The sales funnel is a strategic model separated by stages, visually structuring the entire purchase journey of a potential customer. The sales funnel classification is (i) Learning/discovery/Awareness (ii) Problem recognition/Interest (iii) Decision (iv) Share/Action. Each step illustrates a moment in the shopping journey: discovery, interest, decision, and action. That is, for each of them it is necessary to have a different communication with the potential buyer. Thus, you offer the right information, at the right time to the potential customer, increasing their relevance and – consequently – your chances of selling more. In addition to creating a closer relationship of trust with your potential buyer, creating a connection that can make you an ambassador of your brand. Briefly, the sales funnel involves the following phases:
- Prospect the customer – Choose the target audience through lead generation tools
- Submit the product – Either by call or by email
- Break objections – Take away any questions that prevent the customer from making the purchase decision
- Close the deal – Make the sale to all customers who have reached the final stage.
This model has proved very efficient because it generates a great approximation between the customer and seller
This enables a relationship that allows the application of a sales process called upsell, where the seller as soon as the sale makes the offer of a new product because it knows the customer, due to the relationship provided by the sales funnel.
Explanation of Sales Funnel
The first stage of the sales funnel is discovery (awareness), where it seeks to attract customers and generate leads. Therefore, in this first stage of the sales funnel, the goal of the sales team is precise to make potential customers aware that they have a problem (which is related to their solution).
You don’t necessarily need digital marketing to get the contact of potential buyers. Active prospecting can begin from the beginning, quietly.
Simply build on your target audience, optimal customer profile and/or persona to discover the profiles of the people who purchase your product/service. Then, make the list purchase with contacts of people within that profile and call them or send emails to present your solution.
It is common for, in this product presentation, some vendors or pre-sellers to make many mistakes in the approach, whether in emails or calls. In the case of emails, it should never be confused with email marketing, which is a specific approach for people who have reported their email addresses to receive messages, allowing this contact.
Emails where you present your product to someone who has not yet had interaction with your company and has not reported your data is called cold mail. That is, you need to have a different communication with her. You must follow the structure:
- Introduce yourself
- Let you know why you believe your product/service can help you
- Request a contact.
- When calling this potential client, you need to be careful to prepare for this call, bringing something really relevant to it.
A great tool to help you right now is CRM. With it, you can organize all customer information and automate processes.
At this stage of the sales funnel, your potential customer has already discovered that they have a problem and want to solve it. At this point, you start nurturing this prospect (possible buyer), showing him how he can solve this problem.
This nutrition can be done through emails, sending rich material such as whitepapers, podcasts, e-books and webinars. You can also use social networks and even Whatsapp to provide this rich content, which will educate your prospect.
Remember to establish a timeline to make these interactions with the prospective buyer. In addition to considering the right volume of messages, you will send to it. In addition, the use of a good CRM platform is indicated. You can set it to let you know about customer interaction dates to help you not lose any contact.
Now the prospective buyer knows he has a problem and has found that there is a practical solution to it.
So what you need to demonstrate now is how much your solution is best suited for this problem. That is present success cases and testimonials to the potential customer, validating the efficiency of your product/service.
Another good idea is to demonstrate to the customer the different ways your solution can help you and bring data such as the return on investment that your product/service will bring.
The client has already decided to close a deal with your company. Now, you should submit your proposal – very well structured and preferably with a platform that automates this submission, making the process more practical and simple.
Types of Sales Funnel
Y-shaped acquisition funnel
In this sales funnel model, both active and passive prospecting work together to boost their sales. In it, we have on the one hand active prospecting, where the stages are divided between prospecting, connecting, qualifying, maturing and selling. On the other is passive prospecting, where the steps are classified between converting and relating.
It is the most complete and indicated way to structure your business process, uniting two excellent strategies.
In this sales funnel model, each stage illustrates a moment and communication with the potential customer. For this, it is divided into 4 stages: recognition, interest, decision and action.
To use it, you will need to rely on the AIDA methodology, first capturing the attention of the prospective buyer. Then feeding and increasing your interest. Which will lead the customer to move forward to a decision regarding your problem and ultimately the action (buy from you).
Circular acquisition model
This model does not consider a linear path until purchase but merely understands that all purchases go through certain stages until it is realized. They are:
- Target: where decision-makers are identified who influence the purchase of your product/service
- Research: where the buyer makes several searches seeking to solve his pain
- Consideration and evaluation: where the buyer is researching the brands that best meet their need
- Formal proposal: when the customer receives his commercial proposal formally to know better the features of his product / service and decide whether or not to close the deal
- Purchase: where the contract is signed
- Buyback: where the customer can purchase more of your products/services.
The sales funnel generates actions
Tracking visitor conversion percentages for leads, opportunities, and customers is important to understand the sales steps. But that alone does not bring disruptive and innovative actions. You need to look at your product and especially listen to your customers to generate the most effective improvement actions, especially after purchase (and not just before it). After a few months of use, your client can generate ideas closer to what he needs, and in addition, his perception of his company changes over time, so it is important to continue his follow-up even after the sale, ensuring his satisfaction.