“The Case for Sales Funnels….”

“The Case for Sales Funnels….”

With more and more business being conducted online today, the “sales funnel” is an integral tool to lead customers down a path to buy from your business. 

What exactly is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is actually a buying process where companies lead prospects through an education and engagement process to buy their product or service.  If you can picture an actual funnel (below), there are 5 phases that take a customer through the buying process.

Phase 1-Introduction (Light Blue)

Starting at the top is the “awareness” phase where prospects are introduced to your product or service via organic methods on social media, an email or a visit to your website. More commonly, businesses are using Facebook and Instagram Ads as well as Google Adwords to drive traffic to the top of the funnel to introduce “solutions” to a prospects problem.  This is typically done by sending the prospect to a landing page with a free report, video or ebook on something of high perceived value by the prospect related to the product being sold. 

Phase 2- Interest (Dark Blue)

As a prospect becomes more interested in your product or service, they move further down the buying process. This is the phase where businesses educate and inform the prospect on the benefits of the product/service through email follow-up, many times accompanied by videos that provide real value to the prospect regarding the product or service.  As the prospect becomes educated regarding the businesses offering, trust and credibility is built along the way. 

Phase 3- Evaluation (Red)

This is the phase where the prospective buyer is considering their options, comparing the business against the competition and considering a final decision.  Savvy businesses that use sales funnels continue the push toward a purchase by providing even more value to the prospect regarding the product and what it can do.  Benefit-driven information continues to be disseminated via emails, videos and case studies. 

Phase 4 -Decision Phase (Green)

Here is where the prospect makes a final decision and negotiations begin. Sometimes negotiations are not necessary— or not even an option— depending on the businesses product, service or preference. A product may have a set price which is not open to negotiation.  However with more complex services such as a consulting package, both parties may be open to negotiation, depending on what components are needed. 

Phase 5 – Purchase (Yellow)

In this phase the purchase is finalized and the product or service is delivered.

Additional Phases

In some sales funnels there are sometimes additional phases, depending on the product or service. These phases include:

— A “Reevaluation” of the product or service. As stated in Phase 4, if this is a B2B sale such as a consulting package, as the contract draws to a close, it will be determined by the buyer to consider renewing the contract for further services or not. 

— A “Repurchasing” phase where the the customer repurchase the product or service. 

Cutting Through the Clutter

The online world is a very noisy and cluttered place.  And the days of simply making an offer, explaining the benefits of the offer and asking people to buy are over.  There is so much competition online—as well as scams and unsavory businesses who cheat, lie and steal people’s money, that building a funnel simply makes good business sense. 

It allows a business to prove to their prospects the benefits of their product or service in a way that is non-threatening, logical and also educates and provides value to them upfront. 

This builds trust, credibility and can turn one-time customers into loyal raving fans for the life of the business. 

If you want information on how you can add a sales funnel to your business, contact me at tim@timpic.com.