You've likely come across the tern sales funnel, have you every wondered what it means? Don't worry you're not the only one. A sales funnel refers to the progression of steps that customers take from discovering your business and products to making the final purchase.
Here's an example
Let's say you have a brick and mortar store. many potential customers will pass the door, but a percentage of them will decide to walk in. Of those that walk in, a percentage of these will see products that they like and decided to have a look at them. A percentage of those who decided to view the products will pick those that they like and proceed to the checkout, where they will make a purchase. The steps customers take the buy will be similar, more or less, whether you run a brick and mortar store or an online store.
Why is understanding the Sales Funnel so Important?
Understanding the sales funnel helps you know what potential customers thin when they are at different stages of the sales funnel. Why is this so important? Because now you can develop marketing strategies geared towards pushing the customers towards the next stage until they finally make a purchase. This also means developing personalised messages tailored towards a client based on which stage they are in.
The Stages of the Sales Funnel
When prospects first hear of your business, products or services they will go through several stages of decision making until they can finally make a purchase. Granted, the process may not be the same for every customer. However, they will make their choice sooner or later based on their interest. There are 4 main stages of the sales funnel.
The Awareness Stage
Here customers are just learning about the products and services you offer. This can be through social media ads or various other marketing campaigns that your business runs. I'll be honest with you, the number of leads who move down the sales funnel will depend on how effective your marketing efforts are. Sometimes customers go straight to buying a product or service but most times you will need to woo the customer at the awareness stage to encourage them through the next stages.
The Interest Stage
Now that customers are aware of your products or services, they will then enter the interest stage. Here they will make competitive research comparisons and weigh the options available to them. This is where you offer your customers valuable content and information, you are established as an expert in the minds of the customers and establish brand trust. A customer can sit at this interest stage for some time.
The Decision Stage
At this stage in the buying process, the customer is ready to make a purchase. Keep in mind they could be interested in a competitors product or service al well. This is where you might offer deals, discount codes or promotions. The goal is to make your products and services so attractive that customers can't wait to purchase them.
The Action Stage
The customer finally buys your product. It may be the final step in the sales funnel, however it doesn't mean it's over. Make sure you have a customer retention strategy in place for them to keep coming back for more.
Understanding which stage of the sales funnel a customer is in allows you to know exactly what is going on in their minds. This in turn make it possible for you to send marketing messages that are more personalised and Tailored to the individual client. This results in more leads going through the sales funnel.
Altitude Business Solutions are committed to helping Small Business Owners navigate their way through growing their business. Helping them assess where there are issues and providing the recourses and contacts to give Altitude to their business. We offer online training, Social Media Services & Website Services.
For many businesses, marketing and sales are often used interchangeably. The reality, however, is that these are two distinct disciplines.
Marketing refers to all actions taken by a business to promote its products and brand. This will also include advertising and research.
On the other hand, sales refer to the action of exchanging money for business products or services.
But which between the two disciplines is more important?
Well, businesses will often mainly focus on sales as, without it, there is no cash flow.
But the truth is that without a steady flow of leads, your business will struggle to make sales.
That is to say that you shouldn’t choose between marketing and sales, but instead, aim for the optimal utilization of both.
Sales is a more direct optionAs a business manager, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to make as many sales as possible to stay afloat.
Unlike sales which is mainly centered around one action, marketing requires you to understand your target niche and audience, their needs and create ads that are tailored specifically to your niche.
There are multiple actions needed to create a successful marketing campaign.
You will need to focus a significant amount of time and resources on branding, pricing, generating leads, creating demand, and creating a marketing strategy.
That said, the great thing with marketing is that you have the opportunity to create an impact in the lives of your buyers by helping to solve their problems.
The results are much more long-lasting and can help solidify your business brand in the minds of your customers.
Both sales and marketing should never be viewed as separate disciplines that can operate independently.
Instead, they should and must work together.
Start with MarketingSuccessful marketing requires time and resource investment. This can place strain on a small business’s capital.
This may also explain why small businesses tend to overlook marketing and focus on sales.
However, marketing is an investment into the future. By taking the time to learn what your customers want, you can make improvements to your products and services to suit their needs.
You can create tailor-made ads that specifically appeal to your target audience.
This makes customers feel like your business exists to serve their needs.
As a result, this will build your business brand and solidify it in the minds of potential customers.
Not only does your business stand a chance to get new clients, but it also gets to keep these clients.
Sales, on the other hand, is what comes after marketing.
It should be viewed as the result of your marketing strategy and efforts.
It is the cream to the cake. Marketing helps generate a steady flow of leads who can subsequently be sent through the sales funnel.
A security measure for the futureThat is what marketing is—security for your business. Marketing allows your business to get a steady flow of leads.
These leads can help cushion your business during tough times, so you don’t have to worry about staying afloat.
This is more than can be said for businesses that mainly focus on moving their products.
What’s more, your business now has the option of loading clients that are bad business without having to worry about any significant impact this would have on your business.
Simply put, you have options.
Final ThoughtsWith marketing, you create a hedge against any uncertain times ahead.
Your business is secure in knowing that it has a steady flow of leads and can turn these into repeat customers.
That said, marketing and sales go hand in hand and are not to be approached as separate disciplines.
We URGE you to learn more about marketing, sales and how you can marry the two to create the ultimate flow of paying leads for your business.
Altitude Business Solutions are committed to helping Small Business Owners navigate their way through growing their business. Helping them assess where there are issues and providing the recourses and contacts to give Altitude to their business. We offer online training, Social Media Services & Website Services. Subscribe to our social media channels to be alerted of new content.