A sales funnel, also known as a buying funnel, is a visual representation of the customer journey and the sales process from awareness to action. It is a marketing term used to describe the journey potential customers take on their buying journey. The sales funnel consists of several steps, commonly referred to as the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, although these steps may vary depending on the company's sales model. It reflects the path potential customers take to become customers.The sales funnel outlines the discrete stages of the customer journey, from initial contact to closing the deal.
It is every step a person has to take to become your customer. It is a model for visualizing each stage of the customer journey, from when potential customers first learn about your brand to when they make a purchase. Sales funnels allow companies to track every step potential customers take on their path to conversion.Each step is a microconversion that can be optimized to increase conversions. If one of these steps shows a higher rate of decline than expected, it can be analyzed to identify what is wrong and test possible improvements.
Instead of thinking about each stage of the sales funnel from a business perspective, it is important to consider it from the customer's perspective. When you understand how a sales funnel works from the customer's point of view, you can better identify delivery points and make improvements at every stage of the sales funnel to increase conversion rates.When potential customers move from MQL (“marketing-qualified leads”) to SQL (“sales-qualified leads”), this means they are nearing the end of the “consideration” stage and are close to entering the “decision” stage of the sales funnel. You can use a sales funnel to visualize every step a potential customer takes and identify delivery or departure points along their journey. By researching delivery points, you can learn how to improve user experience and ensure you reach your ideal customer.The top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel define the range and depth of information your potential customers need at each stage of their buying process.
If you have done your homework (including market research), your unique selling proposition (USP) is clear and you have adapted your sales funnel to attract MQLs based on user personas created from demographic and psychographic data (more on this later). After weeks of presentations and demonstrations, talks and charm, if a potential customer leaves the sales funnel without buying, it means that an opportunity was missed.To determine this, it is important to research exit points and learn more about visitors. To learn more about how visitors behave on our website and how they navigate through the sales funnel, we use tools such as heat maps, session recordings, and feedback surveys (see next section). Both marketing teams and inside sales managers often adopt strategies, tools, and tactics aimed at optimizing each stage of their sales process.Once you know the stages of your sales funnel, it's time to figure out where you're losing potential customers.
A well-defined sales funnel affects how potential customers view it as well as how your organization operates. Prospecting and marketing are all activities that help bring people into the first stage of your sales funnel.Now that a website visitor has become a potential customer, the sales representative can take advantage of information collected in subscription forms such as company name, job title, and product that interests them in order to start a valuable sales conversation and ask relevant questions. Cultivate it over time, adjust your approach according to different stages in the sales funnel, and find out why your efforts are not working. It makes sense that having a large sales funnel gives salespeople key information about their potential customers' needs, challenges, and decision-making process.The longer you define your sales funnel, the more you can pinpoint exactly what it takes for potential customers to go through it - from knowledge or consideration stage to conversion stage.
The definition of a sales funnel implies that it acts like an actual funnel - wider at the top and narrower at the bottom.