling your product. Yaaay! The product gets sold, the money gets transferred and let’s say, your customer is happy. You might think your job ends here, right? Well let me break it to you, it doesn’t.
A minute defect in a product, delay in delivery, negligence in packaging, etc. may prove to be a blunder, and create a terrible impression in your customers’ minds. Word-of-mouth plays a prominent role in brand impression, and it can get easily ruined by such minimal errors.
It means that you may lose your customers, and may not expect further purchase from them if you don’t pay much attention to this stage. You cannot sit back and relax at this point because this is just a preliminary preparation for the beginning of your next cycle.
Tips to Design a Good Sales Funnel
Truth be told, a good sales funnel strategy brings more customers and enhances sales. Following are some points that you must keep in mind for designing an effective sales funnel:
1. Analyze and Target your Audience
You don’t need to market to everyone. Focus on only those set of viewers who have a possibility of becoming your consumers, and invest your marketing campaigns on them. For instance, you wouldn’t want to market Playdough toys among college graduates, or Sephora lipsticks among school going kids.
Find out which of your leads are interested in your brand, and nurture them accordingly to louden their interest. Marketing in every possible platform not only requires a lot of time and resources but also doesn’t yield satisfactory results. Directing your efforts into the selected audience cuts this toil, and one can expect more conversion of leads.
2. Keep up with the Trends
Because the world doesn’t wait for you. Always find ways to stay ahead of the curve. It will help you to create an idea about the changing world and a better understanding of what your customers need.
Aligning with the current trends will give an impression to your audience that your brand is willing to adapt. They will return again and again to check out your up to date products.
Take the example of some Graphic T-shirt retailers, who recently released their Sacred Games and Stranger Things edition T-shirts. Customers can easily rely on such brands for the latest designs in the future too. Thus it is easier to build a brand trust here.
3. Stand Out
Don’t be the same, be better. With a lot of competition present around, audiences seldom notice a brand if they aren’t unique. Develop a brand theme and follow it on every social media platform on which you market your products. Try to offer some unique products and services. You can also propose free delivery, or 50% off on first order, etc.
Standing out involves marketing the most appealing products, reaching out to them personally through emails, text messages, etc., providing them irresistible offers, and advertising them the right way. Campaigns of Email marketing works quite well, especially in cross-channel and omnichannel marketing.
4. Keep the Funnel Leaks in check
Have you been facing issues in hitting your sales targets? Are your potential customers losing interest in your brand? Well, then chances are there is a leak in your funnel, and you need to seal that ASAP!
Believe it or not, this is one of the most significant sales funnel stages, that people often tend to skip. Even a bit of a leak can lead you to lose some of the most loyal customers that you possess.
Lack of engagement is one of the prime reasons for customers losing interest. Targeting the wrong leads, lack of innovation in ideas and services, etc. are some more common reasons for the same. Scrutinize your funnel and identify the reason behind such leak, then act accordingly.
How Does Content help in Funnel Strategies?
Get some content into your marketing strategies, because only advertising is not enough for you to get that attention. Content marketing helps a brand to reach out to those people who are looking for a solution to their problems and might come across their content on search engines like Google.
Blogging is one of the best ways to create brand awareness. Blogs act as a more convincing way of telling the viewers that your services can be of some use to them. Using the right keywords and tags surely helps in this process. But you must make sure that your content isn’t too off track or irrelevant from your brand.
Every business has its own strategies for increasing their sales. Optimizing your sales funnel in advance does require some hard work, but in the end, it’s worth it! But once you have created a funnel, your job doesn’t end here. You must continuously analyze your funnel and optimize your data accordingly to grow your business faster. Fix the problems wherever needed and keep your business going. Did I miss something important? Let me know in the comments below.