Why You Need A Sales Funnel
Listen up, friends. Let’s layout a customer journey that turns visitors into loyal customers that cannot stop talking about you.
I think by now, we all know what a sales funnel shows: the journey a customer takes from the moment they first know your brand through the decision-making process and on to becoming a customer and even referring your services to others. So, there’s no reason to go into all the nitty-gritty, but let’s get the basics covered:
- Your sales funnel should be looked at frequently.
- Your goals (KPIs, OKRs, whatevers) should track each stage’s success in the funnel.
- The sales funnel should be helping people that fall out of the funnel to come back in.
- The sales funnel is a tool that should be used by marketing AND sales (seems like a no brainer, but ask your sales team about the sales funnel and watch the vacancy signs pop up)
So, let’s take a look at the sales funnel and what goes where.
Here’s a sales funnel that we use for a couple of clients.
We spend 40% of our time on the Awareness Stage.
This is where we fill the funnel. We network, we make connections, we welcome them to our community/ brand/ product.
100% of the people in your sales funnel have been in this stage at some point, so it only makes sense to spend most of your time here.
We use social media and search engine optimization to extend our reach and network with more people. We make connections through trade shows and networking events. We introduce our services by email and send people to our website. We measure this stage through reach — how many people did we reach? So, at a trade show, the number tracked would be the number of people that bought tickets to attend. Not the same as the number of people we met, swapped business cards with or chatted with over lunch, but the attendees all had the opportunity to view your brand, so that initial contact is what we count, even if it’s one-sided.
We spend 30% of our time in the Interest Stage.
From the awareness stage, the goal is ultimately to make a connection. That pushed the potential customer (or lead, as we say!) to the next stage of your sales funnel.
Now, we’re gonna blow them away with our charisma… and our good deals.
This is where we start to nurture our leads. This is the stage you were in when you are a child asking if you could pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease go to the party. You offer up your own credibility and all the reasons why you should go — you talk about how reliable you are, how your friend is going, how you’ll look like a baby if you don’t go — you sell! Here we try to offer useful information for the small payment of an email address. The email address takes your lead from a visitor to a true lead. Once they have filled something out, you can now contact them, track their presence on your website, and have an actual (albeit still one-sided) conversation.
The measurement of this stage is usually email addresses. It could also be open rates, attendance, or click-through rates, but the most common is the actual email address.
We spend 20% of our time in the Evaluation Stage.
Now that we are friends, we want to take it to the next level.
Yep, we want to go steady.
We want you to focus on us over all others. We’re going to tell you why you should. We’ll walk through our prices, but more than that, we’ll go through our value.
This is an important distinction because it doesn’t matter whether you, your brand, or your service are expensive. It matters more what your customer is getting in return for the money they’re spending.
The measurement here is the number of proposals that are requested.
We, the marketing team, don’t manage the finances for our clients, so the more people we have in the evaluation stage, the more likely it is that one will close.
The marketing team takes a tea break at this point so that the proposal team can do their thing.
We spend 10% of our time in the Retention Stage.
Now that you are our customer, we need to be sure that you stick with us.
So we offer loyalty programs, visit with little goodies once a month, ask for feedback, and track customer satisfaction.
The most important measurement here are the surveys filled out. In the past, we’ve measured by survey scores. Still, the number of surveys completed is a better measure in my opinion, because angry customers love a survey, and super happy customers will complete a survey if the time is right. Apathetic customers are the people you need to look after, so those are the people to monitor and bring back into the fold.
There we have it!
Now, start building your own sales funnel.