Sales Funnel is actually the process path through which a prospect is made to pass so that he can finally become a customer. It is called Sales Funnel because it is represented by a graphical shape like a Funnel. A Funnel has a bigger or broader size at the top part and smaller or narrow size at the bottom part. It indicates that a large number of prospects are entered through the top entry part of the funnel. When they are passed through different stages of sales funnel, some prospects go out of the funnel at 1st stages, some at 2nd stage, and some at the 3rd stage and so on… Hence a small number of prospects finally come out from the bottom end of the funnel. They are the prospects who have finally purchased the product or service offered.
A Sales Funnel has some stages which I have discussed below.
Sales Funnel Stages:
Different sales and marketing models may have different stages in their sales funnel. But there are four basic stages of a Sales Funnel (AIDA):
- Awareness (A)
- Interest (I)
- Desire (D)
- Action (A)
Awareness (A): It is the first stage of the sales funnel. It is the stage in which a prospect is made aware of the product or service that can solve the problem which is being faced by the prospect. Awareness can be made through different means.
For example: – Suppose you are searching for “How to earn money from the internet” on Google. You find some search results on the first page and click on any one of them which attracts you the most. By clicking on that link in the search results, you are able to land on the website which is offering the solution of your problem for which you searched. This is the awareness stage of the sales funnel of that website. In this stage, you become aware of the existence of that website and the product or service that website is offering. Here that website has made use of SEO (search engine optimization) to accomplish the Awareness phase of its Sales Funnel.
Awareness can also be made through other means like Google Advertising, Facebook advertising, Twitter ads, Linked In Ads, youtube video and many more.
Interest (I): This is the stage in which a prospect shows some interest in your product or service.
For example:- After being aware of your website, your product or service, if a prospect fills a simple form (by filling name, email etc.); it means he has shown some interest in your product or service. That form may be for downloading free ebook related to the product or service offered by you. It does not mean that he will definitely purchase from you. But he has given you a lead by giving his contact details. This is the Interest Stage of a Sales Funnel.
Desire (D): After getting a lead (contact details) from a prospect, you will have to build relations with your prospect. You can send the weekly or monthly newsletters on your products or services. You can also send some educational content to educate your prospect about the problem (he is facing) and solution. You can send some promo codes, discounts etc. to motivate him to purchase. In some sales and marketing models, direct phone calls are needed, instead of Emails. Thus a good relationship is made with a prospect so that he can finally desire and decide to purchase your product/service. This is the Desire stage of the Sales Funnel.
Action (A): This is the stage in which the prospect finally purchases the product or service offered by you. The prospect finally becomes your customer.
So these are the stages of a Sales Funnel. But the story does not end here. After getting the customer, providing good product and service is also the part of a funnel; so that he can become a loyal repeat customer. He should be so much satisfied that he can advocate your product to other buyers or prospects. Hence Loyalty and Advocacy are also the parts of a Sales Funnel but the basic steps or stages are only the four ones that I have mentioned above.
Now, suppose you made 100 prospects aware about you, your product, services etc. But out those 100 prospects, only 40 prospects gave you lead. And out of those 40 leads, only 10 prospects had the desire to purchase your product. But out those 10 prospects, only 5 prospects finally purchased your product (other 5 prospects might have not purchased because of high price etc.). Here, we started with 100 prospects at the top of the sales funnel, but only 5 prospects came out at the bottom of the funnel and became your customer (as shown below). Hence the Sales Funnel has a graphical shape of a funnel.
I hope this article was enough to make you understand the various stages of Sales and Marketing Funnel. If you have any doubt or query about this, you can ask your question in the comments below. I will try my best to clear all of your doubts.
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