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Sales Funnel : The Basics You Need To Know

Sales funnel, the process sales reps utilize to turn unyielding prospects into promising leads.

A sales funnel is built to get a clear idea about a potential customer’s current challenges, requirements, and business state. It helps give an insight into the tasks that must be executed in order to convert a potential lead and proceed to close a deal. 

Unfortunately, many companies fail to turn their prospects into trustworthy customers because of a poor sales process. 68% of companies have not attempted to scale a sales funnel with proper understanding.

It’s imperative for businesses, big or small, to build and improve on their sales funnel to convert leads and grow their sales efficiently. With a solid sales funnel planned out, the revenue of most businesses has soared!

Are you wondering what makes a great sales funnel? Let’s find out!

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel provides you with a layout of steps to be executed in a sales process starting from finding a potential lead all the way to closing the sale.  

It presents you with the stages you need to complete in a sales process. With the successful completion of every stage, you bring your prospect nearer to becoming a customer. This Funnel has 3 layers, top, middle, and bottom. 

A sales funnel is directly connected to the customer journey phases, which can be sorted into three parts: top, middle, and bottom. The journey starts from the top ending at the bottom. 

The funnel steps down as follows:

Awareness ⇉ Discovery ⇉ Evaluation ⇉ Intent ⇉ Purchase ⇉ Loyalty.

All top sellers have to sales funnel placed down and memorized. Precisely because:

  1. They can deliver instantly what their potential customers are looking for, addressing their key requirements, and placing the exact needed solutions right in front of them.
  2. They can analyze their success rate with the sales process, adapt accordingly to different customers, and win their deals increasing the revenue.

In conclusion, catering to the needs of the prospects at the right time while simultaneously flourishing the business.

Stages of a sales funnel

Keep in mind that each business will have its own sales funnel. Every organization has its own way of going about the sales process depending on customer relations and requirements. But the basic idea behind every stage remains the same.

Top of the Sales funnel: Awareness and Discovery

This is the beginning part where you come across potential leads that are looking for someone who can help them with their needs ie. YOU. 

Before sales comes marketing, the entire purpose of marketing is to get you leads that you can convert into customers. Potential customers were initially looking to solve a problem, the marketing team did their job and compelled them enough to give you their contact information. 

That could be a social media follow, website visit, email sign-up, or a phone number. This is where you connect with your prospect and discover their needs. 

In this stage gaining your prospect’s trust is most important. They need to believe that buying your product would be worth it. Your prospects must have a few questions that you need to answer efficiently, making their worries vanish. For example,

  • An Electronics Store: “Which Samsung Tv model is the best?”
  • A mattress store: “Why does my back hurt after sleeping?”
  • A music Store: “Which the best acoustic Guitar brand”

Answering these questions skillfully, and resolving all their queries with profound knowledge of your product definitely help with closing the deal in the end.

Middle of the sales funnel: Evaluation and Intent

Now is the time where the prospect is really evaluating your product, Going deeper into the details of your product, and analyzing if, in fact, your product can solve their problem. They are comparing you with your competitors, weighing their options. A lot of factors come in play here, like, quality, reviews, your conviction, treatment, details of the product, features, and more.

You need to realize that you are very close to closing this sale, you just need to really show your potential buyer that buying from you is going to be beneficial to them. Answering their questions, display of previous sales, a compelling pitch they can’t refuse. Show that your intent is to genuinely help them out. 

As your conversation progresses, it starts to get clear what your lead’s intent is. They can still be unsure and leave or they might end up liking someone else’s product. It takes a skilled sales rep to turn this situation around. Analyzing why and what your prospect is struggling with, asking clear questions, realizing where your product is falling short. And then gaining their trust by resolving all of the above issues is a necessity. If successfully completed, this phase makes your prospect a customer. 

Bottom of the sales funnel: making an educated purchase decision

Finally, you get to the bottom of your funnel. Your lead now knows everything about their problem, their best solution, and are ready to make the purchase. But now is the time they are thinking about their budget. The cost of the product, they need to make an informed decision. 

Questions arise:

“Do you provide better support software features?”

“What is the warranty policy?”

“Any contract terms?”

“Installments or loans plans?”

Making sure you have the best customer-oriented responses to all the above questions will win over your customer. This is the end of the sales funnel where you close the sale.

This is when your Qualified leads go through Proposal presented and Negotiation phases, after which you ideally win their business.

Takeaways

An efficient sales rep can map out a perfect sales funnel keeping your potential leads in mind. Implement all the tasks skillfully and make the customer happy while at the same time gain revenue for the company. 

The key points that you now know are:

  • The top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel define the journey you must carry out in order to close the sale effectively.
  • A well-structured sales funnel impacts your relationship with your leads and helps you take informed decisions to turn them into customers.
  • A  detailed approach is important in defining your sales funnel, as well as in fixing any loopholes
  • A skilled salesperson can turn leads into customers by solving all their concerns.

With the knowledge of a sales funnel you are now a step closer to actually building a solid one for your business and are ready to close all those sales.

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