A sales funnel is a buying process that encapsulates every step from the initial outreach program to the eventual signup or purchase. It is also known as sales process or revenue funnel. While it is called a sales funnel, the eventual purpose may be lead generation. The exact number of steps may vary from one sales funnel to another, so can the exact systems put in place.
Typically, a sales funnel will have an awareness phase, interest phase, evaluation phase, decision phase and purchase or signup phase. The awareness phase is the first outreach program wherein the target audience learns about a product, service, company or its offers.
The interest phase and evaluation phase involve the prospective customers weighing their options, comparing similar products or services, checking the specific prices and thereon deciding if they should go ahead with a purchase. The decision phase is usually promptly followed by the purchase phase. There are two more steps after the initial purchase, a reevaluation phase and repurchase phase.
These may not be applicable in every industry or for all types of products & services. Reevaluation is specific to the cooling off period during which time a customer may choose to cancel their purchase, contract or subscription. Repurchase is self explanatory.
Stepwise Guide to Creating a Sales Funnel
The first step is to decide the number of systems you would need. Not every campaign or sales funnel needs all the aforementioned phases.
You can target an audience using a chosen medium or platform and directly route them to the buying or decision phase. The interest and evaluation phases may not be relevant in some cases, especially if the customers are already somewhat inclined to make a purchase.
A company must define its largest target audience, which is the entire relevant market, be it consumers or businesses. This audience is right at the top of the sales funnel. The whole system is to be designed to target this audience.
This targeting requires some simple foundations. A landing page for the official website is imperative, so are search engine optimization, social media campaigns, online advertising and content marketing. A company can use one or multiple mediums and campaigns for this outreach.
The outreach must be immediately followed by a redirection of those interested to explore the offers, products or services.
This redirection should take the interested customers to the landing page or if they were already on that webpage then they should be taken through to the sales page, which could be a signup form or an outright transaction page.
For any sales funnel to work there has to be an upfront offer. The system is designed to put forth a proposition that the target audience will struggle to turn away from. This offer could be for a product, service, upgrade, up-sell or a combination of many propositions. Usually, any sales funnel aims to promote just one product or service.
Having too many products or services will perplex the audience. Also, it is not easy to come up with different generous offers for all products and services.
The landing page or sales page on the website must be followed up with comprehensible information and then the signup page.
The signup form must be simple and short. The transaction should be quick and safe. There should be absolute uniformity throughout the various phases of the sales funnel, be it pertaining to this information or the thematic presentation of all pages.
Should a customer feel uncomfortable at any stage, the whole process will crumble. All the phases such as the various ads, different pages and specific steps must work in harmonious unison for the sales funnel to work.