Despite how long you may or may not have been working in marketing, you’ve likely heard the term “sales funnel” thrown around at least once or twice. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’ve also asked yourself: “What exactly is a sales funnel?”
At its core, a sales funnel is just a marketing system. The system is put in place to help move your customers through the sales process. This includes the transition from a prospect to a lead, all the way up to converting them into a repeat buyer. A sales funnel is similar to a regular kitchen funnel in that they both prevent you from “spilling” valuable assets. It is set up to maximize the number of resources and reach as many sales as you can.
A sales funnel utilizes a step by step process, the first of which is to grab the attention of potential customers. This usually happens with the sale of an entry-level product. Right there and then, the customer has shown they have a want or need for the item you are selling.
What most people don’t realize is that with this purchase, the customer has shown they are willing to spend money to satisfy that want or need, and has a high potential to become a repeat buyer.
The sales funnel is in place to help you to continue to nurture that relationship with your best customers. As not everyone is a good fit for your offerings, it’s important to retain those who are. A sales funnel helps you filter out prospects who don’t fit your niche and keep the ones who do. This allows you to focus on your exact customer base without wasting time or resources on people who will never buy your product.
What Makes Up a Sales Funnel?
In order to effectively utilize a sales funnel, you need to understand all the layers that it is made up of. These layers each hold their own type of customer within them.
At the top, we have a larger section designed to attract leads. This area is dominated by people who you have had no contact with.
The second level includes prospects, people who have an interest in what you have to sell. These prospects have likely interacted with you in some way.
The third part of the funnel holds interested prospects. It is crucial to the funnel that you have these. This requires you to verify that the user has a real need for your service or item, and sees value in your brand.
Another important part is confirming that the lead can afford to make a purchase, and has the authority to do so.
The final stage is made up of clients. These are people who have already made a purchase, and are highly valuable. These people are who your funnel is intended to identify. These customers could also potentially move to the advocacy stage, where they will promote your products for you.
Ideally, your prospects will move down this process naturally. This isn’t always the case, and this is where engaging prospects at various levels can pay off.
The Sales Funnel Path
The path is there to convert the max amount of people as possible, but you really need a solid understanding of how it works.
The customer becomes aware of your brand and likely pays a visit to your website.
The customer evaluates your brand and your offerings and determines whether they suit them personally.
The customer makes the final call to shop with you, and makes a purchase, hopefully turning into a repeat buyer.
In short, if implemented properly, a sales funnel can help you filter out real prospects, convert them to customers, and then retain them as repeat buyers. This is crucial to the success of your business, as repeat buyers will eventually make up a large portion of your revenue.
If you’d like to learn more about sales funnels, check out my free training at https://www.digitalnomad.com/training/ .