A sales funnel refers to the journey of taking someone from a prospect to a customer of your business. There are many different illustrations of the funnel but the principles remain the same.
You may have seen colourful diagrams with sections detailing journeys such as Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action or Attract, Convert, Close, Delight. Regardless of the terms used, there are four main stages of a customer journey which form part of the sales funnel. This funnel is important because it helps you tailor your content and messaging for each stage of the journey, from initial awareness right through to retention.
For this blog, we're going to reference HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Methodology, which is about getting found by your customers using engaging activities at each stage of the funnel:
The first stage of your sales funnel is to attract visitors to your website or Facebook page to make them aware of your business. This can be done through writing a blog with relevant content about your business and your industry. For example, if you sell wools and fabrics, you may write about how to knit a scarf for winter. This could then be seen by a user who is searching for a scarf pattern, who then goes from stranger to visitor.
The next step of the funnel is turning those visitors into leads. Leads are defined as anyone who has expressed an interest in your business and, usually, someone who has given you details about them, like a contact number or email address. This can be achieved by capturing data through forms, or getting visitors to follow call-to-actions like signing up for a newsletter.
Turning leads into customers can be one of the most difficult parts of the sales funnel. You can use things like discount codes in a newsletter, or tailored content using data from a customer relationship management system. Remember, it takes just one purchase to turn that lead into a customer.
This is about retention and ensuring customers become repeat customers, or ambassadors of your business. This part of the sales funnel is about keeping in touch with your customers and measuring their expectations through surveys or social monitoring. It's about finding out what they want and offering it to them, whether that's through content, events or products.
Nurture each stage of the sales funnel
The other important point about sales funnels is that, even if you have a large amount of customers now, you need to tailor your messaging for each stage of the funnel. Your customers may suddenly go elsewhere, or might not buy as much from you, so you need to nurture people at each stage to ensure you have a steady stream of business.
Unsure about whether you have the right content for your audiences? Let us do a website and social media audit of your business to highlight any areas you can build on. Contact us to arrange an appointment.