Why Your Business Needs A Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel breaks down the customer journey from the beginning stage one, which is the “awareness” stage (when the customer first learns about your business), to the last stage, which is the “purchase or conversion” stage (when the customer is ready to purchase your product or service). Often funnels can also include being in touch with the customer post-sales as well with follow-ups, reviews on the product or service, remarketing, cross-selling, and upselling to increase customer retention rate.
The funnel will help structure your customer’s journey throughout your website. From various stages where the potential customer learns about your business to the conversion stage, the sales funnel maps the customer route to completion. Stage one (Awareness) of the funnel is purely focused on brand awareness and engagement, where people take the first step to visiting your website. Then, the visitor continues along the second and third stages (Interest & Consideration). This is where the audience demographic gets defined further. The visitor shows strong intent as he moves on to stage four and five (Intent & Evaluation); this stage is a make-or-break moment for most businesses as the visitor needs to be convinced of the product or services through reviews, price comparisons, additional benefits, and post-sale services. The last stage is the completion stage six (Purchase), where the website visitor has now converted into a paying customer.
MQL Vs. SQL
Visitors > (MQL) Leads > (SQL) Qualified > Proposal > Negotiation > Win.
MQL: A marketing qualified lead is a visitor who has engaged with your company and has a prospect to convert into a potential consumer if nurtured properly. An MQL turns into SQL once they’re ready to connect with the sales team.
SQL: A sales-qualified lead is a potential customer that is ready to talk to a sales team. This lead has typically expressed strong intent in your product or service, that they’re ready to move into your sales process. A sales lead moves through the funnel once it’s been vetted and researched by the marketing department and then given to the sales team.
Sales funnel help in reaching out to a larger audience.
Widening the current sales funnel means a larger population of people must be reached through advertising to new consumers, increasing your brand awareness, adding inbound and outbound marketing, etc., to drive more visitors to your website. The purpose is to increase the reach and hence get more visitors through each stage of the sales funnel. This will help to maximize the conversion at the final stage of the funnel.
To have a successful sales funnel, it is important to know what the website and business goals are and focus on them—knowing your goals and customer demographic aids in creating a successful lead funnel. It becomes important to use the sales funnel as an extension of your website, applying the stages of the customer’s journey to see how they interact and react through the process.
Stage 1: Awareness: Potential customers are drawn into this stage through marketing campaigns & consumer research, and discovery.
Stage 2: Interest: Potential customers learn about the company, its products, and any helpful information.
Stage 3: Consideration: Potential customers are converted into ‘MQL’ leads as they become prospective customers.
Stage 4: Intent: Prospects demonstrate a clear indication of buying brand product & services.
Stage 5: Evaluation: Buyers make a final decision about whether to buy a brand’s product or services.
Stage 6: Purchase: This is the last stage in the sales funnel, where a potential client has made the decision to purchase and turns into a customer.
Benefits of having a Sales Funnel
- Marketing becomes simpler: A sales funnel makes the lead generation process more simplified and organized. The funnel gives a visual representation of the total amount of leads captured vs. leads converted throughout the sales conversion journey; this can provide invaluable insight on how many total leads are required in the awareness part of the funnel and the total investment needed for the same. You can then wisely invest your time and money into receiving qualified leads.
- Sales forecasts are more accurate: The funnel provides deep insight into forecasts and predictions on the number of leads acquired vs. leads converted. It should also be reviewed for insights on how potential customers are interacting with different stages of the funnel and if there is further room for improvement. It can accurately predict how much of your product or service you could sell in the future. Not only does this help you with your sales plan for the next quarter, but you can also start planning efforts to meet your projected target for the next quarter or fiscal year.
- Conversion rates are improved: A structured funnel means a more targeted audience which in turn gives higher sales conversion. More leads generate more interest and intent, ultimately resulting into more customers. The sales team also gets a more visual representation of the funnel, which helps in personalizing the customer journey. Businesses also see an increase in sales as the 360-degree view of the funnel tracks how every lead passes through the funnel. It also tracks the time it takes to become a customer and the conversations that are happening with your business.
- More accountability for your sales: The funnel helps in terms of sales accountability, reducing any confusion regarding roles and responsibilities within the sales team. It also helps in the incentive structure for the sales team, showing a clear trajectory of who is awarded the incentives for the sale conversion. It makes it easier to know which channel (social, organic, referral, paid ) works best, what is your top-selling product and what product sells best to which audience demographic, providing a holistic view of the sales journey.
- Rake in more revenue: the sale funnel creates an organized route to success through acquisition, conversion, and monetization. The acquisition should be designed and structured to enable businesses to acquire as many new prospects as possible. Activation is designed to help the business convert as many of its potential customers into converted customers. Monetization should be focused on helping the business grow more revenue from its active buyers and current subscribers.
Building an Optimized Conversion Funnel
Creating a step-by-step journey helps to understand and identify what your customer’s true intent is.
Step 1: Identify your customer journey
Google Analytics can decode and map the customer journey using reports like user flow. GA is also useful to re-attract customers through remarketing pixel and ad campaigns.Having a clear intent driven customer journey can assure a delighted customer and prompt a revisit. Here are a few questions that can create a clear path for your business.
- How visitors behave when they first land on your website homepage?
- How visitors react when they find one of your product or service pages?
- What referring domains bring in the most traffic?
- How many touchpoints does the average consumer make before converting into a paying buyer?
- Do you have a live chatbot to help direct the visitor to the right page on the website?
- Do you have a remarketing plan to keep your potential clients engaged with the business and its product?
Step 2: Map your funnel stages to conversion triggers.
Using the four stages — awareness, interest, desire & action — create a plan for encouraging consumers through your sales funnel. Create an engaging content strategy for all four stages of a funnel, making sure the content is optimized in accordance with the customer intent. List the types of content you want to serve up at each stage, for instance, and the pages on your site you want to test.
Step 3: Define the point at which a visitor turns into a lead.
For most digital businesses, a visitor becomes a lead when they hand over their contact information — usually a name, contact number, and email address. It’s important to decide how you’ll help consumers transition from the awareness stage to the interest stage to the desired stage to the action stage. Your email subscribers should receive content designed for all four stages so you cater to your entire target audience.
Sales funnels are important to your business. They help you gain a deeper view into the entire customer journey to boost awareness and sales. If you don’t have a sales funnel yet, it’s time to build one. Begin with creating a simple sales funnel, focusing on pain points, identifying opportunities for business growth.
Create a strong sales funnel for your digital business today with Tekhné Agency.
Written By Anisha Chaudhari